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WordPress Plugins that Make Your Blog Comments Social

This guest post was written by Neil Matthews of WPDude.

Have you noticed a decrease in the number of blog comments you get and an increase in Facebook likes and Twitter tweets about your posts?

Are you worried that you are loosing social proof about the validity of your posts to the social media conversation, rather than as direct comment on your site?

There is a way to get the best of both worlds and aggregate comments and social media responses on your site.

The problem

People are building social media presences, and part of that is sharing great blog content and their opinions on those posts.  It’s more public and gives better results to share on Twitter or Facebook than it is leave a comment.

Curating is the new black at the moment. Adding links to your own social media conversation adds great value to your followers, while leaving a comment on a blog where no-one but the avid readers will see it does not add any value to your social media stream.

Fewer comments seems provide less social proof that people like your content, but this is not necessarily true. People stil love your stuff, it’s just that they’re expressing their emotions in different places.

What’s the solution?

Th solution is to bring the comments made on social media into your comment stream so you can maintain all of that social proof in one place.

There are a number of plugins that will aggregate social media and traditional blog comments into one stream on your site. This post will focus on these plugins—specifically I will be focusing on WordPress plugins (sorry Joomla, Drupal and Tumblr people! Some of these pugins will work with your platform but I’m focusing on WordPress today).

Disqus

This is a cloud-hosted comment system, wich means that your comments are hosted on the Disqus platform, and by adding a plugin to WordPress you can show those comments alongside your posts.

Disqus is a complete commenting system that offers a number of social media functions including authentication using your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the ability for people to add a comment to your post and their social media profile of choice. But more importantly it has a Reactions feature, which will search for and aggregate into your comment stream off-site comments from social media conversations about your post.

Intensedebate

Intensedebate is another hosted comment platform brought to you by the people behind WordPress Automattic.

Intensedebate has something it calls Social Commenting features.  Using these, users can log in with their Twitter or Facebook IDs, and post comments that are synced to their social media profiles.

LiveFyre

LiveFyre is another fully featured and hosted commenting system. Please note that this is a premium solution with  a free option for less than 20,000 page impressions per month.

This  plugin has the ability to post the comment onto your site and the social media platform of your site user’s choice.  It also has a neat function that lets them tag their social media friends in your comments.

Check out the social media options for more information.

A note on hosted comment systems

When you host your comments on a third-party site, you’ll need to export your comments into that service’s car. If you breach the service’s terms and conditions, there’s a chance you could be kicked off the platform and loose your comments.

I’ve not heard of this happening but it is a possibility, so think long and hard before you chose to have someone host part of your site.  I wrote about the same concept in my last post here at Problogger when I talked about loosing your email addresses in Are You Protecting Your Blog’s Most Valuable Asset?.

Facebook Comments for WordPress

If you want a solution that replaces your traditional blog commenting system with Facebook-only comments, then this plugin is for you.

It is a self-hosted solution that replaces traditional blog comments with something akin to a Facebook wall. People log in to Facebook, leave their comments on Facebook, and they’re replicated back on your site.

Twitter Mentions as Comments

This final plugin is again a self-hosted extension of WordPress. What is does is scan Twitter for any mentions of your posts, and pulls those tweets into your existing comment stream as if they were additional comments on your posts.

Other options

These are just some of the options available to you—there are many others. Check out the plugins under the Social Media tag on the WordPress plugin repository to see how vast your options are.

Make your comments social

Don’t worry that you’re losing blog comments to social media. Using these handy plugins, you can bring the conversation back from the social platforms, and retain social proof on your blog.

How is your blog faring with comments and social media? Could these plugins be helpful to you?

Neil Is  a WordPress coach and consultant, see his work at WPDude. He has also created a WordPress group coaching program called the WP Owners Club.

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Comments

  1. Kevin Cullis says:

    I just this last week realized that I was sending Shareaholic links to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter posts, but not on my blog site, therefore a decrease in the number of comments I was getting. These solutions help solve some of my problems. Thanks Neil.

    • @Neil – Which one did you use? Did you try them all?

      I’ve seen some of these in action on the blogs that I frequent, but have yet to put in the time to test anything myself.

      My blog’s traffic is going way up as of late though (as are my income reports), so this is probably something I should test soon. If anyone has any suggestion on which one is best, please share!

  2. I did use intense debate for a while but if there was an issue with their service then it would slow down my blog. That is something you need to consider if using a third party comment system. Twitter Mentions as Comments is something that I am going to look into as I think that could be a good plugin if it pulls the tweets into the blogs database.

  3. Darrell says:

    This is good stuff. Thanks for sharing. I am really debating about moving over to Disqus. The only issue I am finding is that it is hard for non-bloggers to navigate.

  4. Blippitt says:

    Wait, so there’s a way to make comments from your Facebook fan page show up on your actual blog post itself via Disqus? I’ll have to research that one and figure out how to do it. We get more comments on our Facebook page these days than we do on the blog itself.

  5. Megan says:

    Oh, the things I learn. Having been blogging for just a few weeks, there is never a day when I don’t learn something new and today it has come from this blog. I am only now getting to grips with social media and how it can help my blog, so your post has really helped to understand how I can improve things on my site.

    the big problem I have is that I have an aversion to Facebook. Don’t ask me why but I just don’t like the concept. However with Google + coming I hope I can be in on that from the very start.

  6. Readers already know that if they comment on the FB Comment box the same thing will appear on their wall. Will people still go ahead and comment on your post?? I know that they do for a BIG site. Will they do it for smaller or newer ones ?

  7. Nikoya says:

    This is a good thing to consider right about now, and thank you for making the suggestions on these commenting platforms. I think it will help the sociability of blogs, especially ones like Disqus.

    There is so much to learn about blogging – it is constantly changing and evolving.

  8. Heather says:

    I was using Intense Debate for my comment system on my small blog. At some point it crashed and I had too delete all new wp plugins–ID was the most recent, so it was suspect. After deleting that, my blog was back up, but my commenting system has never worked correctly again, ie: people do not get my reply when I post it. I really have no idea what to do about it, aside from getting a new template. frustrating. Could it be something simple?

  9. Tom Ewer says:

    Nice round up…will take a look at these.

  10. These are great plugins mentor. I’m finding all these blogging and wordpress career profitable. I like blogging because it’s promising and has a lot of free tools that even a newbie can enjoy. Thanks for making out time to share.

  11. I generally don’t like commenting on blogs that use Disqus. The notification emails are formatted poorly and it makes it difficult to follw the comments. With the right plugins, such as CommentLuv, much of this same capability is available, without the thrid party. I will have to check out the Facebook Comments, since Facebook is my most active social media..

  12. Nicely written, of course very relevant to all the bloggers with the advent of the social networking sites. Am thinking of incorporating the Disqus or IntenseDebate, let me review. Thanks.

  13. Kendra says:

    I’ve seen the Disqus comment section on a couple of blogs and I liked the set-up and ease of it. I will definetly be checking in to it. Thanks!

    Kendra

  14. Neil,
    Good one. Looks..Focusing towards commenting system would really enhance blogs in a better way.
    Thanks for sharing. Greetings

  15. Thanks for this – I haven’t really looked at these options closely enough. Can anyone clarify how things work from the SEO point of view with these third-party solutions? I mean, do search engines actually see the comment content on your site, with Disqus, say, or are they all inserted with Javascript or something and thus potentially unreadable by Google et al? I would have thought that to be an important consideration, but I have not looked into it properly…

  16. There’s also a facebook plugin (can’t remember the exact name) that pulls comments from the post link on facebook to your blog and vise versa. The problem I had with it is that it duplicates comments. Someone comments on your blog, it sends it to the wall post on facebook, then back to your blog. Kind of spammy. If the developer gets to fix this, I’ll work like charm.
    Thanks for sharing Dude..

  17. There’s also a facebook plugin (can’t remember the exact name) that pulls comments from the post link on facebook to your blog and vise versa. The problem I had with it is that it duplicates comments. Someone comments on your blog, it sends it to the wall post on facebook, then back to your blog. Kind of spammy. If the developer gets to fix this, I’ll work like charm.
    Thanks for sharing Dude..

  18. Vago Damitio says:

    Personally, I think you are better off shutting the comments down and encouraging interaction about your posts on social media. I’ve done that on http://www.Vagobond.com and am finding a better connection with my readers as a result. Comments are the new plastic pink flamingos…nobody really wants them in their yard.

    • Plastic pink flamingos are so retro cool though…;P

      I was with Disqus for a while, but I find that CommentLuv works best with my audience. They have recently added the option for readers to register on your site when they comment (I’m building my list this way) which gives them the option of choosing one of their past 10 posts to share on their comment.

  19. Jenna Langer says:

    Hi there, Jenna from Livefyre here. Thanks for including us in your comment plugin roundup! Just want to clarify a few things about what we offer. Livefyre is a free service for sites up to 10 million page views/month, and we’ll always be free for bloggers. The WordPress plugin is simple to install, imports all comments from your WordPress database, and writes all new comments back to WordPress so the blogger still owns all of the data. Also, while SocialTag is one of our favorite features, we recently launched SocialSync, which imports the conversation happening on Facebook and Twitter to your comment stream. Instead of tracking retweets we’re actually tracking the entire conversation from Twitter, threading replies and writing them straight to the comment stream so you get all the SEO credit. We’re also importing comments left on your Facebook fan page that have to do with your posts.

    Here at Livefyre we’re continually working on how to make comment sections more of a conversation, and how that fits in how users interact with other social platforms. Feel free to send any questions our way!

    • Philip Nowak says:

      Hi Jenna,

      How does SocialSync work? Is it automatically activated on my site through Livefyre or do I have to turn trackbacks on within my WordPress dashboard?

      Philip

  20. Rezbi says:

    Last week I put up a post of the plugins I use, but I wasn’t aware of all of the plugins you’ve got here.

    I’ve wondered how they did what Intensedebate does. So that’s going on my list.

  21. Daniel says:

    Nice post Neil – this is an important topic, particularly for content providers. Clients often ask why there’s a lack of comments on posts, implementing these tools is a great way to curb this.

    For the record I mainly use Disqus – easy login for visitors and easy to maintain.

    Cheers
    Dan

  22. I started using Disqus for spam fighting more than anything but it’s just a great system that seems to be encouraging thoughtful comments and drum up some discussion.

  23. Ralph says:

    I’ve tried to use Disqus but for some reason it just didn’t work properly.

    Like the Facebook comments but wanted some more.

    I’ve just installed LiveFyre and will see how that goes.
    The other option I was thinking about is this plugin.
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/facebook-comments-points-fcp/

    Anyone has some experience with that one?

  24. Soe says:

    many blogger using auto blogging comments, it;s make we can build backlinks but also spam. But if using intensdebate sometimes we can protect auto comment

    • Brain Masin says:

      Congratulations! Would you mind posting some stats about how much data storage this all takes up? The numbers must be staggering. I’m really curious about it, especially if each video is stored at multiple resolutions.

  25. Patrick says:

    Thanks for the list of plugins. I’ve seen disqu plenty of times but never really gave it much thought.

    I’ll have to check it out.

    Also on a side note I’ve found that there are some great editorial calendar plugins (just do a google search) that are great for keeping track of when guests posts are due.

    It’s good for planning out a couple of weeks in advance what topics you want to cover as well as marketing strategies and seo.

    I used to write it all on paper, but it looks more fleshed out and organized in the wordpress dashboard.

    Plus you never have to worry about losing a peice of paper or notebook :)

  26. Matt Owens says:

    Great post. I’ll be checking out these plugins. I’ve considered shutting down comments on my blog since I get more comments on FB.

  27. Great post. I learnt something new today. Disqus looks awesome. I’ve seen it before on a few sites but didnt really get what it was all about. But now thanx to your post I understand.

  28. Emily Suess says:

    Great stuff in this post.

    I love Disqus. Because comments can be sent to Twitter, it keeps the conversations going on longer than they would otherwise. Plus it makes threading easy and provides a lot of sign in options.

  29. There is a growing interest toward wordpress plugin on comments, user rating and web 2.0; I was asked a quote to develop a new plugin about an innovative rating system that could assign a negative score ranging from -1 to .5 too. Here is my advice on that project: http://cyphersnap.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-advice-on-complex-project-about.html

    http://www.twitter.com/cypherinfo

  30. Marcie says:

    This list is great. I did not know that all of these options were available. Now, I’m going to check them out.