A Guide to Blog Commenting SystemsAuthor: Jamie | Filed under: Blogging
Implementing a third party blog commenting system is a rite of passage for serious bloggers. As with all software, each system has its own advantages and drawbacks. Here I’ll take a look at 3 of the most common.
Commentluv is designed almost exclusively for SEO benefit by linking to the author’s most recent blog post in their comment. Bloggers are given an incentive to comment and you can build links by commenting back.
This has proved very effective for some, particularly combined with bonus features you can offer users who register with your site (such as dofollow links) that offer a motive to engage with your site.
However, the extra code required to add the link in each comment makes a significantly larger database, potentially costing extra in web hosting. It also makes your comments highly susceptible to spam, a situation not helped by the lack of internal spam filtering.
And of course, visitors may comment just for the sake of the link.
Livefyre‘s raison d’etre is real time. Based on instant messaging software, Livefyre aims to turn your comment feed into a fluid, real time conversation.
Sites lacking the traffic for genuinely real time conversation still benefit from tight social integration – users can sign in with Facebook/Twitter et al. and tag each other in comments, creating a somewhat slower conversation.
The user rating system provides a reward structure for good comments that also serves as valuable data for site owners to identify who is most engaged, and perhaps deserving of special treatment.
Sadly, with no sort of guest posting, users may be put off commenting by the extra step of having to sign in (even with Facebook). That Livefyre is only customisable with CSS will also put off non-technical webmasters.
Disqus is the big daddy of blog commenting systems, its ubiquity being a plus in itself; visitors are more likely to recognise and/or already have an account. The Disqus community also offers another avenue to promote your blog, by having your comments exist on the system’s own network.
Disqus is fully customisable using either CSS or Disqus’ own theme editor, features integrated Akismet support for spam-filtering and allows in-line media embedding (allowing visitors to embed video and pictures into their comments).
The disadvantages are that URLs are automatically linked, making your comments more prone to spam (Akismet isn’t perfect), pingbacks aren’t supported, and your comments are hosted externally: what you gain in bandwidth you may lose in SEO.
All of these systems are designed to meet different needs, so if you’re not sure which one to go for, run a short trial of each and see which fits.
Image Credit: iprole