This past weekend, I passed a major milestone on my blog. I received my five thousandth comment. When 8BIT, my blog designer and developer pointed that out, I was blown away. I had no idea.
Of course, this is the essence of Web 2.0 or, as it is sometimes called, the “read/write” web. People are not content to let authors pontificate. They, too, want to participate in the conversation. Blogging is no longer a monologue (if it ever was); it’s a dialogue.I am celebrating this milestone by installing IntenseDebate, a third-party commenting platform for blogs. Here are the five features I wanted that are not possible—or at least, not easy—with most blogs:
- Comment Threading. This enables you to reply to specific comments with out the hassle of “@username” reference or other workarounds. Replies are indented at different levels, so you can follow the conversation.
- Commenter Profiles. This provides you with the opportunity to upload your picture, a bio, your comment history—whatever you think is important. Or, you can remain anonymous. It’s up to you. Best of all, your profile works on every blog that uses IntenseDebate.
- Reputation Points. This is a method for rating various commenters based on the quantity and quality of their posts. This provides you, as the reader, a way to judge the authority or value of that commenter’s reputation.
- Twitter Integration. When you post a comment, IntenseDebate gives you the option of sending a Tweet on a post-by-post basis, letting your followers know that you have commented on a specific post.
- Reply by Email. I spend a lot of my time away from my desk—in meetings, on airplanes, etc. As a result, I need a way to interact with my readers and keep the conversation going. This feature does that.
I looked at several systems before settling on IntenseDebate, including Disqus, and coComment. In the end, I settled on IntenseDebate because it is owned by Automattic, the same company that owns WordPress.
We had a few problems with the installation of IntenseDebate. But with the persistence of both 8BIT and the Intense tech support team, we got it working.