If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I’ve had an experiment running for a couple of months to dress up the comments on my WordPress blog by adding a bit of extra functionality. I have now declared that experiment a failure and have gone back to basics. Here’s why.
Almost, But Not Quite
After I switched from Echo to IntenseDebate, I must admit that I was happy for a while. IntenseDebate did a lot of things right and there were only a few little niggles. However, those niggles proved to be more and more of an annoyance. I did not enjoy having to moderate comments twice and sometimes three times.
The reputation manager which was supposed to ease the moderation load never worked as it should. No matter how many times I voted someone up, their comments never got approved automatically. And it seemed to me that I got the slow connection interface far too often (admittedly, that’s probably the fault of my ISP, but it didn’t help).
The Readers Speak
What proved the death knell for IntenseDebate was the feedback from my readers. I asked on Twitter whether they actually used the additional social media integration (the reason I’d installed it in the first place) and was told categorically that they didn’t. In addition, some people had had trouble leaving comments and found that it detracted from the whole experience. They were quite happy with the default WordPress comment box, thank you very much.
What Next For WordPress Comments?
You might think at this point that I would try again with Disqus, but why would I? My readers had spoken. Only a few of them, but those few are people who comment on almost every post, so their opinion counts. So I won’t be messing around with the comments section of my blog any time soon.
While I’m still looking for more ways to integrate social media into my blog (remind me to tell you about what happened with BackType Connect some time), I’m leaving the comment area alone. In fact, this week I’ve made it even simpler by reducing the number of social media buttons under posts. Turns out that, apart from Tweetmeme, not many people use those either. What’s your experience been with comments and social media buttons on your blog?