Saturday, October 15, 2011

Switching to Disqus or IntenseDebate for your commenting platform

One of the best moves that you will ever make for your blog is switching comment platforms.
While Blogger is improving all the time, there are two platforms available that will change the way you interact with readers.

I have used both of them, and like them equally, for different reasons. Depending in your niche, you will find people gravitating heavily toward either Disqus or IntenseDebate.

Disqus.  No frills, but ease of use.  Reply to comments directly from email with a very clean format.

IntenseDebate  More bells and whistles.  Reply to comments directly from email, though they appear on post with strange symbols.
  It was only an issue for me because I use smiley faces. A lot.  I am a happy person.  And the smiley faces (   : )  ) came across with extra symbols and looked very unprofessional.  If I remembered to comment directly from the blog, there were no issues. It was only replying by email.
Also - I have only had comments disappear from IntenseDebate.  That and the fact that in my primary blogging niche most of the users used Disqus made me switch.  But you will see that in this blog, I am very happily using IntenseDebate.

Simple. Each site has step by step directions.  The IntenseDebate ones are slightly confusing since some of the menu options have changed wording since the move to Blogger in Draft.

Both platforms have a simple widget installation. IntenseDebate also has a more complicated installation that goes directly into the template, but they take any of the guess work out of it with their built in installers, which is helpful to people who are completely unfamiliar with looking at HTML code.

For IntenseDebate users:  On their site it will ask you to make sure that the box is checked for the option New Posts DO NOT have comments.  This is not one of the options in Blogger in Draft.  What you choose instead is:

Under settings > Posts and comments >  click on the dropdown menu next to Show Comments? and choose HIDE, and make sure that you save the settings in the upper right hand corner.


Interacting with your readers is one of the most important thing that you can do, and anything that is going to make that process easier, and more fun is definitely a plus.

On the fun side, IntenseDebate definitely wins, because you can enable CommentLuv, which is a neat plugin that shows the commenter's most recent post on their own blog.  It is a great tool for visibility.  If you are planning a high traffic blog, with hopes to monetize, and create a large following, then IntenseDebate with the CommentLuv plugin is definitely worth considering.

If you are just trying to build a strong readership, and not planning to monetize, then Disqus is a great option.  For me, I am using Disqus on one of my main blogs because most of the other bloggers in that genre are using Disqus - and it is nice for them to be able to have their avatar and familiarity.

Always consider your audience when making your decision.
And thankfully, since the installation process of both platforms is so simple, it is easy to change your mind, and change it back again.