Which comments system should we use?

By | April 2nd, 2013

Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock
Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock

Yesterday we opened up a discussion about the rules of engagement, and our moderation team is carefully weighing your feedback. It’s been very helpful, and we’ve already made some changes based on the initial comments.

Several readers have suggested that the biggest problem with the discussion is Disqus, which I currently use to manage the comments. They don’t like the last “upgrade” (Disqus 2012) and say they can’t always access the comments.

Some readers believe Livefyre, another cloud-based commenting system, would be better. Others say we should revert to the native WordPress commenting system.

I’m open to change. So I thought we should put it to a vote.

Which commenting system should we use?

View Results

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I can promise that we’ll take these poll results very seriously.

We’ll have an updated FAQ and a decision on the comments by the end of this week. Thank you for your help!

  • cjr001

    I must admit, I’m in favor of sticking with Disqus for selfish reasons: I’ve already got an account, and I’m trying to get fewer accounts these days to keep track of, not more.

    I don’t think I have an account with either of the other two, and I can’t say I’d be inclined to sign up for one when I don’t think any of the other sites I occasionally get the urge to comment use those services.

    Disqus seems to be slowly picking up steam, as I’ve seen it on a lot more sites as a commenting option in recent months. But at least things aren’t as bad as, say, the comments section of just about any article on Yahoo.

  • andrelot

    I think Discuss is the most promising interface, they are used by other major news outlets, and the notification system is much smarter than that of WordPress.

  • Charles B

    I voted for Disqus, but really I’ll be happy with any system that can authenticate through Google/Facebook/OpenID/etc. I don’t know what litefyre supports, and I suspect wordpress would require a bunch of plugins to get to that point.

  • BillCCC

    I am happy with the current set-up. Please don’t make me sign up for another service.

  • frostysnowman

    Disqus is OK in my opinion.

  • I use all three commenting platforms, and see no major differences among them. They all have their pros and cons. However, for social sharing and helping posts get more traction and eyeballs, you can’t beat Facebook commenting. How come that’s no longer an option?

  • technomage1

    As long as its anonymous, eliminates down votes, and offers the ability to report spam and other inappropriate content, I don’t care. I voted for LifeFyre since it will eliminate the “down vote bullies” but still gives them the option to disagree.

  • Bill___A

    I don’t have enough information about the three systems to comment properly or vote. However, I do notice this site has a huge number of formatting problems, comment issues, and the like. As others would, I too am interested in everything working smoothly.
    That said, I am very much opposed to “Facebook” integration. Just like it is a bad idea to manufacture everything in China, it is also a bad idea to link everything in Facebook. Of course, if you want my comments to go away completely, using Facebook integration is the way to do it.

  • Extra mail

    I, too, am sick to death of every site telling me I have to link through Facebook. Call me a dinosaur if you want but I don’t use Facebook. Too many people saying too much about themselves.

  • Dutchess

    The irony is you have two down votes on this comment, disliking down votes.

  • technomage1

    And not one response arguing why they should stay. That’s why I don’t like them. If you disagree, fine, post why. That’s what message boards are for.

  • Discus is okay and in my opinion, the comments are easy enough to read and the threads easy enough to follow. I briefly used it after starting out with Comment Form 7 on my WordPress blog, which was fine, too.

    I took a quick look at LifeFyre after reading this post. I gather this is what Facebook uses and while that might be fine for that social media site, I’m not sure if works that well with a blog-based site like yours.

  • AJPeabody

    My old computer at home is pre-Vista Windows and is somewhat limited as to processing ability. Your website frequently chokes it with IE, but Chrome usually works. Recently, my office computer (Vista OS and IE 7 0r 8) is choking, but Chrome comes through. Whatever system you use for posts, see if you can get a compatibility mode for us users of antiques. Thanks. AJ

  • Joe_D_Messina

    I’ve always been curious what causes those issues. Several times a week I will get the comments section to format weird. Either it runs the entire span of the screen or it will load in a tiny font.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    I agree with this comment. Disqus is far from perfect and I didn’t like their last update, but every alternative will have its own issues.

    Honestly, I think Chris needs to pick something and stick with it. Same goes for the rules… I didn’t see much wrong with the last ones. Constantly tweaking things gets annoying. If it’s a huge change or big leap forward, great. But to change just to be changing is a bad plan.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Agree with this. That was the biggest disappointment I had with the last update to Disqus.

  • I don’t think we’re changing the rules as much as we are evolving them. I think everyone agreed last year that the comments had gotten out of hand. Most sites of this size have moderated comments.

    I wanted to keep the rules simple, but they ended up being a little too simple — and subject to many interpretations. I would think of this as an amplification of those rules, not a change.

    But I certainly share your frustration. I wish we could have come up with these rules at the beginning of the process.

  • scapel@suddenlink.net

    Why do we need any?

  • Tamara Murphy

    We need downvotes so we can keep score on our troll posts!

  • technomage1

    Livefyre offers that too, you can pick between offensive, off topic, disagree, or spam. This eliminates people using down voting just to disagree with someone, and not just for troll marking.

  • cjr001

    It would be ok for somebody to upvote your comment without saying why they like it, but not downvote your comment without saying why they don’t like it?

    I don’t get this logic.

  • technomage1

    Downvoting is supposed to be a tool for the community to identify trolls, spammers, and abusive posters. http://blog.disqus.com/post/23634202841/d12-the-next-steps explains a bit of this. It’s turned (at least on this site) into a disagree button. If you agree with someone, there is no need to post. If you disagree, why not post why? Otherwise there is no dialog and no point to the board.

    Case in point – your post. Until you posted, I was thinking that the people downvoting where lazy bullies who knew better but didn’t care. Now I see another side that I wouldn’t have unless you posted. I learned something from the exchange. We still might disagree in the end, but at least I now understand a bit better the other side, and it’s not as unreasonable or aggressive as I had assumed.

  • cjr001

    While the downvote can easily be used by trolls, I’ve always viewed it as more of an agree/disagree voting system and use it as such here and other places that have said system in place.

    That said, I could live without the up/down voting altogether. :)

  • pauletteb

    Very often I end up in “compatability mode,” which renders Disqus unusable. If I close out of the link and reopen, that usually solves the problem, but sometimes I have to close out and reopen several times. At other times, once I vote I can only read comments, not respond. Again, closing out and reopening usually resolves the issue, but it’s a pain.

  • Couseed81

    I love disqus relaible and easy to use I’m also happy with the current setup.

    Hunting Alaska

  • Coldid

    Disqus for me is user friendly fun to used.

    Skagway AK

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