I have a Blogger blog and have for a little over two years. I became interested in using a 3rd party commenting system because I couldn’t reply to comments directly on the blog post. I had to reply to the email that I got that included the comment, and wasn’t able to “continue the conversation” on my blog. I did a little (google) research, and decided to go with Intense Debate. For the most part, I still like it a lot.
Pros of Using Intense Debate
- It’s easy for most people to log in or post as a guest, and super easy for me as the blog author to reply to comments (even from my phone).
- A HUGE benefit to me is that when a reader comments, unless the default “subscribe to replies” is changed to “subscribe to none”, he/she will get an email notification when I (or anyone else) writes a reply to the comment. I think making readers come back to a post just to see if I’ve replied is a huge waste of time for them, so I appreciate this option.
- I get an email notification each time someone leaves a comment (Note: I prefer it that way; this notification can be turned off).
- The colors, sizes, and shapes of the comment area can be customized. This was especially important because when I got a new blog design, the font of the comments were such that they didn’t show up at all (it was white on a white background, I believe). I thought the comments had disappeared, and of course, I panicked. After playing with the settings a little bit, though, they “reappeared”.
- My “admin options” are right across the top of the comment section, so I can easily click through to check spam moderation, edit my profile, etc.
- It’s fairly easy to install. Recently, there has been a notice on intensedebate.com that says Blogger blogs will need to have I.D. manually installed instead of using the widget, if they have a .blogspot.com url. I have my own domain name so I don’t need to do that (or at least, that’s how I understand it). Although, I have installed it both ways and neither is all that complicated because the step-by-step instructions are
Cons of Using Intense Debate
- Certain people’s comments always go to spam, and I haven’t been able to figure out how to approve the person, rather than each comment.
- Sometimes, if someone comments from email or twitterfeed right after the post is published, I get the email notification and can read the comment, but the comment never shows up on the blog post.
- I’ve been told a few times that a reader wasn’t able to comment, and neither of us knew why. It could have been that they were on a mobile device or certain kind of computer. But, I have no problem commenting or replying to comments on my phone or tablet (both Android).
Overall, I think the pros outweigh the cons, and I’m pretty satisfied with Intense Debate.