Lee Odden

Comment Management Tools You Should Know

What is Comment Management?  Virtually all blog software offers commenting functionality, so why would you need a 3rd party comment management service?  Many of the comments and “reactions” to content posted on a blog never make it to the blog itself – the source of the conversation.

Comment Management tools provide all the expected features and also pull in mentions & citations of the post as well. That way when someone reads a post on your blog, they can see comments made directly on the post as well as mentions made of of the post on other sites like Twitter.

Should you add a comment manager tool to your blog? It depends how much of your social engagement is happening off your blog and also whether you feel it will add to the user experience to see a collected list of on and off site interactions. For many blogs, citing comment and reaction counts is simply a matter of social proofing and popularity. For others, it’s an attempt to harvest all the conversation about a post at the source.

To help you decide, here are the three main comment management tools to consider:

ECHO from JS-Kit offers a wide array of features. It can be embedded on a blog or static web site and pull in comments from Twitter, Digg, comments from other blogs, FriendFeed and several others. Commenters can choose to promote their comments simultaneously to Twitter, Facebook or Google Friends. Sites like Technorati and Guy Kawasaki use ECHO.  We tried JS-Kit but didn’t like not being able to show comments on top of the off site citations under each post.  JS-Kit ECHO Live is $12/year and ECHO Live white label is $48/year. There is also a PRO version with many other controls and features with costs according to page views ranging from $195 to $1995 per year.

Disqus, as you may have noticed, is the commenting system we are currently using on Online Marketing Blog. Disqus lets readers choose their identity, via: Facebook Connect, OpenID, or Twitter Sign-in, when they leave a comment. Comments can be threaded and the moderation dashboard is easy to use. Off site references to your content on Twitter, FriendFeed, Digg, and YouTube are pulled in as “Reactions”. You can sort comments as we do, on top, then show the reactions below. Readers can choose to cross post their comment to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.   You can edit comment content but not the names of commenters, which is frustrating because some spammers write really useful comment content but spam them hell out of their names and links. The base version of Disqus is free. Disqus VIP offers much hand holding support and analytics. Cost is not disclosed on the site so it must be very expensive.


IntenseDebate was acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress and therefore, can be easily added to WordPress blogs as well as TypePad, Tumblr or Blogger blogs. There’s comment threading, notification by email, commenter profiles and points, moderation, cross posting to Twitter and several other features.  IntenseDebate is free.

Which comment management tool is right for you? It depends on your use. If you have a static web site and you’d like to add comment features, then ECHO might be a fit. If you want something that offers all the basics and works natively with WordPress then maybe IntenseDebate is your pick. If you want more features and also don’t want to pay anything, then it’s possible Disqus is the choice for you.

The great thing about these tools is that they are easy to install and test out.

Here are other reviews you might find useful on these comment management systems.

  • Blog Comment System Shootout: Disqus vs. Intense Debate vs. JS-Kit Echo – 40 Tech
  • 3rd Party Comment System Roundup – Dave Mosher’s Blog

Although I pinged Facebook and Twitter connections for examples of other 3rd party comment management tools that pull in off-site citations, I didn’t hear about any. I didn’t find much on Google either. There are other comment management services, tools and plug-ins, just not any (that I’ve found) that automatically pull in 3rd party mentions of your content.

If you know of other comment management systems that pull in comments from other social media sites, please share in the comments. Do you use any of the the tools mentioned above? What has your experience been? What features would you like to see added?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. YourNetBiz Mentor says:

    Love the post – I was looking for this info about a week ago.

    I used to have Disqus, but I have a DoFollow blog and turned out that Disqus automatically adds no-follow rel to all links – why????

    I had to drop them in favor in IntenseDebate – works great thus far.

    Ana Hoffman/YourNetBiz Attraction Marketing Cafe

    • Ana, IntenseDebate is the one service of the 3 that I haven't used much. I just added it to another WordPress blog. We'll see how it goes. 🙂

  2. Quite interesting tools for comment management.

  3. I've been very happy with Disqus, especially since readers can login using Twitter, Facebook or OpenID. Anything you can do to make the commenting experience easier means people are more likely to do it. Disqus also has a great spam filter and you can easily manage comments via email, which is nice if you're not at the computer all the time. I wrote up a review of Disqus, if anyone is interested: http://sazbean.com/2010/02/09/review-disqus-for

  4. Good post. I've used all 3 on blogs that get 100's of comments a day and Disqus is by far the best, especially as it's free.

    I recently migrated my 30+ blogs over to Disqus and our users love it. We're getting around 5*times the number of comments than we did before and Spam comments is almost non-existent. It's very easy to install into blogger, has great Spam and Moderation options to ban spammers and IP addresses and allows for threaded conversations.

  5. Hi Lee, I use Disqus but previously have used ChatCatcher to pull in comments/reactions.

  6. Why did toprankblog choose disqus instead of intensedebate?

    • At the time we implemented Disqus, it had all of the features we were looking for. IntenseDebate looks great, but does not have as many of the sharing options.

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  8. yaniviny says:

    thanks for this post, I have beginners type of questions I guess:
    1. who “owns” the comments? is it easy to move from one comment management tool to another WITH ALL THE PREVIOUS COMMENTS?
    2. with wordpress you see each “commenter” email; does these tools enabler you to identify the people who made these comments?

    • Great questions Yaniv. Each tool does show you the email address entered by the commenter. The comments are owned by you, the blogger and can be ported from one system to another. We've gone from comments native to WordPress to JS-Kit to Disqus without much of a problem. Hope that helps 🙂

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  11. I use Disqus and like it although I'm having a small issue right now with the guest text boxes not having a height. I'm carefully monitoring my load times and just want to make sure that it doesn't make my site unusable or keep my visitors waiting too long.

  12. I want Disqus implemented on my own site as well but having very little idea about what it really does, I had to do a little experimenting and researching so I can fully utilize its uses. Well here I am with my own Disqus account. I am glad that with Disqus, readers from both Twitter and Facebook can login and post a comment.

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  14. euphoriajoca says:

    Hi leeodden,
    did you notice bug like this in wordpress. My wordpress at home page is showing for instance 5 comments, but when I enter in article I see none. When I check comment moderation, I don't see any comment related to that topic as well.

    Is that some wordpress plugin bug?

    Example, my URL: http://www.weirdworm.com/ – look at The 4 Most Bizarrely Difficult Languages To Learn

    You can see 5 Comments and 0 Reactions and when you enter in article, you will see none…

    Thank you in advance.

  15. Great post! thanks for sharing such valuable information with all of us here. I was looking for such type of tools and will use IntenseDebate on my wordpress blog for sure.

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  18. I opened my profile today and found js-kit listed as a blog I follow. There is no effin' way I signed up for that privilege. Check your profiles!

  19. Kristina Naylor says:

    Very informative!! I think that comment management would be great for my blog because it's about getting started in my field, which is marketing. I would love to receive comments, advice, or words of encouragement. I intend on adding IntenseDebate in the near future.

    Sincere thanks,
    Kristina
    GirlStartsMarketingCareer.tumblr.com

  20. Thanks for this post!

  21. rateshian says:

    Good post and informative. Thanks.

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  23. I read your article *after* deciding to purchase ECHO for my Tumblr, which I use as a “scrapbook” for stuff I find on the web. Since I want my post itself to be the focus, I pretty much consider threads of comments to be a distraction.

    Therefore, I like the way ECHO allows me to enable a pop-up layer window for its comment form. That way the only thing added to my web page itself is a text link for “Comments”. Those who wish to comment may do so without interfering with either the post or the design of the theme I'm using.

    http://img.skitch.com/20100430-d6p71bw118ecp5ni

    It's nice to have this option.

  24. I just signed up for Disqus and trying it out now. It seems pretty nice so far.

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  26. Its very informative i really like it.I think the comment management would be great for my blog because it's about getting started in my field, which is marketing.

    Thanks for this post.

  27. I have installed Disqus on some sites that I administrate but it needs to have more options and be more open to allow site owners to change the way it operates.

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