How to Evaluate Your Comment System Needs
We’re always looking for ways to improve your comments and help make your site more social. If you run an active site, you’ve probably dealt with your fair share of commenting challenges: moderating large queues, filtering spam, and most importantly keeping your community engaged. These days, there are several commenting solutions available to publishers. Here’s our perspective on how to choose the one that’s best for you.
How easy is it to use?
Find the good stuff. There are tons of insightful comments that get lost in a sea of white-noise. You can help your readers find valuable comments with a rating mechanism like comment voting to sort the good stuff to the top. Anything that can help you determine the commenter’s reputation and credibility will help you get a quick overview of which comments are worth your time.
Stay organized and involved. Organization makes for better debates. With comment threading your replies will appear in just the right spot instead of at the bottom of a long, long list of comments. Email notifications for new comments and the ability to respond to comments via email, keep your commenters involved and they won’t miss a beat.
Are your comments social?
Know who you’re talking with. When your readers know their fellow commenters, they will automatically become more engaged. Profiles, avatars, user descriptions, comment history, and Twitter integration makes it easy to get to know one-another. Here’s an excellent example of a commenter profile.
Lower the barrier to participation. Tie in their existing profiles from WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook, so all they have to do is type their comment and hit submit. And it’s all about sharing, so you should also give your commenters a way to share their comments on Twitter and Facebook.
How easy is it to manage?
Moderation, moderation, moderation! A commenting solution with hardcore spam and moderation filters will help you manage your comments easily and keep it all in good order. Different admin privileges are helpful for assigning additional moderators to help manage your account.
Crowdsource it! Give your readers the ability to report abusive comments. Having the option to set filters to automatically remove problematic posts will let your readers help you keep the conversation classy.
Performance is key! Managing high comment volume can be a burden on your servers, especially if your traffic and comments are just starting to take off. Hosted commenting solutions are a great way to alleviate the pain, so you can focus on more important things like your next post.
We offer a super-charged comment system called IntenseDebate that can be used on any website. We’ve identified and developed loads of features to increase comment activity, along with new ways to efficiently manage your comments. As a hosted commenting solution, IntenseDebate can help you optimize your site’s performance so your servers don’t have to do any heavy lifting when it comes to your comments. The features described above are just a few of the ways IntenseDebate can improve the discussion on your site, and we’re constantly working to bring more features into the mix.