April 25, 2014

Why I decided to go #dofollow and switch to CommentLuv

Our comments panel

The weakest link in my blogging crusade, the one I noticed immediately when, ages ago, I started to be curious about blogs in general, was the commenting system. Back then, most blogs still required you to complete a full-fledged registration process in order to be able to comment on one of their articles, a process so tedious one was discouraged to post his opinion in first place.

That’s why the first thing I did when I decided to put up a corporate blog for my company was to do some research on how to encourage comments, by making it simple enough to feel like second nature.
Disqus was the answer to all of my problems, and I have to say it’s a pretty freaking impressive piece of work. Considering I used to be a web developer, I feel like I can really appreciate it to its full extent.

So why did I abandon it?

It was no easy decision at all, and I am not excluding I’ll consider it again in the future. But well, it’s actually a purpose problem. In my opinion, Disqus is designed more around people than around content.

Why? Well, to sum it up, and in case you’re not aware of how it works, Disqus is a commenting platform designed to allow one to post under the same identity in every blog that uses their plugin, so to have a centralized profile. People can view a commenter’s profile, their picture, bio, rating (every comment can be rated positive or negative, contributing to build your “social image”, so to say) and generally follow them across all the blogs (using Disqus) they comment on.

To be fair, I am perfectly fine with that. I like the underlaying idea of building one’s social media profile across the myriad of different blogs and platforms. What I am not convinced of is the ability of Disqus to promote content sharing and participation.

While it’s naturally nice to know that someone commented on my blog post and previously stopped to comment on Suzanne’s blog post as well, I don’t have an easy way to determine if he has something to say on his own, if he posted something on his blog or if he has one at all, unless I visit his Disqus profile page.

CommentLuv for WordPressThat’s where CommentLuv comes into play

I love CommentLuv’s feature to show one’s latest blog post directly below any comment he posts in CommentLuv-enabled blogs. It’s a direct, quick encouragement for content sharing, you read an interesting blog post and you are naturally inclined to go there and check it out.
That’s actually how I came to know several blogs that now fills up my Google Reader account.

Here’s a quick pro/con list so you can see more clearly what I mean:

Disqus:

  • PRO: easy to implement. There’s a WordPress plugin, you just install it and configure it, 5 minutes tops admitting you already have a Disqus account (see “con” below).
  • PRO: iPhone compatibility through WP-touch plugin. It just works, very elegant too. As far as I know, there should be a native iPhone app as well soon.
  • PRO: syncs with your comments, writing them both in Disqus database and your blog’s one, in case you wanna switch back and forth there’s no problems at all.
  • CON: you need a Disqus account to setup your commenting system. You need to register your blog, setup some options and so on. Not a long procedure but it adds up to the “ready to go” time considerably.
  • CON: it’s kinda sucky on iPads, since it uses the non-mobile version and it has some erratic behaviors on the iPad. Plus, having to login to your Disqus account to leave a comment is painful.
  • CON: not much content-friendly as I explained before, I’d love it to have a feature similar to CommentLuv to immediately see one’s content and visit it with a single click.
  • CON: first-time commenters definitely need to do more work, like selecting which type of service to login with or otherwise fill out a guest form. It’s already hard to get comments in first place, especially for new blogs, if you make it complicated it’ll be even harder.

CommentLuv

  • PRO: easy to implement. I personally use the CommentLuv official plugin and WordPress Threaded Comment to keep my comments threaded nicely (something Disqus does natively, one should notice).
  • PRO: totally content-friendly, centered about it, easy to visit your commenters’ blogs and find new food for your brain to love and share (which, after all, is the good thing behind social media).
  • CON: unlike Disqus, where a commenter is a real, distinct user with a login and all, it’s not possible through CommentLuv to keep sure track of who’s who, and know if he posted somewhere else.
  • Wow I was so wrong in this! As Ileane kindly pointed out in the comments below, CommentLuv indeed allows you to keep track of who’s who across various comments and blog posts:

At the end of registered CommentLuv user’s comment, you can hover over the profile panel (where you see the plus sign over the heart) with a complete profile including their Gravatar, recent posts, and other blogs they commented on.

  • CON: since it’s not a full-fledged commenting platform, it’s not easily customizable, unless you mess with your theme’s code manually.

I believe Disqus is a perfect choice for blogs that already reached a certain critical mass of users, while CommentLuv, paired with the DoFollow plugin (I’ll talk about this in a bit) is very indicated for newer blogs to get in the radar of as many people as possible in a very simple way.

What about DoFollow?

I won’t lie here or beat around the bush, it’s obvious DoFollow (the ability for search engines to consider your commenter’s URL links as backlinks to their own blog/website) attracts far more visitors than the standard NoFollow policy, so you know, I just decided to fire up the “Do Follow” plugin and give it a try. I understand it will also attract considerably more spam (both automatic and manual), but for now I think the load is very bearable, especially since the superawesome Akismet anti-spam does all the hard work for me.

I don’t know if I will stick to this combo forever, as far as I know it already had positive results, and I already met two interesting people through the CommentLuv community, so I am naturally inclined to say “yes it’s a definitive choice”, but only time can tell.

And to Disqus people out there (developers and users), please bear in mind I do love your plugin, it really is a piece of art, I am just trying out new ways, that’s all ;)

What kind of commenting system (if any) do you use in your blog?

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Comments

  1. Good choice gabriele i have been using comment luv and dofollow for a while now and my views and comments have gone sky high. I Have even had views from people searching my comments strange. I Guess the more comments the more info is on that page.

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      It usually works that way yes, and I was surprised too to see the results of my new policy. I think CommentLuv+DoFollow, apart some annoyance regarding spammers & co, is a great way to share content and build a valuable niche.

  2. Mitch says:

    The combo you went with is the same one I use. I hate Disqus or any other commenting system that makes me register; I just won’t do it. Like you, I wanted to encourage people to comment on my blog and I wanted to make it as easy as possible. Great stuff!
    Mitch recently posted..How Some Bloggers View Commenters

  3. Mariam Cisse says:

    I switched from Disqus too. Though I still like it, I kinda like it more to share others people articles and work as well without any effort. Ok, it might be some work to delete all the spam comments, that akismet isn’t sure about, but I think it’s worth it.

    This spam problem almost caused to switch back again because I haven’t figured out how to reduce the number of spam comments. I even thought about making use of a captcha plugin, but dismissed it till now. It might be something CommentLuv could work on, since the number of received spam almost tripled since I installed the plugin.

    But like you said, you can meet many interesting people and discover many interesting blogs or sites. That’s one huge plus for going DoFollow.
    Mariam Cisse recently posted..Are You Doing Too Much To Be Good

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      I agree, I have to check the spam queue at least once a day to make sure nothing valuable is cut out. Sadly, so far I “saved” 2 legitimate blog posts that Akismet mistakenly tagged as spam, so the system is not perfect.
      If I can advice you, as I say in my article, getting a comment is already hard enough, things like captchas are really discouraging towards even the most willing of person.
      Of course if you get so many comments (and so much spam) and if your blog already has a critical mass of users, Disqus could be a good alternative to solve the problem. However, since (I think) it uses Akismet too but in a less transparent way (at least, I couldn’t see any spam queue when I had it installed), maybe the false positives happen as well and you don’t even know about them? Not quite sure, will need to research on the topic.
      Thanks for stopping by Mariam.

  4. 1skyliner says:

    I wanted to encourage people to comment on my blog and I wanted to make it as easy as possible.Thanks for the article. I liked reading it
    1skyliner recently posted..10 Ways Your Office Harms Your Health

  5. Tristan
    Twitter: tristanhigbee
    says:

    You know what? You converted me. I’ve been using CommentLuv, and I just installed the DoFollow plugin after reading this. Thanks!
    Tristan recently posted..6 ways to get your readers to BUY NOW and not wait

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Hah glad to hear that! :)
      Sure the spam (even smart kind of spam, often) will increase a bit, but it’s bearable and still it encourages and *rewards* people for actually taking the time to point out their own view about your topics through a comment.
      Hope it works well for you as it’s working for me.

  6. Ileane
    Twitter: Ileane
    says:

    Hi Gabriele, I show this on Blog Engage and I absolutely loved reading this post! As you might already know (or you’ll learn shortly) CommentLuv is one of the best plugins for WordPress IMHO. I never understood why people used Disqus instead but you have laid out all the pros and cons in this post and I really thank you for that.

    One of the cons you mentioned I’m not too sure about. The best way to take advantage of CommentLuv is by registering an account. It’s the same for Disqus too. Registering is not mandatory for CommentLuv, but with so many CommentLuv enabled blogs around it only makes sense to register for free so you can take advantage of picking from the last 10 posts to link to. So I don’t see registration as a “con”. It’s like signing up for a Gravatar, do it once and that’s it!

    The other point you mention was about CommentLuv and I’m not sure I understand what you mean. You said – it’s not possible through CommentLuv to keep sure track of who’s who.

    Of course it’s very possible to keep track of who’s who. At the end of registered CommentLuv user’s comment, you can hover over the profile panel (where you see the plus sign over the heart) with a complete profile including their Gravatar, recent posts, and other blogs they commented on.

    You made an excellent move by deciding to use CommentLuv and DoFollow. I have them too. I also use GASP to fight spam. That’s another plugin from Andy Bailey and it’s an alternative to Akismet called the GrowMap Anti-Spambot plugin (you’re spam folder will be empty all the time).

    Let me know what you think, I’d love to continue this discussion. Have a great day! I’ll be sharing this all over the place.
    Ileane recently posted..CommentLuv Ambassador Contest on Basic Blog Tips

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Oh wow this is embarassing. You can spot a CommentLuv noob like me by noticing he doesn’t know of the “heart” use :(
      I immediately updated the post citing your comment, thanks, now I am off to check out the GASP plugin as well ;)

      • Gail @ KeywordLuv
        Twitter: GrowMap
        says:

        Ileane is true to her word – she is sharing this post all over the place. You’ll find we’re a very pro-active community and many of us treat CommentLuv, G.A.S.P. and KeywordLuv like we owned them even when we don’t. We believe is sharing, linking and interacting freely and seek out others like us all the time. I’m glad to find you. I bet this post gets a lot of traffic!

        I believe that threaded comments is standard in WordPress now so you shouldn’t need a plugin (although a few people prefer to use one because threaded comments apparently had some issues when WP first provided it. I use the WP option and haven’t had any problems with it.

        Some of us also use KeywordLuv. If you want to know about it the best information I know of is in the post I’ll put in CommentLuv in this comment.
        Gail @ KeywordLuv recently posted..DoFollow CommentLuv KeywordLuv Community

        • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
          Twitter: maidoesimple
          says:

          Yeah I’ve been willing to use KeywordLuv but I am not sure why I didn’t eventually, I guess I was looking for the plugin and eventually I was caught by something else like it usually happens ;)
          Gonna check this link too then, and thanks again!

  7. Ileane
    Twitter: Ileane
    says:

    Wow that was quick!!

    CommentLuv has so many benefits that it’s really hard to keep up with them Andy makes updates frequently which gives us a lot of good promotional tools to blog about! :)

    btw – I submitted this to StumbleUpon, but the link is strange. You might want to check your settings on your social sharing plugin too.

    http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/4qDZwP/blog.esimplestudios.com/2010/10/why-i-decided-to-go-dofollow-and-switch-to-commentluv/comment-page-1/

    I’ll be visiting this blog again soon.
    Ileane recently posted..GASP Another WordPress Plugin from Andy Bailey

  8. Darran
    Twitter: darranlow
    says:

    I am using IntenseDebate for my newly created blog for the synchronization with WordPress and also for its comment notification system. I underlined a problem with the default WordPress commenting system with regards to comment notifications.
    Darran recently posted..Trouble with the Subscribe to Comments Plugin

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      I used Intensedebate on some blogs I commented on but I wasn’t particularly thrilled by it, what kind of problem have you been experiencing?

    • Codrut Turcanu
      Twitter: codruturcanu
      says:

      hi Darran, I’m a fan of IntenseDebate too… and noticed the WP commenting problem last month on a friends blog. I guess he neglected it , until last week.

      So, how do you find the commenting platform so far, any challenges?

      I guess I’ll have to sign-up for comments myself and reverse-engineer it…
      Codrut Turcanu recently posted..13 of the Best Squeeze Page Examples on the Internet

      • darranlow
        Twitter: darranlow
        says:

        I have reverted back to the default WordPress comment system. I was having a synchronization problem with IntenseDebate which could be an issue at times and that was enough to get me to switch.

  9. Paul
    Twitter: technicallyeasy
    says:

    I always used the native WordPress commenting system, but have also installed the CommentLuv plugin. I find I don’t need much else besides those two. I have seen sites with Disqus that required me to login to a system. I find that annoying and generally won’t leave a comment in such a case. I like a commenting system that is easy, and convenient to use.
    Paul recently posted..The Storage Server – Not Just For Large Businesses Anymore

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Yes I feel the same, although I have a Disqus account ’cause I regularly comment on several blogs using that system, I realized by using it I would cut out the occasional commenter, and that would be a shame.

  10. Patricia@lavenderuses
    Twitter: lavenderuses
    says:

    Hi Gabriele
    I am failry new to blogging and have both commentluv and dofollow on my blog and one things for sure; it has really helped with interacting in the blogging community and getting traffic to my small niche blog. I am not a techie and I managed to install it no probs so I reckon anyone can lol
    Welcome to the commentluv community. You will meet lots of great people who are so helpful; just like Ileane. Thanks for sharing.
    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia@lavenderuses recently posted..Lavender Products-cheap but not so cheerful

  11. Kimi says:

    Congratulation :-)

    Installing this plugin can really increase commenting traffics and being more engaged with another bloggers.

    People tend to comment to dofollow blogs, to be honest.

    cheers.
    Kimi recently posted..How To Add MP3 to Facebook

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Yes I agree, that’s one of the reasons for me using it as well. There’s generally no harm in activating the DoFollow mode, apart from an increase in potential spam which can be countered with Akismet or GASP.

  12. Gail @ KeywordLuv
    Twitter: GrowMap
    says:

    LOL….We can thank Ileane for sending me a link to this post on Twitter. Welcome to what I call the DoFollow CommentLuv and sometimes KeywordLuv Community.

    The lol was because you mentioned Akismet in the post and I wondered why Ileane would explain more about CommentLuv and not tell you about our new anti-spambot solution – and then when I went to comment I see you already have it.

    Ileane and I and many others LOVE CommentLuv. When I read a post in a blog that doesn’t have it I miss it and every time I read comments anywhere I find so many great new people.

    Because of CommentLuv you will run into the same commentators in blog after blog. It reminds me of the television show Cheers “where everyone knows your name”. We follow each other from blog to blog and send each other links all the time.

    Perhaps you or your blogging readers would be interested in joining our “Secret Blog Club” blogging collaboration? Details in the post I’ll select for CommentLuv.

    Oh – and there is more to know about CommentLuv. Even sites that don’t have a blog or can’t install CommentLuv can register to use it and by using what Andy calls Default links you can feature any post or page on your site in addition to your last ten posts. I did a compilation of the best posts about How CommentLuv Works.
    Gail @ KeywordLuv recently posted..Join Bloggers Supporting Bloggers NOW

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Yep I installed GASP right after Ileane told me about it, it’s a very smart solution indeed.
      I am loving using CommentLuv more and more every day, the amount of nice and helpful people you meet through it is very astonishing, and I am fairly sure this sealed off the chances I’ll ever get back to using other commenting systems.
      Social media is all about the sharing of views and ideas and every tool that encourages this is very welcome, in my opinion.
      I am gonna check the two posts you mentioned right now Gail, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  13. Jamie@Kindle Cases
    Twitter: kindlecovers
    says:

    Good combination of the plugins! That’s why I love WP and its plethora of plugins. You can practically do anything with them. I think I might follow your footsteps. Thanks for the recommendation too. Great discussion here…

    Jamie
    Jamie@Kindle Cases recently posted..Tuff-Luv Apocalypse Case &amp Stand- Tree of Life

  14. One great reason the internet still works the way it should is from Comment Luv. and Passing the luv around.
    Hope your having a great holiday…
    Kindle Covers and Cases recently posted..Kate Spade Kindle Cover

  15. papalogic
    Twitter: papalogic
    says:

    Even though this post was written a few months ago now, it shows that the basic concept of CommentLuv works well. I came across a comment somewhere else and was let back to this blog through the commentluv link. Proof is in the pudding!

    I also had the same decision to make about disqus vs commentluv and went with the commentluv plugin as well.
    papalogic recently posted..Baby says Yum- Easy Bulgur

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      I am glad you proved the point, after several months I can safely say CommentLuv is the best plugin I’ve ever installed on this blog, and I am happy to see I am not alone in thinking that.

  16. Excellent plugin! I hope to use soon and have more control of comments.
    Although my site is still very new and I have no comment at some point I’ll have to use it!
    Greetings,

  17. I didn’t even know what CommentLuv did until i read this. Maybe because not many use it, contrary to Disqus.
    But it looks promising and i think i’ll give it a try on one of my blogs. Dofollow doesn’t seem that bad either.
    Alex@gifts for wife recently posted..Ruched Ruffle Holiday Party Cocktail Halter Dress

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      Oh I believe it’s used by more blogs than you imagine, I think it’s vastly better than Disqus for normal blogs, while probably Disqus is more indicated for already established publications (like Mashable and TechCrunch, which in fact use it).
      I am sure you won’t regret using it.

  18. Paula Lee Bright
    Twitter: Almost60Really
    says:

    I’m confused. So Do Follow is a separate plug-in from Comment Luv? I thought using CL meant that my blog now is a do-follow. Looks like there’s something I’m missing here. Can you set me straight?

    Thanks!
    Paula Lee Bright recently posted..When a Dog Is Dying- Can We Ever Really Prepare

  19. Sugu says:

    I had started using commentluv but i havent see much impact yet

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      I guess it also depends on your strategy overall. For example, how involved are you in social media in general, your link-building strategy, if you’re part of any community and whatnot. Installing CommentLuv doesn’t automatically mean more comments.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] tips number 2 and 3, I recommend you to check out this post: Why I decided to go DoFollow and switch to CommentLuv written by [...]

  2. [...] my October’s post about the reasons behind my switching to CommentLuv+DoFollow a lot of people commented their impression and view on this change, and their personal experience [...]

  3. [...] remember when I switched this blog to DoFollow, it was October of last year, and it seemed to me like an excellent choice in order to attract more [...]