About two weeks ago I gave up on using IntenseDebate to manage the comments on my blog. The system was promising with some really interesting features that I had been wanting for quite a while.
A couple of years ago I dabbled in Disqus but ultimately said no. They didn’t synchronize with the WordPress database back then, no good.
A friend on Twitter sent me towards IntenseDebate and I was immediately intrigued by it’s feature set.
- Comment Threading intriqued
- Commenter Profiles
- Reputation Points/Comment Voting
- Plugins API
- Twitter/Facebook/OpenID integration
- Email Notification
- Pretty User Interface
That’s all good and well when it works. I can’t tell you how many times I was unable to moderate the comments. Even though IntenseDebate knows that my OpenID, Twitter, Facebook and IntenseDebate logins are all one and the same (one of the beauties of the system) if I was logged in with my Twitter, I could not moderate. It would only work if I was logged into IntenseDebate exclusively.
If IntenseDebate knows who I am under any of these logins, why not give the same functionality under any of the logins? If I’m logged in with Facebook, let me moderate and even push my comment to Twitter. That only makes sense. Why do people have to be logged in at all to vote a comment up or down? I can’t think of any reason to keep that from being an option.
Plus the behind the curtain user interface was horrible. Comments were by post only, no steady stream of comments to moderate and review. That’s just silly.
What IntenseDebate did do well was actually install. I’ll get to that in my next blog post where I switch to Disqus. It is necessary for my comments to synchronize between commenting platforms and WordPress itself, incase I ever want to remove the service, it goes out of business or I switch to another blogging platform. IntenseDebate did this well, but that was really it. If you dedicated a browser to only be logged into IntenseDebate, maybe the moderation issues would never have been but that’s a totally unnecessary hassle.
Oh and I had to moderate every comment that wasn’t automatically published twice for it to stick.
Finally gave up on the system. All my comments synced just fine with WordPress so no complaints there. If IntenseDebate were to improve it’s integration with WordPress (oh yeah, guess who makes IntenseDebate… the same people that make WordPress) and generally overhaul the backend, I’d think about going back.
For now I’m giving Disqus a try, though, at this point it too has been fruitless.
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