As some of you might know, IntenseDebate is part of a bigger family of services on the web, brought to you by Automattic. We work on many projects on the internet, from supporting bloggers around the world at WordPress.com to supercharging self-hosted websites at Jetpack to fighting spam at Akismet — and much more.
If you’re interested in getting involved and joining a team dedicated to making the web a better place, consider joining us — we’re currently hiring. Take a look at the available positions, including developers, engineers, designers, and other wranglers. Maybe you will be next to join us — and contribute to awesome projects like IntenseDebate!
So, don’t be shy — come work with us.
Posted by Cheri Rowlands in community,News
Comments Off on Get Involved
For as long as there have been blogs and discussion forums, there have been trolls. A troll is a commenter who hangs around your site primarily to annoy and aggravate you and your readers. Trolling is different from simply being critical. Not all of your readers will agree with everything you write — in fact, we bet your favorite readers are the ones who swing by for a healthy intellectual debate! But a troll’s comments rarely have anything to do with the topic at hand — they’re there to anger and intimidate others, and derail your discussion.
Posted by Cheri Rowlands in community,features
In the past, we’ve used this blog to post news and updates about our commenting software. We hope IntenseDebate has improved your overall experience on different sites — including your own.
This time around we thought it’d be helpful to offer tips on commenting in general. What’s the point of setting up and using IntenseDebate’s features if you make comments in the blogosphere but no one engages with you? We’re all for an intense debate, but your comments must always help to generate a lively, healthy, and constructive discussion.
Here are some tips on how to be a more thoughtful and effective commenter:
- Read entire posts and responses. With IntenseDebate, you can respond to and moderate comments on-the-go with the help of email notifications and the handy reply-by-email feature. But be careful, as other commenters can tell if your comment is made in haste. Always read a post in its entirety before leaving a comment. Use the option to subscribe to all comments so you can read all other comments before adding your own.
- Contribute something new. A post often acts as the springboard for a new conversation. Instead of a simple “great post” or “thanks for writing this” or “I really enjoyed your take,” add something substantial and new to move the discussion forward — add another point to the original post, respond to a question posed by another commenter, or ask your own follow-up question to which the original poster or anyone else can respond. Remember: your reputation score is based not just on the quantity, but the quality of the comments you make across all sites with IntenseDebate.
- Get to the point. A comment is exactly that — a comment. Succinctness is important, and a comment should never be the length of a blog post. If you have a lot to say on a particular subject, leave a teaser in the comment section that summarizes your stance, and then link to a relevant post on your own site that expands on the topic. You not only express what you have to say, but also draw readers to your own site.
- Avoid blatant self-promotion. This type of comment is easy to spot — a quick, thoughtless comment saying “thanks” or “check out my site” with a link to your own site or blog. Don’t do this — moderators may delete your comment, and if you leave shameless plugs like this on a regular basis, you may be banned from leaving comments on other sites.
- Ensure your account settings are up-to-date. Users want to learn more about you — with whom they’re interacting, and who they’re challenging! Make sure your commenter profile is updated with your display name and description, correct links to your blogs/sites and external services (social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and a current picture (Gravatar).
Posted by Cheri Rowlands in community
Chris Gammell wrote an excellent post about his experience using IntenseDebate. After reading Matt Mullenweg’s post, 6 Steps To Kill Your Community, Chris was compelled to give IntenseDebate a try. Here are some of his initial thoughts on how you can benefit from using IntenseDebate (via his post):
- Reply directly to comments made by others – No more calling out names, now it’s a hierarchical format that shows your reply directly below theirs.
- Login is easier — IntenseDebate let me create a Facebook app; not that I wanted to for personal gain, but now you can use Facebook to login to the comments here if you like. […] You can also login with Twitter, IntenseDebate, WordPress.com or it will just pull your photo in if you happen to use Gravatar (another Automattic creation, the same people that do WP).
- Subscribe to comments — I usually “set it and forget it” when it comes to commenting on sites. Once I’ve dropped off my two cents, I usually don’t care to stick around and refresh or I completely forget I commented somewhere. The comments subscription is easy and won’t overwhelm your inbox. Plus you can reply back to any replies you get through email.
- Voting – I don’t want this site to be a popularity contest, but sometimes you see a comment you really like. Now there’s a up/down arrow next to comments you think are really good so they’ll rise to the top. Similar to a reddit or more relevant ChipHacker. I like the “democratic” view of commenting–just because you’re the most recent doesn’t mean you should show up first. Even if you’re not planning on commenting, take a minute to click on comments you agree with.
- CommentLuv — This is a plugin that will pull your latest blog post title into your post automatically. It’s a simple way to show what you’ve been writing about even if you don’t want to write “PLEASE LISTEN TO ME AND VISIT MY SITE” in every post. I doubt that anyone on the internet ever does that kind of thing though. With this new plugin, it’s no big deal.
- Sharing – I really don’t think many people are submitting my posts to social media sites, but this is also integrated as a plugin (previously it was a plugin at the bottom of the post, not in the comments). If you feel the urge, I encourage it! (no pity submissions, please)
Many thanks to Chris for giving ID a try, and for sharing his review!
We depend on your support and feedback, and we always love your help with spreading the word about IntenseDebate. Let us know if you publish a review of your experience with ID — we’ll be happy to give you a shout out, and help share your feedback with the rest of the blogosphere. 🙂
Posted by Michael Koenig in community,feedback
Jon Fox recently chatted about IntenseDebate with James Woodcock on his podcast. Check it out at http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk/?p=3421. Podcast topics include (from James’ post):
- What is IntenseDebate?
- How did it all begin?
- Features of IntenseDebate
- Any slowdown when adding so many features to your own site?
- Rating comments
- Facebook and Twitter integration
- Reputation system
- The dreaded SPAM
- Additional plugins for IntenseDebate
- Automattic Inc. purchasing IntenseDebate and the effect of this transaction
- IntenseDebate future on WordPress.com blogs
- What can IntenseDebate offer over any rivals with a similar feature list?
- Looking to the future…
- IntenseDebate on Mobile devices
- HTML5 and VP8
Many thanks to James for having Jon on. We’re always happy to chat, so give us a shout if you’d like to have us on your own podcast.
Posted by Michael Koenig in community,News