21 Oct 2009

To Quebec and Back with Automattic

Bonjour!  We spent last week in Quebec with our fellow Automattic colleagues for our annual company meetup, and we had an amazing time.  This was the first time Jon, Isaac, Beau, and I have been in the same room, so it was a pleasure to work side-by-side and kick around some ideas together.

Quebec Matt 4

We also got the chance to collaborate with the rest of the Automattic crew to look at how IntenseDebate can integrate with other Automattic projects, and learn how to apply their scaling knowledge to our systems.

While some of the projects aren’t ready to be disclosed yet, here are some general details about what we’re working on (please note that these include long-term projects):

  • Backend Loading Optimization: We’re really excited about this project.  We are currently working on a new method for optimizing how we load comments and trackbacks.  This will improve load times even as the volume of comments on your blog continues to increase, as well as correct a couple of bugs.  Loading IntenseDebate will be even more seamless!
  • More Sync Improvements: We had the opportunity to pick the brains of our brilliant WordPress system engineers about the inner-workings of WordPress. We will be adapting some of the code and principles they use to improve the quality of our syncing engine.  This is going to be huge for our plugin and will correct those pesky sync discrepancies that have been floating around affecting comment counts and backups.
  • WordPress Plugin Overhaul: The core of our WordPress plugin was written prior to joining Automattic.  Since then our understanding of the WordPress codebase has drastically improved.  We have now identified significant portions of the plugin code that can be simplified or optimized making it much more lightweight and perform better.  The principles that we are applying in this overhaul will eventually be applied to our integrations with other platforms across the board.
  • Moderation, Moderation, Moderation! Bug fixes aside, optimizing moderation is high priority.  The main moderation project that we’re currently working on is reworking your moderation page.  We will be minimizing the time you spend moderating comments and filtering spam, and simplifying your user experience.
  • Support Documentation and Forums: We’re beefing-up our FAQ and support resources for end users, publishers and developers. This will help  everyone to find the answers they’re looking for.  More info to come on this one soon.

It’s an exciting time here at IntenseDebate!  We’re looking forward to pushing out loads of new code, and we will be depending on you for your feedback.  Keep an eye right here on our blog for the latest news.

Posted by Michael Koenig in News,WordPress Plugin

8 Jul 2009

New Additions: Twitter Sign-In Update & Auto-Approve by Rep Score

Last Saturday we introduced Twitter Sign-In to IntenseDebate, and within a couple of hours it was activated on a massive number of sites! We decided that with that kind of adoption we had better build the next step for Twitter integration: Tweet This for Twitter Sign-In users.

Back in June, 2008 we introduced Tweet This for IntenseDebate users, and we received plenty of requests to add this for Twitter Sign-In users.  Well, ask and you shall receive! Commenters using their Twitter account can now opt to send a simultaneous tweet when they post a comment by selecting the Tweet This checkbox when they post a comment.  You can enable Twitter Sign-in in your Blog Settings page at http://intensedebate.com/edit-site-comments.  Facebook Connect is also available through your Blog Settings page.  Please see http://wp.me/plsX6-go for more details about Facebook Connect.

tweet this

Next up we’d like to introduce a new admin moderation feature: Auto-approve commenters by reputation score. By setting a minimum reputation score for commenters, you can ensure that comments submitted by your regular readers will always be approved and not flagged for moderation. This is an excellent way to make sure that the debate doesn’t get interrupted by moderation. This feature is located on the left in your blog settings page of your IntenseDebate account. To enable it just type in a minimum reputation score and any user with that score or higher will be able to comment freely.auto-approve-1

Last up, we’ve rolled out a bug fix for the email notification issue that some of you may have encountered. We received reports of instances where email notifications for new comments were not being received. We have since identified and corrected the problem, so this shouldn’t be an issue anymore. However, if you do encounter this please let us know by emailing support.

The Pipeline
We are continuing to work on a couple of niche bug fixes, and should have the remaining issues squashed out soon. In addition, we’re working on a few projects that are coming soon…

  • Admin comment editing – the top requested admin feature in our last poll
  • Version 2.4 of our WordPress plugin (details coming soon)
  • Additional performance optimizations

As always, if you haven’t given IntenseDebate a try yet, there’s no better time than now! Get started with IntenseDebate.

Posted by Michael Koenig in features

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