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:
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.
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
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.