Commenting Systems and Responding to Comments
There are several different types of commenting systems you can install on your blog depending on whether or not you use blogger or wordpress. Each system has it pros and cons. Some popular ones are Disqus, IntenseDebate, Livefrye and CommentLuv. All of them encourage interaction, and eliminate spam removing the need for captcha.
Disqus- allows editing of comments, eliminates captcha, sends your response to comments to users email. Allows you to moderate comments, block users, whitelist users and works on all platforms. Followers can choose to follow topic threads and each other. Has an easy auto-install feature for blogger and wordpress users. You can decide whether to allow html codes and links from commenters. Allows users to vote up comments, add profile picture and links to twitter, facebook, their blog and google+.
IntenseDebate- offers the same features as Disqus. Can be installed on all platforms but requires some coding for Blogger users. Allows users to follow conversations, and choose to receive replies to comments. Cannot edit your comment once submitted.
Livefrye- offers the same features as Disqus but currently only available for Wordpress. Tricky setup for users who are bombarded with all comments to a post unless they click not to receive feed. Cannot edit your comment once submitted.
CommentLuv- A plugin for wordpress, shows blog owner's last post and offers the same features as Discus with the exception of editing comment.
Regardless of which one you choose based on your platform experts agree that they increase interaction between you and your followers. Unlike blogger's commenting system where a follower won't see your response unless they return to your page, the commenting systems allow your response to appear in the follower's mailbox giving the opportunity for further dialogue. A commenter can choose to follow a thread and comment on other comments further engaging your readers.
I currently utilize Disqus and love the interaction it allows me to have with my followers, spam never appears on my blog, and I avoid using the dreaded Captcha. Believe me nothing screams avoid commenting like word verification.
Installation of all of these platforms are relatively easy, and some like Disqus will transfer old comments to the new system with the push of a button.
Bloggers you should have a profile on every system!
Yeah I know it's a pain in the arse, and all those passwords, I-yi-yi! If you comment on other blogs you should have a profile on every commenting system you run across. Why?? The simplest answer is that as a blogger you want people to find your blog.
You want me to comment back and visit your blog. Right? You my friend are not the only Lisa L or Andrea! So why do you think your first name and email is enough. Download your blogger icon, add your blog url or twitter to the profile. Use the same name on GFC, Disqus, CommentLuv, Wordpress etc. It should be universal so peeps recognize you. (like my coffee cup icon and user name kimbacaffeinate)
Now, if you comment on my blog and do not have a profile I will try to google search you, especially if you say something like, "Ooh I reviewed this last week and agree on some aspects but not all." Obviously you blog and have thoughts on a book and hey I'd like to engage with you. But, sometimes I cannot find you and I can guarantee you most do not bother even trying.
I have discovered some wonderful followers and blogs to follow while visiting my favorite blogs. How? The commenters!! People who are engaging with the blogger, it tells me they are like me but if there is no profile they miss out on a potential follower.
Responding to Comments on Your Blog
Should you comment back when followers leave comments? Abso-friggin-loutely! Engage with your followers and they will come back..I promise.
I know sometimes it feels weird, especially for those that say, "great review hun!" I mean what do you say to that?!? AWKWARD! Keep it simple and say what you mean, "thanks for stopping by and checking out my review I'm glad you enjoyed it!" Guess what..they come back and the next time they say more *nods head*
I know some folks reply to most comments, but not for giveaways or memes but I respond to all of them! Let me tell you why: I want to engage them and I am not going to miss an opportunity If they took five seconds to say thanks for the giveaway..I can take five seconds and say, you are welcome, good luck and thanks for following. For every ten, I may get one really awesome follower who comments regularly and that my friends makes it all worth it. *happy dance* Did I mention that I adore comments and chatting with ya all?
For me the end result after a year and half of blogging is that I get comments on my posts daily. Wonderful, meaningful interaction with fellow book lovers on a daily basis. Loyal peeps who visit even when I am unplugged and on vacation and that my friends makes it all worth it. Truly it's of my favorite things about blogging.
So that's my take on Commenting systems and comments!
Do you use a system I didn't mention? Let me know:)
Do you have a question or tip you'd like me to discuss?
Please email me or leave the question in the comments below.
update: Some of you who use IE or have followers who cannot comment because they have IE issues (remember this is some not all) This link offers a quick, easy fix for both parties: Starr Guide