Today I installed IntenseDebate on this blog as a way to address one of the things I donâ€™t really like about commenting â€“ the linear form comments tend to take.
What I mean is that the chronological-order format makes it difficult to track actual conversations where different people comment and interject as a conversation develops. Instead you simply get a list you have to scroll through which, if you get a post with loads of comments, soon gets cumbersome.
Not only that, I think structures like that de-stimulate people from continuing discussion or joining one where you will miss some of the points being made in the cut and thrust.
I tried coComment when it first appeared a few years ago (and initially got quite excited with it). Iâ€™ve considered some of the various comment plug-ins you can get for WordPress but none really seemed worthwhile or added something anyone wishing to comment would find of lasting value.
More recently Iâ€™ve looked at Disqus which I donâ€™t like at all as your comments are taken away from your blog to a third-party location, plus my perception that it didnâ€™t integrate well with my blogâ€™s design template.
So Iâ€™m trying IntenseDebate via the plug-in for WordPress which makes the comment form and published comments on each post look quite different, as this example indicates:
Note the in-line threading where I replied to a specific comment. And look at those RSS options. I like that. And the â€˜follow this discussionâ€™ box drops out to give you lots of different choices on subscribing to the content of just this comment thread.
Four clear reasons prompted me to give it a go:
- If I change my mind at any time and decide to revert back to the standard WordPress comment structure, I can synchronize all comments made via the IntenseDebate setup back into my blogâ€™s comment database and not lose any comments â€“ this is crucial and the #1 benefit for me.
- Comments anyone has made prior to installing IntenseDebate are easily integrated into the new system while still remaining within my WordPress comments database.
- IntenseDebate is owned by Automattic, the company behind WordPress and Akismet, with all the trust that implies (basically, Iâ€™m willing to trust them because of that).
- Of all the conversation-enhancing tools out there, IntenseDebate looks like the one I think everyone â€“ me as the blog author and you as a commenter â€“ would actually find useful and give us all a better overall experience.
So Iâ€™ll post what I think of IntenseDebate over on my tech blog as I get to know it (for an initial view, check out what RWW has to say). And my Twitter buddy Rik Wuts is going to check out Disqus and weâ€™ll compare notes.
I guess, though, that the most important factor is what you, a commenter, thinks of IntenseDebate and what it offers. No doubt youâ€™ll let me know, thanks.