On Listening to Those That Make Your Blog What It Is

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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