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Intense Debate Now Active! | Kestrel's Aerie

Intense Debate Now Active! | Kestrel's Aerie

Intense Debate Now Active!

Next time you visit the Aerie, the comments section will look a bit different than in the past: I’ve just installed and activated Intense Debate (ID), a blog commenting system to enhance reader engagement and interaction. In addition to the same threaded comments presentation and ability to subscribe to comments and replies, ID now includes CommentLuv! If you’ve been following me for very long at all, you know I’m a huge fan of Andy Bailey’s CommentLuv addon for WordPress, and it was the one thing holding me back from incorporating ID on the site.

EDIT: I was extremely remiss in failing to credit this article at, where ComLuv for Intense Debate was tested and refined. Seeing ID at work, together with CommentLuv, and seeing how seamlessly they worked together was a further impetus to install ID here at the Aerie. Thanks, Ginger, and again, my apologies for the oversight!

Another benefit of Intense Debate is the ability to register with ID (even if you aren’t a blogger) and follow other commenters you enjoy, regardless of where they comment. For bloggers, we can moderate (if necessary) and reply to comments directly from email: No need to log into the WordPress dashboard!

Obviously, I’m excited about the possibilities ID presents, not only for the Aerie, but for enhancing the community aspect of the blogoverse. But I’m also interested in your perceptions: Is ID too intrusive? What about the comment rating system? (I’m not a huge fan, to be honest.) Any other thoughts about Intense Debate?



18 Responses to Intense Debate Now Active!
  1. Tami
    November 11, 2009 | 20:17

    Well, I suppose I oughtta comment to find out about the goodies.

    Hmm..problem number one, my easyComment doesn't like the new setup of the name/email/url boxes, for some reason.

    I'll just do a guest comment for now. I don't really like having accounts strewn throughout the internet like pebbles in a stream.
    My recent post What E-Readers SHOULD Be

    • Kestrel
      November 11, 2009 | 20:24

      Nothing wrong with that :) I'm not crazy about the way ComLuv is styled here, but it does work. I'd like to see a space before the ComLuv line, and I'd like to be able to modify the text–which I may be able to do, but haven't looked at yet.

      I'll probably drop Andy a line though, and give him my thoughts.

    • Kestrel
      November 11, 2009 | 20:59

      Also, I see no reason to actually sign up with ID for most folks. Obviously, if you install it on your blog you'd have to, but even then, you can log out of it. And the way you show up here now is just as you always did. I've been commenting on Bre's blog since she installed ID, and never used my ID login.

  2. kriz
    November 11, 2009 | 20:17

    Let's give this ID thingamajig for a spin, shall we? Testing to see how this works on my end. I certainly do like the interface.

  3. kriz
    November 11, 2009 | 20:18

    Oooh, it also looks lovely afterwards. Good job kes!

    • Kestrel
      November 11, 2009 | 20:26

      Why don't you use CommentLuv, Kriz? (Curious)

      As for appearance, I do like it, but I'd like to see a bit more white space, especially on the left. I also need to see if the voting buttons are optional; have never been a huge fan of those on this sort of blog.

  4. Kirei
    November 12, 2009 | 00:18

    Can I ask how you were able to keep all the avatars and such with ID in your older blog posts? :) Mine aren't recognizing the gravatars for older blog posts including my own.

    Also the voting buttons can be turned off under Settings >> Comments on the site. :D

    • Kestrel
      November 12, 2009 | 16:21

      Thanks for the tip, Kirei! To be honest, I hadn't had time to delve into the settings…and I forgot that a lot of them are controlled "remotely." :)

      As for the gravatars, I didn't change a thing. In WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Discussion Settings > Avatars, I have "Show Avatars" selected. Under "Default Avatar," I simply have "Identicon" selected. As I mentioned, I haven't done a thing at the ID site (yet). I do not use a separate Gravatar plugin.

  5. gingerwench
    November 12, 2009 | 07:19

    I see you've got ID all set up and running with CommentLuv, nice! As for the styling issues (white space, etc.)… if you're not into customizing the CSS within your IntenseDebate options, you can just email Michael at IntenseDebate, he'll help you get the CSS the way you want it. :) I had to play with mine for the margins and padding to get it just right too.
    My recent post WordPress plugin updates bring CommentLuv to IntenseDebate

    • Kestrel
      November 12, 2009 | 17:12

      Strange…my initial reply seems to have disappeared. First, I want to apologize for not linking to your article in my post: your experience with Andy's beta of ComLuv for ID was enlightening, and a further impetus to me making the switch!

      As for CSS: I'm no expert, but I don't mind diving in and playing with it. I'll probably do that this weekend some time. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Ginger!

      • @webwenchginger
        November 12, 2009 | 18:04

        No problem, Kestrel :) [I didn't expect a link, honestly, but thank you for that]

        Good luck getting your visitors used to the new commenting platform. With a little patience, and tweaking within the ID settings, it should all run smoothly. If there's ever anything I can help with, just let me know! :)
        My recent post Why AutoFollow on Twitter is a bad idea

  6. TJ, displeased
    November 12, 2009 | 12:05

    I have to say, I'm not a fan of barriers to commenting, as I believe we have discussed in the past, so I'm immediately not a fan of anything requiring registration. Now, I see that ID doesn't require registration, but from what I understand, all of the benefits to the reader come with registration.

    So, honestly, I don't really get the point, unless it is adopted on a wide scale by a huge percentage of bloggers, thus making registration at least somewhat worthwhile.

    I do appreciate, though, that it lets you respond to comments in a way you're happier with.
    Also? I'm adding this on with my second attempt to comment. I just tried to comment and it told me my name was too long or too short – apparently, only 3 to 20 characters is allowed.

    That right there is a great big deal breaker, in my book.
    My recent post WINCEABLE!

  7. TJ, way displeased
    November 12, 2009 | 12:08

    Also, also? It apparently requires a second action from me to subscribe to comments. I selected the subscription I wanted, I don't want to have to confirm it through email as well.

    Also, also, also? Where is the option to remember my information? Is that also only with registration?

    Sorry to be a total downer. I do appreciate that you like it. I don't care for it at all.
    My recent post WINCEABLE!

  8. TJ, oh man
    November 12, 2009 | 13:17

    AND NOW? I'm visiting the site a third time?

    And my information from the FIRST visit was pre-filled, INCLUDING the text of my comment from my SECOND visit. It's pure insanity, I tell you.

    • Kestrel
      November 12, 2009 | 16:33

      Whew…lots of stuff! Let me see if I can address each point.

      First: If you go back through my posts with the tag "blog comments" you'll see I have been an advocate for removing barriers to commenting for a long, long time. First comments here, unless they are flagged as spam by Akismet or Bad Behavior, get posted immediately, without waiting in a queue (just an example).

      Second: If you don't register at ID, your comment experience should be the same here as it's always been, including (I hope!) the ability to edit your comments within a 5-minute window of posting. Someone will need to confirm that for me, though, and if it doesn't work that way, I'll work to make it so.

      "…unless it is adopted on a wide scale by a huge percentage of bloggers…" In order for that to happen, we need to start somewhere!

      Third, the way I respond to comments hasn't changed: While I can do so via email, why would I? My site is a tab away, is always up. For mobile folks, that might be an advantage; for me, it's simply a feature.

      Fourth, I will check to see if there is a setting for name length (there probably is, and it probably has to do with spam prevention) and I'll change it. If I can't, I'll bring it up with the ID devs. If they don't change it, then…no more ID. Since ID is free, I've no qualms if it doesn't do what I need, and, more importantly, what my commenters need or want.

      Fifth, double opt-in to subscribe is just WRONG. I wasn't aware of that. I'll fix that as well.

      Finally, I don't know what to say about it remembering or not remembering your info. I can only guess that somehow the cookie didn't set the first time (which doesn't make a lot of sense).

      Thanks for your input, TJ, I really do appreciate it, and I'll let you know when I've fixed the issues you identified.

      • TJ and extra letters
        November 12, 2009 | 19:43

        I may be totally missing it, and I'll look when I post this, but I've not seen any edit abilities.

        Also (I know I'm being a pain, sorry), you say that my commenting experience should be the same – but I've had to make at least 2 attempts every single time I've tried to post a comment with this new system. Maybe it just takes getting used to, but honestly, to me, IS a barrier to comment. Does it smack of laziness on my part? Certainly. But I'll think of your site as the one that makes it difficult to leaves comments, because so far it has.

        • Kestrel
          November 12, 2009 | 14:39

          Okay, that does it. For the third time, a reply I posted DID NOT POST. And reader/commenters not being able to edit their comments is a deal-killer, not to mention the other issues you brought up. Intense Debate is gone; now I just need to work on restyling threaded comments. Probably do that this weekend.

          Thanks for “being a pain” (which you weren’t): I appreciate the effort you made to identify all the issues you had with ID. After all, my comments section is for YOU, much more than it is for me.

          I think for my site, and my readers, the possible

  9. uberVU – social comments
    November 12, 2009 | 14:17

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kestrelsaerie: New at the Aerie: “Intense Debate Now Active!” I’d like to know your impressions….

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