Goodbye Livefyre! Why commenting should be friendly.

I should trust my first impressions. When I first came across the Livefyre commenting system I remember  being confused, intimated and overwhelmed. I felt commenting wasn’t for me.

After a while I decided that I would install it on both MummyinProvence and this site.  Fast forward a few weeks and I’ve decided to remove it and go back to basic WordPress comments. Here is why:

I want to know what you wrote last, fast.

With Livefyre I’d see your name, I’d see your comment but trying to get to your blog was a challenge. Especially if you signed in with Twitter or Facebook. I’d then have to make a special effort to get to your blog and ultimately I’d give up.

I want to be able to see your last post quickly, I want you to be able to share that with others who come and comment on my site – this is why I have installed CommentLuv.

This comment from Al Smith is what sealed the deal for me last night:

Livefyre works best for sites with a big, established community

As my sites are still fairly new I am in the process of building a community, attracting potential customers and learning.

Livefyre enables discussions but have you ever gone to a site that has it and thought “I don’t belong here” because everyone seems to know everyone? I know I have.

Many times. Needless to say I lurk for some time and then bounce never to comment, or perhaps even return again.

I am a blogger and I feel like this. Stuart who writes some cool personal development stuff also feels that way.

Livefyre comment

If you have a large readership and loyal following I can see its benefits but if you are a smaller player you can’t afford to run the risk of alienating anyone.

I’m not entirely convinced that even larger sites are really benefitting from it.

Not all conversations are created equal

Marcus Sheridan asked “Is Livefyre Destroying the Value of a Blog Comment?” which made me realise that not all conversations are created equal.

Yes, Livefyre makes talking to someone and catching their attention easy but isn’t that what Twitter is for?

Do I really want comments like “@ameenafalchetto What’s up lady?” on my blog?

What value does that bring?

Yes, I got 1 more comment but the comment is off-topic and brings nothing to other readers. Worse, it makes it look like I have my mates over for a hangout.

My tech rant

At times tweets would appear in my comment count and stream and sometimes not.

It never made sense – I would change my settings all the time and yet some would creep in.

So if I replied to someone on a topic unrelated to the post after we were finished talking about it those personal, unrelated tweets would sometimes appear in the comment stream.

Yes it might keep bringing people back to your site and send your traffic soaring but if comments aren’t created equal then the same goes for traffic.

If those people are coming back to leave two-word comments I doubt they are there to buy.  It all boils down to what your social media motivations are.

I feel commenting should be as easy and as friendly as possible.

Quality vs. quantity?  I can’t answer that question for you.

UPDATED to add: Having removed Livefyre has left my comments in a mess. The replies are all over the place and no longer connected to the comment it’s referring to, random tweets are nestled between comments. I am far from impressed.

Aesthetics matter to me

I’ve always found Livefyre to look visually quite unappealing – I found the more people involved in a conversation the messier it became.

The shorter informal comments which are usually off topic add to the clutter and chaos.

Throw in some irrelevant tweets and people visiting for the first time are left scratching their heads wondering if they stumbled upon a blog-twitter-hybrid that is for a selected group of cool kids.

My site, my rules, my choice

At the end of the day it’s your blog. Do it your way – as Jim Connolly says “It’s YOUR blog, so it’s YOUR rules.” Simple isn’t it?

Goodbye Livefyre. I can’t promise I’ll be back but I do appreciate your support.

It’s not you, it’s me, no actually, it’s you.

What commenting system do you use and why? Do you like Livefyre?

UPDATED: I contacted Livefyre about the issue I had when I removed the plugin (my comment threads were all jumbled and they promptly fixed the problem for me. Their customer support is excellent even if when I decided to stop using their plugin.

61 Responses to Goodbye Livefyre! Why commenting should be friendly.

  1. I tried Disqus and Intensedebate and didn’t really like either so right now I don’t use anything other than what comes with WP. I think it’s a hassle when you have to create an account for all kinds of commenting systems and then every time have to log in, etc. etc. etc. The quicker I can leave a comment, the more likely I am to do it. I’m sure that applies to other people as well.

    • I am with you 110% – I want it to be EASY to leave a comment – the number of sites I’ve bounced from because it was too complicated or took too much time! Thanks for coming over to this side Mrs B 🙂

  2. Thanks for the mention Ameena, I’m hoping that when people see the ‘cool personal development stuff’ line they’ll rush to my site 😉

    I agree with your take that Livefyre might work best for big sites, it does feel that way at times. I can definitely see the benefits of the system, and I think it works well for certain blogs.

    But that’s just it – it works well for CERTAIN blogs, not for all blogs. Some blogs are vastly different. For example, I get loads more comments on my blog than John Chow does, but he has 500x more subscribers than me.

    In the end, you have to look at each system in detail, then ask yourself – have this system got what I truly want? If so, run with it. If not, keep looking.

    Great read Ameena, say hi to John for me 🙂

  3. Hey Ameena,
    It’s trial and error for me. Sometimes I have no idea what troubles other people are having until they talk about it (like this), and what frustrates one person, another doesn’t even notice. I do give up sometimes when I can’t get through the hoops to leave a comment. But then I laugh because I’m very persistent and want to win, even if it’s with a comment system! LOL!
    I guess I feel like everyone is just like me. If they really want to say something, they’ll do what it takes or die trying!! (laughing)
    Have a fun day!
    Betsy

  4. I am in the same boat, if I switch now I know my comments will become messy.
    Which can hurt on posts with more than 150+ comments.

    I have received emails and also FB messages from people who say they can’t sign-in or comment.
    I don’t want that barrier there.

  5. Hi Ameena,
    I must say that even though I’m a Livefyre fan and have had it on my blog since late winter/early spring, I knew immediately one of your major reasons for letting it go before I even read the post: barrier to entry! When it’s necessary to create an account in order to get into the comment section, after you’ve seen a horde of folks there yakking it up, it creates an unnecessary barrier to entry. Like John, I’ve had more than a handful of people not make it through the gauntlet in order to leave a comment…one was a client that I was coaching in blogging and of course said, leave a comment first and see what that’s like. Well, his experience on my blog left him feeling like blogs were a complete waste of time.

    Definitely something to think about, Ameena! I’m not leaving Livefyre anytime soon and have Disqus as a back up system, but I’m always on guard when it comes to pitfalls in a system designed to build community. Thanks!

    • That’s an interesting story Erica – if a commenting system leaves someone questioning the effectiveness of blogging then there IS something wrong.

      It should be easy – I worry about the lurkers who may have wanted to say something, join in and engage but didn’t because of the daunting commenting system.

      The mess that’s been left behind is really annoying for me (putting it mildly) but I’ve been told that moving forward anyone who removes Livefyre won’t have the mess that I have. Excellent! Meanwhile I have a mess with my comments and I have to figure out how to fix it.

      Thanks for coming over and sharing!

  6. Ameena, I love this post. I’m the kind of person who feels intimidated by Livefyre or Disqus.
    Also, everyday I have to log in dozens of times (WordPress, email addresses, Facebook, Twitter, Clicky, etc). The last thing I want when leaving a comment is to log in again.

    That’s why very often I don’t participate in very interesting discussions in blogs that I follow regularly.

    • Thanks Cristina, I am glad that I didn’t replace Livefyre with Disqus then!!

      It’s always interesting to know why people don’t comment – I have had people say they don’t comment because they have nothing to bring to the conversation which is one thing but for someone to NOT comment because of the process required in order to leave a comment is a fail on the bloggers part in my opinion.

  7. Ameena, this post couldn’t have come at a better time. After reading extensive comments on Livefyre, and hearing good things about commentluv, I currently remain with disqus. It’s given me only a few hiccups in the recent past, but I was considering a switch to Livefyre.

    Now, I’m caught in betwixt and in between. To change or not to change, that is the question. Just when I think I have good reason to do so, a post like yours (which I really appreciate) makes me pause and reconsider.

    For the moment, I think I’ll take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, and keep my eyes and ears open.

    Thanks for a refreshing perspective. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Thanks Kaarina – I do feel that the longer you blog, the more into the community you get the more short sighted you can become. I am not saying that everyone is like that but you do run the risk of assuming everyone is like you which is problematic.

      Who are we blogging for? Who do we want to comment? For me, I know that there are a few usual suspects I can count on to come over and comment regardless of my commenting system but I really want to attract those people who’ve never commented before – having a barrier to entry kills that goal.

      Sit tight, go with what works I say and if it aint broke – KEEP IT!

      Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

    • I am like Kaarina. I made the switch to Disqus and have virtually no problems, or none that people have made me aware of. I like that you can guest comment. I did prefer livefyre in regard to all that I have read (until now…) and for the interaction factor. I have been waiting to change to livefyre and was going to do it in the next couple weeks… hmmm. May after this post.

      Maybe I am bold but, I comment as long as I can log in (only haven’t been able to do so on one website: owningpink) Even when I am the 250th comment, if I have something to add.

      Kaarina, are commenters able to be notified of future comments? I haven’t seen this except via RSS. Maybe I need to explore this more..

      Thanks for the insight Ameena!
      Rajka

  8. Very interesting to see the reasonings behind the use of a particular comment system Ameena. I have used many including Disqus and Livefyre, and also now use the built-in WordPress comments.

    Like you I like the straight forward use of them by visitors – much easier than the others. CommentLuv is a must to build the community around your business using the blog, and gives back to the people commenting.

    As you know I’m one for a lot of stats and HitSniffer integrates with the comment system, so I can big brother everyone. Don’t be afraid, I use the information only for good 😉

    • I love that you are Big Brother 🙂

      Overcomplicating to look slick is a mistake I definitely made. I have learned my lesson.

      There is a lot to be said for using cool tools and gadgets but behind the scenes as opposed to on the user end … I have a lot to learn but this has been a real eye opener and I feel that keeping it easy is the way forward.

  9. Ameena, I am also a CommentLuv kind of gal. I resent having to register to leave a comment, and so I simply ignore LiveFyre blogs. I did tweet my frustration, and evidently LiveFyre has something in the works that would allow guests to post.

    For me CommentLuv is easy, user friendly, and gives the link love that all our readers deserve for helping to make our blogs the best they can be!

    Thank you for showing that I’m not alone in preferring this program!

    Tammy

    • That’s so interesting Tammy – I know you are not alone in your resentment to having to register to leave a comment. I have massive issue with Blogger blogs that make you HAVE to have a blogger account to comment. I leave immediately. So, why did I go with Livefyre? I have no idea. I made the mistake of assuming everyone would be cool with it. Wrong.

      I love CommentLuv because I WANT to be able to share other posts on my blog AND I love being able to see what you wrote last (especially as my reader is on the verge of being cleared again because I’m so far behind!)

      Thanks for confirming my suspicions!

    • Yup yup Gini … You’ve found Livefyre increased your readership – have you seen a drop in new faces though? Or not? I know I can’t compare to you because I’m a newbie but it would be interesting to know if the increase in traffic equals new commenters …

  10. Ameena, really interesting post. I love how you blaze your own trail. That’s awesome. You’ve taken the time to gauge the different systems, and now you’re using what you feel will work the best. And in time, it may change again, but like you said, this is your house, you can remodel it anytime you please. 😉

    Talk soon,

    Marcus

    • Hey Marcus! I make no secret in the fact that I am willing to try most things out – I can then make a judgement based on how it worked or didn’t.

      I should have gone with my initial reaction to Livefyre and this morning I am really disappointed in the way that they have said they can’t help me with the mess my comments are in. That makes me really angry as in the past they’ve always been keen to listen and make changes.

      Talk soon

  11. Ameena,

    I know exactly what you mean. I have found the same to be true with Livefyre. More than any of that, I just couldn’t figure it out. Sites using it always took sooooo much longer to load and I often had to leave it or close the page. But I had the same experience on my own blog with Disqus. Disqus works well with sites like Tumblr who offer no other commenting system, but it was really clunky with WordPress for some reason. I went back to standard WP commenting, and it’s really not so bad. Thanks!

    • I had issues with my site being really slow – I didn’t chalk it down to being an issue with Livefyre but now its gone I can see a huge difference.

      Like you, I think the WP option really isn’t as bad as some make out! Make it easy and people will comment!

      Thanks for stopping by to share!

  12. Hey Ameena,

    I was just being pressurized by many of Livefyre fans to shift to Livefyre (I currently use Disqus) and I didn’t have enough reasons!

    I don’t mind either but livefyre can get a little intimidating like Stuart mentions, the comment counts keeps increasing even while I am typing out my comment…. so sometimes it can be a little confusing! 🙂

    • Hey Hajra, I found that the comment count would fluctuate wildly – it’s weird. As I said, I don’t think all comments are created equal which is why I removed it. Unless you’ve been commenting and blogging for a while it can be intimidating.

      I contemplated using Disqus but decided against anything more than the basic wordpress system and I’m happy so far. Just last night I was trying to comment on someone’s site which had Disqus and it wasn’t playing nicely at all which was really annoying.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. @ameenafalchetto What’s up lady? 🙂

    I left a huge comment on Marcus’ post about this topic. I love Wildfyre when I visit other sites and it certainly increases engagement — but is that “chat” engagement truly what helps your blog? I think it depends on your goals. Also, the catch is that you can’t prove a negative. We don’t know how many potential commenters registration turns away.

    I will say, on the other hand, that I just changed to first time comment moderation on WP because I have been getting spammed like crazy with ComLuv linkers the past few weeks. I’m curious to see what ComLuv premium will offer.

    Good thoughts. Hope the change is a success!

    • Hey Adam … thanks for calling me a “lady” 🙂

      Ok so we can’t prove a negative BUT I can’t ignore a handful of people saying “What’s the deal with the commenting system on your blog? Why is it so confusing/difficult/messy etc?”

      Luckily spam isn’t a big issue on my sites – I have some good spam protection in place (so good that even real comments get filed there sometimes)

      Personally I never made any secret of the fact that I never wanted chatter on my sites. Discussions and debate, yes, chit chat NO. It’s not a forum. Maybe I am boring in that sense but I don’t want to have to moderate the craziness.

      So far so good! Thanks for the heads up on CommentLuv Premium.

  14. I too left a comment on The Sales Lion about this topic and Adam above got there first with the ‘whats up lady!’…Darn!
    I never even considered Live Fyre. It’s not aesthetically pleasing and I’m a simple soul who likes mostly straight lines and not scrolling up and down chasing the latest comment on screen, concerned that you may ignore someone’s comment, although all hail to the inventors for trying to create a more conversational feel.

    I also don’t wish to burden my readers with another thing they have to sign up to.

    • I’m with you on making commenting easy. I feel a bit silly for going for Livefyre mainly because I hated it the first time I saw it. It was messy and hard to read.

      Less really is more … sometimes I feel we overcomplicate things when they just can be left alone. Also, I sometimes feel that when we get into a community and start building relationships we forget that there are a HUGE number of people who have NO idea what we are talking about and won’t appreciate the fancy plugins we “feel” we need.

      (I actually had 3 people ask me “WTH is Livefyre?” when this post came up … guess I need a more generic post next !

      Thanks for passing by and sharing. (BTW – I’ll take that “What’s up Lady “

  15. Hi Ameena,

    I added Disqus a while ago, but I said goodbye a few months after. My comments was a mess a while, but now everything is fine.

    I feel the same with LiveFyre as I did with Disqus. It should be a lot easier to connect and leave a comment (and I feel that the standard comments in WordPress is the best way), although I sort of understand why large communities have LiveFyre or Disqus, because tagging and being part of many conversations seems to be easier (although I’m not sure if it is).

  16. CommentLuv all the way! Yeah Baby!!

    Ameena, I’m a bug supporter of CommentLuv and the new premium version is available at a reduced rate for a limited time (check out my post in the CommentLuv link for details).

    I’ve never been impressed with Livefyre and I’m happy to see you came to that conclusion as well. Cheers!

  17. Hi!, one of my happy little helpers retweeted your post and brought it to my attention. I am happy that you found all the reasons I made CommentLuv for by yourself!

    I agree with you, there should be no barrier to leaving a comment on your site and to use the inbuilt comments system that has stood the test of time during the whole lifetime of WordPress is a no brainer!

    For sure, little 2 word chats and buddy in-jokes and comments should be shared on twitter and other social things. Livefyre seems quite powerful but I think they’re trying to change what blog comments are which is a big task and maybe the world isn’t ready for that yet. We’re not yet at the ubiquitous comment system because we’re not at the point where everything we have is in real time and connected.

    we’re close, but not yet. Sometimes a blog should be just that. A blog to share posts on what you’re thinking about (whatever the subject may be) and the comments should reflect what people thought about what you wrote and the comments are the discussion that threads from there.

    I don’t know about you but if someone starts saying, “hey dude, cold today right?” in a post about the new ipad then it doesn’t belong there and I don’t accept it and I’m not sure that I want my tweets integrated into my comments. I’ve got tweetdeck for those kind of things and they’re more like throwaways, I read them, somtimes laugh or retweet them or follow their links but in the end, they pass on past my timeline and there’s no need to keep them (and certainly no need to clutter up my database with them because most times, once they’re said, a short amount of time passes and they become out of context. no one needs to reference them again)

    wooh, never meant to go on so long. sorry!

    anyway, commentluv is going on sale for 7 days from next week but because you’re awesome and found the light of the luv, you can have a copy for free!

  18. I have used about 9 different commenting systems and Livefyre is among my favorite because it has increased engagement and interaction on my blog.

    I agree that it could be more user friendly and wish that it was integrated with Commentluv instead of their proprietary program.

    The banter and chit chat doesn’t bother me as it suits the tone of my blog. I also really like the ability to draw people into the conversation- that has been quite beneficial.

    But I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t considered going back to the WP native system.

  19. Hi Ameena,

    Thank you! It needed to be said. Livefyre just feels so overwhelming to me. Yes, it has the potential to generate more comments, but is the number of comments a blog’s true value?

    I use comment luv on The Market Domination blog. I like it’s simplicity. I also love giving readers the ability to share a post and reward then for taking time out of their day to leave a comment.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this blog hot button topic! -Adam

  20. Thanks you for your article. I was just getting ready to sign up to Livefyre after I noticed that a lot of the more popular sites are using it. Im going to stick with CommentLuv so that us little guys can help each other out. I don’t really get enough comments to need a conversation editor anyway. I can go on twitter for that.

  21. I found your site while trying to fix a bug in the LiveFyre plugin for my website. But after reading your post, I’ve decided to just stick with WordPress comments as well 🙂 Thanks so much!

  22. I was using Google to search some facts about Livefyre since I just wanted to collect some good points which may encourage me to use the plugin for my site. But I came across your site and at another site i used Disqus but actually sense of completion or perfection never gets satisfied whenever I use any third party source and particularly using a third party dashboard embarrasses me always. So, I decided now to go with simple commenting system rather than the third party ones till I get large community on my other site also.

  23. Hi, I’m about ready to remove Livefyre from my guitar site. If I read your article correctly, I gather that the comments that had been posted with LF remain in your standard WP comment system and you don’t lose them. (They just got jumbled up). Is this correct? I want to remove it, but I wouldn’t like to lose the current comments either.

  24. I had ordinary wordpress comments on a site configured as such:

    only registered users can comment
    comments require approval by an admin
    users need 1 approved comment to comment

    and somehow, some funkiness seeped through the cracks and spamsters were able to cause popup redirects from my site. Not entirely sure how and this wasn’t a ordinary blog. It was one I used for a study group with only 3 active users.

    The thing I dislike about the native WP is having to purge the spambox. And the spamsters are getting clever in disguising their comments as legitimate ones (though its still relatively easy to spot). But to each their own whatever works I guess.

    One negative about livefyre: when you update it, it doesn’t reactivate. Pretty annoying.

  25. My site is a month old, and I’ve yet to get a real comment… All I have gotten is 35 spam posts with broken english. Since Ameena is so gorgeous, it’d be great if she was my first comment at my website!!

    Kidding aside, my worries are with dealing with spam once my website is bigger… commentluv seems cool, but I’m thinking I may need askimet and I dunno if they work together.

    Trey from netbrainiac.com

    • Hi Trey, thanks for your comment! I’ve had problems with spam (100 a day) and it’s so annoying. I have Askimet on my site and I also installed Conditional Captcha – I HATE captcha with a passion but it only shows up if a comment contains links or looks like spam. Even then some still manages to get through as the spam farms are getting better at sending real people to blogs who can enter the captcha code!
      Hope that helps!

Leave a reply