Ramp Up Your Blog Comments with IntenseDebate

IntenseDebate is a blog plugin created by Automattic, and is available for WordPress, Blogger, tumblr, and TypePad. Simply stated in the plugin description, IntenseDebate includes: Comment threading, reply-by-email, user accounts and reputations, comment voting, along with Twitter and friendfeed integrations enrich your readers’ experience and make more of the internet aware of your blog and comments which drives traffic to you!


As I participate in commenting in other blogs, I’ve grown to appreciate the ability to post using my Twitter ID, and the only way I’d known of to offer that was to use the Disqus commenting system. The reason I decided to try the IntenseDebate system instead was the fact that Andy over at ComLuv is working on integrating the CommentLuv plugin wiht IntenseDebate. Ultimately, I would like to offer the features of IntenseDebate, as well as the CommentLuv feature of including a commentator’s latest blog post. Since the integration isn’t yet finished, I’ve opted to run IntenseDebate minus CommentLuv, for now.

Update: Andy’s right on top of things as usual, and has allowed me to beta test the CommentLuv functionality for IntenseDebate. It’s installed and working, so make sure to leave a comment and get your latest blog post seen! Thanks, Andy!

It’s all about the options

Using IntenseDebate enables me to offer my readers the kind of options I enjoy when commenting on other blogs. Most importantly, it gives them the option to comment under their Twitter, Facebook, OpenID, or InteseDebate member names. If a reader doesn’t have one of those, or simply prefers not to use them, they can also choose to comment as a guest.

This works well in my opinion because readers get to choose how they’re referenced. Do I want to send others that may read my comments to my Twitter account, or my FaceBook page? Blogger users can sign into their OpenID and have an automatic link to their blog, and IntenseDebate users can connect through their account there to increase their participation with the thousands of other avid commentators on that social site.

IntenseDebate also enables users signed in through Twitter to send their comment directly to their Twitter account, something that encourages discussion on that site as well. As an avid Twitter user myself, I like that option.

One of the most important aspects about offering my readers the ability to comment within their Twitter account IDs was the (oauth_token)… When you sign into your Twitter account to comment through the Intense Debate plugin, you are presented with a secure page to login to your Twitter account (https://). Knowing that I’m not giving away my Twitter account information when I comment on other blogs is important to me, so I wanted to make sure my readers are able to use this function safely, and with confidence.

My plugin has plugins!

Another feature I love about IntenseDebate is the list of Plugins that we can add to it. This is done through the IntenseDebate.com site, and plugins include a spell checker (which I installed right away), smileys, social bookmarking buttons through AddThis and AddToAny (for post and comments), FaceBook share buttons, TweetMeMe buttons, and even video embedding plugins. These plugins couldn’t be easier to “install”, simply click them while in your InteseDebate account, and they’re added to your blog’s comment area upon your next reload of your site!

This is handy because by using these functions within IntenseDebate enables you to get rid of other plugins within your WordPress install, or for other platforms, it may give you functionality that you can’t get otherwise. Valuable load time saver for WP users, and freedom for Blogger and TypePad users.

Features, Features, Features

gingerwench-logoRather than listing all the features available through the IntenseDebate plugin, I’ll just direct you to their Features page. I love that it offers ‘Reply by email’, comment threading, and email notifications. Again, this saves WP users from needing additional plugins, saving load time. The FriendFeed Comment Retrieval is another great feature that increases interactivity on that social site, and I look forward to IntenseDebate doing something similar for Twitter Re-Tweets and/or mentions… that would help me get rid of another plugin!

Being an advocate of branding and brand marketing, I appreciate the integration of the Gravatars in IntenseDebate. The more places people see my GingerWench heart, the more people are aware of my brand.

I’m also looking forward to becoming more involved in the IntenseDebate community. Through the profile pages, we’re able to share information about our sites and social network with other commenting addicts… I love how I can see all my comments accross the entire IntenseDebate platform right there in one list… this makes it easier to follow discussions no matter how I set my ‘email notifications’.

If you have an IntenseDebate profile, feel free to link to it in the comments here, I need to build my list of blogs to follow there, and invite you to follow mine as well.

Do you use the IntenseDebate plugin on your blog? Let me know how it’s working out for you, and how it’s increased your blog’s comment participation! I’m looking forward to seeing increased comments to this blog, and welcome all forms of “intense debate”. ;)


  1. says

    I can give you a beta version of the ID commentluv plugin if you want. You'd need to copy and paste some code to your custom css and plugin editor in your ID dashboard but it works pretty well. I've left out the fancy bits, just kept it to adding the last blog post so it shouldn't have any problems running here

    • says

      Ooo, that sounds great, Andy! As long as I have clear editing instructions, I should be able to get that installed right away. I've never ventured into the plugin editor before lol. If you'd be willing to do that, I'd really appreciate it… I'll DM you my email on Twitter! :)

      I'd love to be able to blog about the integration as well!

  2. says

    Looking good! Thanks for giving ID a try, and for the great post. I just wanted to point out that the "tweet this" functionality is available for IntenseDebate users as well (in addition to twitter sign-in users). Check out your profile at http://intensedebate.com/editprofile and select "Services" from the sidebar. Please give me a shout with any questions – support@intensedebate.com.

    Can't wait to have CommentLuv available for all of ID! Great work Andy!
    My recent post Featured Debates: Share & Discover Comments

    • says

      Hi Michael! Thanks for visiting (and retweeting lol). What I was referring to in the post was the ability to have Twitter RT's post as comments also, like the Twitoaster plugin does. This way, anyone that RTs a post, or mentions it in a tweet gets posted as a commenter too… did I miss that functionality somewhere? I have Twitoaster installed here, but I'm noticing that the Twitter retweets aren't hitting here as comments. *goes to look again*

    • says

      As I understand it, Disqus doesn't give you the ability to remove the "rel=nofollow" attribute on the links in your comments, while Intense Debate has already removed it… so you're able to offer your commentators more with IntenseDebate. ;)

    • says

      From my experience, the IntenseDebate plugin is stable, and the support is fantastic. Michael noticed my Tweet about having installed it, and offered me email support within minutes, even offered to help me with the CSS! Between the plugin working well, and the support for everything down to CSS integration, I'm not sure that you could do better than IntenseDebate. :)

  3. says

    I have been a user of intense debate for a few months now, although I don't yet have it installed on my blog. The actual main reason was that I have the commentluv plugin and wanted to give a little link love back to my posters. This is great that Andy is almost finished integrating the two. Once it is tested and approved I will be downloading it on my site. I actually found your site through Andy's email about almost having the integration done. Thanks for testing it out for the rest of us. It appears that it is working well.
    My recent post Unsecured Debt Consolidation Loans – Do they still Exist?

    • says

      Actually, the CommentLuv plugin is available through ID now… I just found it in the list of plugins lol. Thanks for clicking through from Andy's email… I was thrilled to test this for him, I'm very happy with the integration results!

  4. Scribhneoir says

    I found your blog through Andy's email on Intense Debate – which i had never heard of so I am off to do some homework and see what this is all about – thanks for trying it out for the rest of us :)

  5. says

    I loved comment luv, (with JSKits) on my Blogger blog. But when JSkits went to Echo, many of my readers became confused about how to leave a comment. I'm now looking forward to when Andy has CL integrated with Intense Debate. Thanks for the explanation!
    My recent post Reader's Theatre (2)

  6. says

    Hi Ginger,
    also here via Andy's email and great to see what you and he have been doing. Similar stories to others, using ID and hoping ComLuv would be integrated, but wondering if it would slip by.

    Anyway here we are, the final hurdle, and hopefully Michael K and the guys at ID will complete their testing successfully. Looking forward to installing – nice one Andy!
    My recent post MyCork

  7. says

    I use both Comment Luv and Intense Debate and found your blog as Andy suggested taking a look at this post as a great example of the integration.

    I like it! The only problem I've seen is the Intense Debate treatment of HTML in posts doesn't always show correctly. I've had instances of keyword links (something I allow for my regular visitors) showing up as the actual html

    Great looking blog by the way – especially like the left sidebar.

  8. says

    I hope this works out and that Blogger users of js-kit/commentluv can transition smoothly. Did you have any problems converting form Echo to ID (there's always the fear of losing comments…) Oh, I see in a reply that you did not lose anything, but it's not clear if you had Echo or not.

    Also the threaded replies don't open unless you click the reply counter — can that be changed to always display all replies with the original comment (threaded.).

    Thanks for being a frontrunner…
    My recent post 4 Lessons Learned from Mommy Bloggers

    • says

      I was running plain 'ol WordPress comments before this, so the import went very smoothly for me. (Dunno what Echo is, sorry) I just looked at the options in ID, and there's nothing about always displaying replies in the threaded format. I don't know if they have plans to add that functionality, but in the meantime I suppose the alternative of not threading the comments would ensure that all replies are always visible. You might want to ask Michael over at ID about that! :)
      My recent post Why AutoFollow on Twitter is a bad idea

    • says

      I was running plain 'ol WordPress comments before this, so the import went very smoothly for me. (Dunno what Echo is, sorry) I just looked at the options in ID, and there's nothing about always displaying replies in the threaded format. I don't know if they have plans to add that functionality, but in the meantime I suppose the alternative of not threading the comments would ensure that all replies are always visible. You might want to ask Michael over at ID about that! :)
      My recent post Why AutoFollow on Twitter is a bad idea

  9. says

    I’m using IntenseDebate and am now excited to use the commentluv plugin. Came over to your blog via an email from Andy.

    This is great to have your readers debate over topics you post!

  10. says

    Nice Post, we use IntenseDebate on Indyposted.com and our comment totals have increased 10 fold. I really like the "plugin within a plugin" functions, although some of the options when used together seem to crowd the interface which can be a bit annoying.

  11. says

    I agree about the crowded interfaces… so much so that I'm considering cutting out a couple of the sign in options, to get rid of some of those buttons. I'm giving it a while to see what options people actually use first. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

  12. says

    Hi Ginger,

    I've just installed ID – swayed by integration with Commentluv & the great plug-ins – and am looking forward to seeing how everything develops. Definitely a good feeling from the beginning ….


  13. says

    I've finally tried installing IntenseDebate on some of my blogs. And I must say, it is really showing some great results. I think this is one of the best comment system around. The other is Disqus.

  14. says

    I just installed commentluv on my intensedebate wordpress blog and absolutely love it. It is such a great way to comment, find similar sites which you might enjoy and target which posts you send possible readers to so that they are tailored to the one which you are commenting on. Brilliant! Combined with tweeting your comment and even FB share, it's
    My recent post Beware of the Craigslist rent scammers!

  15. says

    Looks pretty good here! I have a little bit of extra code to add to it in case someone doesn't have jquery included with their page. I'll get to it as soon as I get some time…

  16. says

    I want to thank you for the efforts you write in this post. I hope the same best work from you in the future. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful.


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