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September 24, 2013

Six Reasons to Upgrade Your Commenting System

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Commenting System

Your average commenting system has evolved quite a bit over the years, but sadly many blogs are still stuck in the dark ages. While blog comments aren’t a measure of success, that doesn’t mean you should not encourage them. Platforms like WordPress come with commenting ready to rock, and you are probably very familiar with the setup. Someone enters their name, email, website address and then says whatever they want to say. Depending on your theme, the comment form can be designed differently, but the functionality still remains the same.

Using the built-in commenting system is totally fine, and tends to get the job done. However, I feel you can do better with a more advanced setup like Livefyre or Disqus, and here’s why:

Good Lookin’

This can be chopped up to a matter of personal opinion, but the reality is that many basic comment forms are not lookers. Functionality is of utmost importance, but design should also be considered. To be honest, I am not a fan of the commenting system currently in place here on Blog Herald, but hey, that’s not my call. Setups from Livefyre or Disqus are very clean and simple, and they automatically adjust to the fonts or colors of your blog. read more

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September 3, 2013

How to Deal with Negative Blog Comments

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Blog Comments

Blog comments are welcomed by all, and give us an opportunity to create a discussion, further building a community in the process. Most of the time, they’re cool and collective, sometimes disagreeing with what you have to say, which is great. If we all agreed on everything, conversations would get pretty boring, pretty fast. However, things can go south, and the bigger your blog is or the more popular you are, the more you have to deal with “haters.”

Haters have no better way to spend their time than to spew nonsense, and not add any value to the conversation whatsoever. They move beyond criticism, and can get personal by calling you names. They are an unfortunate part of life, and really seem to enjoy spending a lot of time on YouTube. Haters have one simple goal: to get a rise out of you, and to get attention.

Understanding The Mindset

Haters are simply broken human beings, and usually going through some sort of problems in their own life. Just like a school bully, they unnecessarily take things out on other people. It is easy to get upset over blog comments that are uncalled for, and wanting to lash out. However, when you start to realize that the person spewing such hate is broken, and probably needs to be hugged more often, it kinda starts to get sad. read more

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July 22, 2013

How to Encourage Commenting on Your Blog Posts

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One of the main reasons bloggers enjoy writing posts is to generate comments from their content that they’ve published. However, for new blogs, it can be hard to begin generating the steady traffic that also is commenting regularly. Here are some ways you can encourage commenting and participation on your blog posts.

Write About Controversial Topics

When you decide on blog topics, always pick the most controversial. If you are in an industry where there is some leeway on best practices, focus on that grey area. Organizing your content in areas where people have the most questions will more than likely start getting you more views and users that are going to want to comment.

read more

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September 14, 2009

JS-Kit Echo: The Good and Bad

jskit-logo

In late August, shortly after comment hosting companyJS-Kit announced the public launch of their Echo service, I forked over my credit card and paid $12 for one year’s worth of service.

With commenting becoming more and more fragmented, taking place increasingly on sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, Echo appeared to be an interesting way to unify all of these references and create one giant world-wide conversation out of the feedback. Though JS-Kit said that that ECHO would be “death to commenting” they had found a seemingly innovative way to keep the conversation alive.

The idea seemed simple and powerful and, with the 30-day money-back guarantee, it also seemed to be worth a shot. However, as I jumped into the system, I found it to be more of a mixed bag, a strange combination of really great features and big ideas but also of frustrations and headaches.

Though there is clearly a lot of potential for ECHO, there’s also a lot that needs fixing. There’s no doubt they have a good thing going, but the devil truly is in the details. read more

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July 10, 2009

Gawker Media is Back to Promoting Pageviews

Gawker Media has had a good year so far, with ad revenue up 35% when the industry is suffering. The network clocked 334 million pageviews in June, and Nick Denton is happy. He is, in fact, so happy that he’s bringing pageviews to the table again, with bonuses for writers reaching their individual targets. This from an internal memo published on the Nieman Journalism Lab blog.

Don’t all get excited: the levels will be modest; aimed at the writers who aren’t paid as much as their traffic would warrant; and we’re only committing to bonuses for the second half of this year. Chris Batty’s sales and creative services teams have done an impressive job in bucking the advertising slump; but we have no idea how long we can continue to out-perform competitors.

He’s also mentioning the new commenting system and policy change, further outlined in a Jezebel post. Skipping that, the memo actually gives some insight in how Denton & Co. thinks about comments. read more

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April 21, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Comment via Twitter and .htaccess Hacks

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Happy Monday, folks! First up this week, Mark Carey has released a plugin that allows you to comment on Movable Type blogs using your Twitter account. A user can sign into your blog using their Twitter username and password, and they can post their comments to Twitter. I’m particularly glad to see an oAuth version is coming soon, which will remove the need to have users log in on your site.

Also this week, Mark Kolich wrote a post with 10 .htaccess hacks for Movable Type. Mark has collected some very useful tips here for increasing both the speed and security of your site. Plus, many of them can be used no matter what powers your website.

That’s it for this week. What have you done with Movable Type lately? Tell us in the comments.

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September 23, 2008

Automattic buys IntenseDebate, roll on a better commenting system for WordPress

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Automattic has announced that it has acquired IntenseDebate for an undisclosed sum. This should ensure that, in time, the free blog commenting service has the potential to find its way onto both hosted and self-managed WordPress blogs – over four million at present.

According to a CNet article, Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg has said that IntenseDebate software could become the default commenting option on both WordPress.org and WordPress.com, citing email replies and comment rating system as the two of the main reasons for taking on the service. read more

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August 6, 2008

Not Just Blog Writers Who Get Freelance Gigs

Reading Fred Wilson’s AVC blog about his recent redesign made me realize it is not just the writers of blogs who can use blogging to get freelance opportunities.

Check out the article and see if you mentally highlight the parts I did. read more

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April 14, 2008

Do You Care Where Your Comments Are?

The discussion surrounding the previously addressed Commenting Issues in the Blogosphere heated up again this weekend with Robert Scoble claiming that the Era of blogger’s control is over. When I asked the question: Where Do You Leave Your Comments? I only dealt with commenting on blogs:

When bloggers are quoting other bloggers and you want to comment on the issue, where do you leave your comment?

There are three different options:

1. Comment on the the original post
2. Comment on the post that quoted the original post
3. Start a new post and use trackback/pingback to notify the other two posts

However, we are increasingly using other services and social networking sites to engage in the conversation. The feature to auto-post your latest blog post on Twitter is a very popular way to promote your blog post. It also means that you may receive comments on your blog post in the form of a Twitter reply.

I notice that I reply differently on blog posts when I comment on Twitter than on the actual blog post itself. When commenting on a blog post I feel the need to sit down, reflect and spend some time on formulating a valuable comment. However, when I comment in the form of a Twitter reply I am not only limited to 140 characters but I also feel my comment is part of a time sensitive flow. This means that my comments are not only shorter but that it also lowers my personal barrier of commenting, I can write a quick and short reply.

I recently commented on a blog post with a Twitter reply suggesting some corresponding literature. The author then asked me if I could comment on the blog post also which I then did. This is the problem we are currently dealing with. Should we care where our comments are, that the conversation is increasingly scattering around the blogosphere? Should we cling onto our blog as the central aggregation point of our conversation?

Friendfeed suggests that the issues of distributing commenting in the blogosphere seems to have moved beyond control. It is the perfect tool to keep up with your friends’ feeds but it also allows you to bring the conversation to Friendfeed. The situation is getting more and more dispersed. We use centralizing features such as CoComments to keep track of where we leave our comments but the conversation is only visible to us and not to others who would like to participate.

I don’t care where my comments are, as long as I am aware of them. This is the issue that we need to address which is an infrastructural issue as Matthew Hurst from the Data Mining Blog points out:

What is being lost in the conversation is the fact that the infrastructure of the blogosphere, due to its somewhat amateur evolution process, has not managed to fix some of the serious issues that have troubled it from the past. Commenting is exactly one of those things. As the value and use of comments evolved, and as the distribution mechanisms of content evolved, little effort has been made to bring commenting along with it. What has happened, is the appearance of a number of hacks on top of the base infrastructure to get around this issue. Perhaps the exception to this is the RSS 2.0 commenting mechanism.

Do we need an infrastructural fix or should we just “give up control” and focus on the conversation taking place? Robert Scoble doesn’t care where his comments are, do you?

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