Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now I'm An Intense Debater! What? When? Why?

As some of you know, recently...or more precisely 2 days ago...both my blogs (Tekkaus & Tech Buzzer!) have taken dramatic makeover in their commenting system. After pondering for quite awhile...after having sleeplesss nights for a few days...finally I had made up my mind to change. Since my blog tempate is really, really antic, hence its commenting system is not that sleek compared to the others more advanced templates. But then I don't want to change my current look and I have no choice but to CHANGE! But...there's another headache in store for me! I have to pick between JS-Kit and Intense Debate! It's a real dilemma I have to say...but in the end...I chose to be an Intense Debater!

What is IntenseDebate?
Well according the Intense Debate, it is a premier commenting system that enhances and encourages conversation on your blog or website. With IntenseDebate we can give our blog readers the opportunity to better engage our blog contents. Click here to find out more about IntenseDebate.

When did I started Using IntenseDebate?
You might have thought it is like a few daysago right? The truth is I have signed up with IntenseDebate for quite a while. 2 days ago I signed into my dashboard and I was dumbstruck. Why? It's because I have actually been an Intense Debater for more than 20 weeks. Meaning that when I first joined IntenseDebate it was 20 weeks ago. Yes! Not 20 days but 20 weeks ago, which happened to fall on 18th December 2008! Now, that's really been awhile huh!

Hey! They really know me.

Why did I chose IntenseDebate?
First thing first, I wanna make it clear that I chose IntenseDebate not because it's better than JS-Kit! But it's just that I am more familiar with it. JS-Kit commenting system is actually very good too. Is it better than IntenseDebate? I'm not sure about that. Maybe yes. Anyway here are 13 reasons why I have chosen Intense Debate.

1~Comment Threading. By using IntenseDebate we can improve our conversation within the comment section and reply directly to a particular individual comment. The indented replies has truly make following various conversations more manageable. This is the very feature that Blogspot is sorely missing.

2~Reply-By-Email. This is another brilliant feature that I like. With IntenseDebate, we can respond to and even moderate comments made on our blog(s) with ease via email. Yupe! So we can reply via email using our mobile phones. Just because we are not glued to our laptop, that doesn't mean we can't see what is brewing in our blog! Nice one!

3~Email Notifications. Every commenters will receive emails alerts when a response to their comment is being posted. This email notification will like the commenter directly to the made response. Hence you'll know others are paying attention to you. You can also reply responses made via emails too, along with the option to subscribe to all the comments. Well...choose this if you are really, really interested in that topic though. Ha :D

4~Commentor Profiles. This is something similar to what Blogspot offers but it differs in terms of functionality. In other words more advanced~lar! This feature let you and your readers learn more about each other. IntenseDebate even claimed that our conversation can escalate into the levels once we are able to get to know each other. Make sense? I guess so.

5~Moderation & Blacklisting. A must have for our commenting system. There are times when we received so many comments that they turned out to be good-for-nothing spams. Hence IntenseDebate offers some truly hardcore moderation options for us to block those suckers. We can customize our settings to moderate according to keywords, number of links, commenter emails and even IP addresses! So don't play~play or else...

6~Reputation Points & Comment Voting. These are new to me. By using IntenseDebate, our readers will start to build their very own so-called "Commenter Reputations" once they become an Intense Debater! Their reputation score is based on the quantity, and more importantly the quality of the comments that they have made across all sites with IntenseDebate. Now this is going to be fun huh!

7~OpenID. OpenID users will be more than happy to know about this. Now your readers can post comments easily using their OpenID accounts. Hence they can tie their OpenID to their IntenseDebate profile. So no more worrying about forgeting another sets of credentials right? Cheers!

8~Widgets. How doesn't like widgets right? A few maybe but most of us love widgets as long as they are useful and doesn't slow down our surfing right? IntenseDebate has offered 4 extra widgets for their users. And all four of these widgets are built based on users feedback. Great this shows that they are listening. We can display our blogs' comment stats, the most recent comments made on our blogs, our most popular posts, and even Top IntenseDebaters aka commenters! Don't this appeal to you?

9~Twitter. Here's another great option I must say, especially to those Twitter-holics. You can give your commenters the option to send simultaneous tweet when they post a comment. Actually this is a great way to let your commenters spread the word about your blogs and drive more traffic and commenters back to your blogs. Isn't this great?

10~RSS Readers & Tracking. Obviously RSS readers made our lives simpler. And that's why IntenseDebate comments are integratedwith Google Reader and Bloglines (of course with more RSS readers on the way). This option enables your readers to read and post comments directly from their respective RSS readers. A shot in the arm indeed.

11~FriendFeed Comment Retrieval. As our content gets too fragmented across other 3rd party services, it is essential that we get back our blog contents. Meaning that when comments are made in the context of our blogs on FriendFeed, IntenseDebate will republish all the comments back on our blogs. But there's a minor catch: all we have to do is submit our FriendFeed URL and select the option in our IntenseDebate profile. Neat!

12~HTML Formatting. With this option, your commenters can customize their links and add some photos to their comments. This is because IntenseDebate supports various HTML tags. What are you waiting? Post your very own personalized comments now!

13~Gravatar. This is something new I have learnt from IntenseDebate! They offer full Gravatar support including something they prefer to name it as Auto-Grab Gravatar support. If you have a Gravatar, IntenseDebate will automatically upload your Gravatar when you sign up for IntenseDebate. You can choose to use your Gravatar or upload a different profile pic which I did. Come grab yours now!

Installation wise I would say that it's really easy. It took me less than 10 minutes to integrate IntenseDebate into both of my blogs! :D

Ouh my Gosh! I can't believe I have typed so much. No wonder my fingers are aching and my wrist are "shouting" elbows are making some noise too. Ha :D Now that you know the What? When? Why? So do you think you wanna join me and become an Intense Debater too? :D