A couple of weeks back, I sent an email out to my subscribers asking about blog comment systems.

The main gist of the question was centered around which option readers preferred – the WordPress native system, or third-party options like Livefyre and Disqus.

The reasoning was simple – while I might provide the original content, I firmly believe that the real magic of a blog post comes in the comments afterward. It’s where new ideas can be formed; feedback given; and new friendships and relationships forged.

Simply put, content may be king but community is the whole royal courtyard.

The results and feedback from that email showed that, while WordPress native was the simplest option, people did prefer the more social aspects of Livefyre and Disqus.

Out of these two, the majority of votes went to Disqus. Reasons included:

  • The ability to answer directly from your email notification
  • Better sign-in experience on mobile browsers
  • The community aspect of knowing what your commenters were saying elsewhere and the ability to join that conversation
  • A better way to track all your comments elsewhere

While some answers preferred Livefyre for its ability to integrate social conversations into the comments, there were also concerns re. mobile reading, and a more cliquey feel to Livefyre communities (though personally I would say that’s more down to the blogger and their interactions versus the system itself).

With that feedback, it was clear that – despite my love of Livefyre – readers preferred the approach to comments Disqus takes. Hence the reason it’s back on the blog after a trial run of the new version earlier this year.

Now, you could say that it’s my blog and I can run whatever options I want on here. And that’s true – but it’s also missing the point.

A blog without a community is simply a news channel. A community without interaction is simply a dead zone waiting to go somewhere else. A dead zone is the path to oblivion for a blog.

This blog has always been about your voice and interaction too – you bring different points of view and great ideas all the time. Why would I want to limit that?

So, thanks for being here and thanks for the feedback on how you wish to be here – here’s to continued conversations.

Update 19 March 2013: After experiencing some issues with Disqus – slow load time (particularly on mobile browsers), comments disappearing and filters not working properly – I’ve reinstalled Livefyre, with its new version 4.0.

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Comments

  1. says

    Sorry I didn’t give you feedback on that one Danny, but I think you made the right choice.
    Disqus is simple from the commenters point of view and the comments look very neat and elegant when displayed.

    Does Disqus take much setting up?

    • says

      Hi mate, no worries – the feedback and comments were really interesting. Made me realize how little I was utilizing my list. :)

      Disqus is really simple to set up. Create an account, upload WordPress plugin, begin exporting comments from WordPress to Disqus. It can take up to 24 hours to complete, so a post advising comment count may look a little wonky might be an idea until the process is complete.

      One thing I would warn of, though, is if you have a lot of comments, it may not pick all of them up. When my import was completed, I noticed there were a fair few comments missing from the auto-import.

      So what I had to do was switch off all plugins except Disqus, export a copy of my blog from the Tools menu, and then upload back into the blog manually. Because WordPress recognizes duplicate content, the only thing it takes from the upload are the comments that were missed, and these drop into Disqus.

      But that’s usually a last resort – for the most part, integration is pretty seamless mate.

  2. says

    Sorry I didn’t give you feedback on that one Danny, but I think you made the right choice.
    Disqus is simple from the commenters point of view and the comments look very neat and elegant when displayed.

    Does Disqus take much setting up?

    • says

      Hi mate, no worries – the feedback and comments were really interesting. Made me realize how little I was utilizing my list. :)

      Disqus is really simple to set up. Create an account, upload WordPress plugin, begin exporting comments from WordPress to Disqus. It can take up to 24 hours to complete, so a post advising comment count may look a little wonky might be an idea until the process is complete.

      One thing I would warn of, though, is if you have a lot of comments, it may not pick all of them up. When my import was completed, I noticed there were a fair few comments missing from the auto-import.

      So what I had to do was switch off all plugins except Disqus, export a copy of my blog from the Tools menu, and then upload back into the blog manually. Because WordPress recognizes duplicate content, the only thing it takes from the upload are the comments that were missed, and these drop into Disqus.

      But that’s usually a last resort – for the most part, integration is pretty seamless mate.

  3. says

    I am more inclined to leave comments if Disqus is available versus WordPress comments. I have left a few comments on Livefyre and I think it is also a good service but Disqus has the added advantage of integrating with my other social conversations on Engagio. I completely agree with you regarding the value of comments – Just this past Friday I read a tip about Google analytics in the comment section of a blog post and it was extremely useful for my work

      • says

        It integrates with disqus and most other social networks. I replying to you via Engagio right now! It focuses on social conversations and I am using it as a personal relationship manager. FYI. I am working for Engagio at the moment but was a fan long before joining them

  4. says

    I am more inclined to leave comments if Disqus is available versus WordPress comments. I have left a few comments on Livefyre and I think it is also a good service but Disqus has the added advantage of integrating with my other social conversations on Engagio. I completely agree with you regarding the value of comments – Just this past Friday I read a tip about Google analytics in the comment section of a blog post and it was extremely useful for my work

      • says

        It integrates with disqus and most other social networks. I replying to you via Engagio right now! It focuses on social conversations and I am using it as a personal relationship manager. FYI. I am working for Engagio at the moment but was a fan long before joining them

  5. marklongbottom says

    Glad you listened, glad I spoke too. So you are an Inspiration, influencer more importantly instigator. Hopefully others will see how important it is to talk but more so to listen – have a good weekend.

  6. marklongbottom says

    Glad you listened, glad I spoke too. So you are an Inspiration, influencer more importantly instigator. Hopefully others will see how important it is to talk but more so to listen – have a good weekend.

  7. says

    Wow, Danny, I know how much you like and advocated for Livefyre, so this was a surprise to see. Major props for putting the community first. All about community. FWIW, I much prefer Disqus.

    • says

      Cheers, mate. The way I look at it, this blog wouldn’t be whatever it is without the community, so it’d be foolish (to say the least) to ignore their feedback. Definitely one of the benefits of using your list wisely. :)

  8. says

    Wow, Danny, I know how much you like and advocated for Livefyre, so this was a surprise to see. Major props for putting the community first. All about community. FWIW, I much prefer Disqus.

    • says

      Cheers, mate. The way I look at it, this blog wouldn’t be whatever it is without the community, so it’d be foolish (to say the least) to ignore their feedback. Definitely one of the benefits of using your list wisely. :)

  9. says

    Hi there Danny.

    I’m glad you’re using Disqus – I find it easier to use and easier to follow, than LiveFyre. The downside is you can expect to see me commenting here more frequently 😉

    It took me no time to read the comments here and get a real feel for what people were saying.

    I’m hoping a few other of my fave bloggers also make the move, as I’d like to comment on their blogs but find it too time consuming and ‘cliquey’, with LiveFyre.

    Thanks for all you do, my friend.

    • says

      Dammit, I knew there was a reason I should have left Disqus off… 😉

      What I like about Disqus is the My Disqus section – I can keep up with convos elsewhere on blogs I follow, which is a nice little time-saving feature. Nice to see them implement that in this update.

      Cheers, sir!

  10. says

    Hi there Danny.

    I’m glad you’re using Disqus – I find it easier to use and easier to follow, than LiveFyre. The downside is you can expect to see me commenting here more frequently 😉

    It took me no time to read the comments here and get a real feel for what people were saying.

    I’m hoping a few other of my fave bloggers also make the move, as I’d like to comment on their blogs but find it too time consuming and ‘cliquey’, with LiveFyre.

    Thanks for all you do, my friend.

    • says

      Dammit, I knew there was a reason I should have left Disqus off… 😉

      What I like about Disqus is the My Disqus section – I can keep up with convos elsewhere on blogs I follow, which is a nice little time-saving feature. Nice to see them implement that in this update.

      Cheers, sir!

  11. says

    I just went with Livefyre. I don’t like the way Disqus started putting in links to things that were supposed to be related, that I might like? I found that annoying. So I went the other direction. Who Knew… I have been banging around for a year or so, learning and figuring things out. So, I will drop in here again to see how the comments works out for your community. As always nice to say hello to a fellow Kelt… Billy

    • says

      Hi Billy, yeah, I experimented with that when I was testing previously, wasn’t a huge fan. It brought a lot of content in that was nowhere near related to this blog. So I just switched it off and had related content from my own blog only – big difference. :)

      • says

        Well, I’m really only getting going. I have time to play around with it. I liked disqus, but I don’t want the “you might like this” on the bottom of the page. All I want is to generate a conversation and allow a platform for people to respond. Getting ready to get out and about. Any other suggestions?

  12. says

    I just went with Livefyre. I don’t like the way Disqus started putting in links to things that were supposed to be related, that I might like? I found that annoying. So I went the other direction. Who Knew… I have been banging around for a year or so, learning and figuring things out. So, I will drop in here again to see how the comments works out for your community. As always nice to say hello to a fellow Kelt… Billy

  13. says

    Love this, Danny! Impressed by your willingness to switch gears – shows your commitment.

    The majority of my community has always been vocal about it’s dislike of Livefyre, which is why I’ve been Disqus from the beginning. Do you know what a lot of people hate? The points. Which I think is funny, because I never even notice the points! Another good example of the fact that we can’t extrapolate our personal impressions to others.

    Personally, I like to see the “real” comments all in one place, without social media convos interspersed throughout. So I, too, like your change. Thanks for listening!

    • says

      It’s also ironic, given the Disqus voting up/voting down system. :)

      But yeah, I hear you – I used CSS to remove the points system since it could be pretty intimidating arriving at a post where people have thousands of comment points, while you’re arriving with the standard 5 points. Once I did that, I found folks more willing to comment.

      Cheers, miss!

  14. says

    I have been playing around with the idea of switching commenting systems again. CommentLuv has been very good, but it hasn’t had the same ability of stimulating conversation that other systems do.

    I like DISQUS, but I haven’t been real happy with the support. LiveFyre is very good about that and I appreciate it,

    You are right about listening to the community.

    • says

      It was very much a toss up between the two, mate, and you’re right, Livefyre community support has always been top notch. i must admit, while they don’t seem to be as active out front, the support from Disqus via email is excellent, so seems they’ve definitely listened to feedback.

      But, as long as the community has their preference, then that’s always going to play a big factor, like you say. Cheers, sir!

  15. says

    Hi Danny
    I second the time management, stronger relationship building and zero spam with Disqus. Thank you for being such a fantastic example, showing us not just telling us that community is everything.

  16. eduturns says

    Hi Danny, thanks for the great posts on commenting systems. I actually just came across your website in my seemingly never ending pursuit to make a decision on which commenting system I’m going to use for the WP site I’m about to begin building. I see that you have gone from LiveFyre to Disqus then back to LiveFyre. I’m curious to know if you’re happy with your final decision to switch back to LiveFyre? 
    Would love to hear your final analysis/comparison of the two, as your 9/19 and 10/27 blog posts were both very informative. Would be great to hear some elaboration on the contrast in performance such as the difference in page load speeds you were seeing while using each. 
    Also, to sort of echo @Online Strategies sentiment, there is definitely something to be said for the fact that TechCrunch has chosen to go with LiveFyre. Thank you for mentioning that. As one of, if not the most popular and heavily trafficked WordPress sites on the web, I’m tempted to go with LiveFyre based on that fact alone. 
    One last thought though, seems to me that LiveFyre ought to up the font size in the comment editor by at least a point or two. I’m young with perfect vision and all and I find it to be rather small. But who knows, perhaps that plays a factor in performance optimization. In which case I would say, keep it small!

  17. says

    We recently added livefyre on one of our insurance blogs because we are interested in feedback from our readers. So far we have been happy with it. I will look into disqus based on your readers comments.

  18. PhilCooper says

    I encountered Viafoura for the first time today at SFGate.com, who used a different in-house system until a couple of months ago.  Having used Disqus on other sites for many years now, I was immediately put off by Viafoura:
    1. Can’t delete my post.
    2. Can’t edit my post, not even for a limited time.
    3. Can’t add emphasis (bold, italic, underline, strikethrough) with HTML tags or with buttons in the Viafoura interface.
    4. No “Dislike” or vote-down feature, even though some comments sorely need it.
    5. No “Cancel” button to close the dialog box.  One must delete all the text in the dialog box and reload the entire Web page.
     

    There’s probably more issues, but that’s what I found in the first 15 to 20 minutes of using Viafoura.  Considering the company has been around for several years, those are some serious deficiencies in their system.  If I were running a company’s Web site, Viafoura would be a non-starter.

  19. says

    PhilCooper Interesting, haven’t heard of Viafoura until now, thanks Phil. There are so many comment systems being created, it’s hard to keep up. I do prefer the functionality of Livefyre, though, it’s the only third-party system I would ever use, if I didn’t want to run native comments.
    Cheers for the heads up!

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