This is a Guest Post by Vin Thomas.
In my humble opinion, forums are lame.
Commenting is where it’s at. But traditional formatting for comments doesn’t work very well. That’s where threaded comments come in. They give you some of the features of forum style posting, but none of the lameness (yes, that’s a word).
Have you noticed that fewer and fewer blogs utilize single level commenting systems? I for one am more than happy to see them go. The ability to reply to individual comments without having to use some kind of janky workaround is great. A perfect example of comments done right would be right here on ChurchCrunch.com.
WordPress recently released threaded comments directly within their app, but there are some other great commenting systems out there that integrate really well with almost any platform. Here are my two favorites:
ChurchCrunch uses IntenseDebate (and I use it on my blog as well). The thing I love about IntenseDebate is that it is owned by Automattic (the company that also develops WordPress). This gives me peace of mind that it will always be compatible with WordPress.
Disqus is very similar to IntenseDebate and has many of the same features. I like the default UI of Disqus better than IntenseDebate, but since IntenseDebate allows custom styling this isn’t a deal breaker. It seems like Disqus is more popular than IntenseDebate among Non-WordPress blogs.
In addition to offering threaded comments, both systems offer:
- Facebook Connect
- Twitter Sign-in
- OpenID Sign-in
- Multiple Sorting Options
- RSS Feeds
- Custom CSS Styling
- User Profiles
- And TONS more
Linear comments are pretty much dead. I hesitate to leave a comment on blogs that won’t let me subscribe to replies ONLY. So if you have a blog that has more comments than the ones you mom leaves, then you should check out IntenseDebate or Disqus. They are both great commenting platforms and will make managing comments on your blog much easier.