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Comment managers are nothing new. Whether or not we use them on our own sites, we’ve all gone to leave a comment somewhere and seen we needed to log in first—whether to Disqus or LiveFyre, IntenseDebate or something else.
It happens on blogs about social media, it happens on blogs about gas station processing, it happens on blogs like this one. Why do sites use them? Are they helpful, and if so, how? Should you implement a comment management tool on your site?
To help answer that question, here’s a look at the pros and cons of third-party content management platforms. Use it to make the choice that’s right for you!
The pros: what comment managers offer
Could a comment manager be key in establishing your site’s credibility and minimizing spam? Consider these benefits!
1. One simple login for all sites: So let’s say you’re surfing the Web one day and see a post that features leather working gloves, something you’ve been needing to buy already. You log in to leave a comment and keep surfing. Then, on the next site where you want to comment, you’re already logged in. That’s the beauty of comment managers. They require one single login across all websites, making it easy to post and easy to track all of one person’s responses in one place.
2. Spam control: Requiring a commenter to log in to a comment system virtually eliminates the chance of a spam bot from attacking your site. Comment managers are very effective at minimizing spam, freeing you up to focus on other things than manual filtering.
3. Expanded social media presence: Third-party comment managers automatically integrate with networks like Facebook or Twitter, so any time a user wants to comment on your site, he or she has a super simple, seamless way to share your content with their connections.
4. Easy comment subscriptions: If your blog is the kind that encourages discussion, a third-party comment manager can serve you well. Take Disqus, for example. When someone logs in and leaves a comment, they have the option to check a box that says “subscribe to all comments by email,” meaning they can opt in to hear responses and conversation as it continues.
The cons: the downsides of comment managers
When a reader has to log in before leaving a comment, will that turn him off? Here are some things to consider:
1. Complicates the comment process: While it’s true that comment managers require one simple login across all websites, they still require a login, which, to some online users, is just an extra step between them and leaving a comment. In these cases, the third-party platform may be the thing that drives readers away.
2. Lessens your control: For those of us who like to fine-tune and tweak and manage every aspect of our blogs, giving away a little bit of comment control can be difficult. When you outsource your comment platform to another provider, you also can experience slower page loads while their info comes up or the occasional outage when their server is down—all outside of your control. What’s more, these kinds of glitches can be very frustrating to readers ready to comment, creating another complication in the dialogue-building process.
Considering these potential positives and negatives with comment platforms, what’s your take? Do you or will you use one on your site? And when you visit other sites and see you need to log in, does it matter?