When discussing the quality and quantity of blog comments, the system makes a difference.
First: Major hat tip to Judy Gombita, we’ve had some wonderful exchanges on this subject. Second: The choice of a commenting system is a personal decision every blogger must make themselves, right up there with which platform is right for their blog.
Let’s compare the usual comment system suspects
- WordPress has about a gagillion plugins to prettify the nesting replies, CommentLuv for links, spam zapping. Plenty of ways to go native and build a tremendous blog community.
- Disqus. I like that it saves my comments, that I can reply to replies from that site if I want. Has ‘Like’ Button. Has added the @mention, following the competition. One thing I like: EDIT button, helps me fix typos and make sense of my rambles.
- Livefyre. Game changing upstart with its real-time posting, social mentions and notifications. Has ‘Like’ Button. Started the @mention, a way to Tweet at someone
when you’re talking about them behind their backs.. a way to make it more ‘social.’ One thing I DO like about it, the @group reply: Person A comments, B replies, so on; if there are 5 people in a thread, I can post just one reply ‘addressed’ to them all.
Google, Intense Debate, Open ID are other options. While the captcha of some of these drives me batty, at least that ‘preview’ lets me see if I’ve shared something galactically stupid. Another issue with various different systems: they don’t always run on other blogging platforms. YES I think WordPress is The Standard, but cannot deny the existence of Typepad, Posterous, Blogger though maybe Tumblr is just technobeasts.
My dream comment system? A wacky hybrid with one key feature – I call the shots.
I want my own buttons. Like is not enough. LOL, LMAO, What He/She Said, Facepalm! Let me have some fun with it. Seriously though – racking up points and gamification aside, I’m not sure of its purpose – the “like” button. I often use it to show that I’ve read it, or seen your reply to my reply as some has to shut up already and NOT get the last word. At times I’ve felt silly typing in a “like” or “ITA” in a comment and yet, there are times that’s all I have to add.
Fewer hoops. I don’t like registration required. I did sign up for Disqus a few years back, since it was commonly used. I’ve set up my LiveFyre profile but I don’t consider a Twitter-auth a full-on registration. As blog owner, I’d still want to give readers the option of the old fashiond name, email, URL to post a comment.
Better format. If the blog field is a narrow width, then the nesting replies become an issue as they indent to tiny little slivers.. or just go on forever in a unattractive hot mess. I’d want to collapse threads, nesting replies as they go a little off topic, to maintain more structural integrity and readability. After the Xth sub-reply, have a neatly collapsed thread like on some BBS and forums.
Link love for guests. I like how the CommentLuv plugin gives back to those who honor me with their comments. More than links, we see what each other is writing about and maybe discover a new blog or two. A must have.
Notification options. Ad nauseum or never, WTH kind of choice is that? Marcus Sheridan’s BWENY post would have had my inbox begging for mercy had I not stopped subscribing to comments. I’d want control over how many emails my posts send; AND give to subscribers, a lot more options for annoyingly frequent updates.
Social sharing. If someone wants to tweet at someone about my post, power to ‘em. And thanks. A lot of people like the ability to pull others into the discussion via the notifications, I’m just not sold that more comments equal better discussion, quality vs. quantity debate.
What are your dreamy commenting features? Please share.
Photo credit: Went with an old Dilbert.