Is the Blog Comment Sexy Again?

By Mark Evans - Monday, February 11th, 2013 at 7:30 am  

blog commentLast week, Livefyre raised $15-million in venture capital from a blue-chip group of investors that includes U.S. Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, Cue Ball, HillsVen Group, and ff Venture Capital. Among other things, the money will be used to let Livefyre continue its “aggressive growth”.

So what’s interesting about a $15-million financing at a time when many startups are attracting lots of venture capital?

For people interested in blogging, the Livefyre deal is interesting because, in some respects, it puts the comment back into the spotlight.

Remember, the blog comment? When blogging hit the mainstream five or six years ago, there was a flurry of comments. This was probably because the ability to react to content was new and exciting.

Since then, however, the blog comment has seemed to fade into the background. Many people find it easier to use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to share content, rather than write a comment.

But Livefyre’s financing could suggest the blog comment has more value than we think. Within the company’s product portfolio is Livefyre Comments, which many bloggers have adopted as an alternative to WordPress’s native comment system or third-party services such as Disqus.

Livefyre Comments has gained a lot of traction because it lets commenters highlight their only content, while publishers get a new way to use social media to drive content distribution.

“Livefyre gives brands and publishers the power to bring visitors back to their sites and build communities around their content,” said Livefyre Founder and CEO Jordan Kretchmer. “Dozens of the world’s largest media companies utilize our platform to turn their pages into real-time streams of social content.”

The question is whether $15-million of venture capital for Livefyre suggests comments are poised to stage a renaissance because there are tangible benefits for both publishers and the people who take the time and effort to leave a blog comment.

In other words, Livefyre makes the comment a win-win proposition for everyone involved.

As someone who has blogged for a long time, anything that will encourage people to leave comments is a good thing. A big part of what makes blogging so rewarding is having people engaged and involved with your content, so here’s hoping comments are on the comeback trail.

What do you think? Do blog comments still have value? Can the comment thrive amid so much social competition?

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8 Responses to “Is the Blog Comment Sexy Again?”

  1. Bob Boynton says:

    One of the major difficulties with comments systems is you cannot go back and easily find where you stopped reading. You also cannot easily find your own comments and any that are related. If comments are few in number neither is a problem. But if comments number in the hundreds then they are no longer communication. They are just expressive.

    It would not be hard to keep track of what I have read, if I want you to, and then you can show me the comments I have not read. That would be a big help. I do not know if Livefyre is able to do that.

    I do know that I do not bother with comments because of those two points.

  2. Ninja says:

    “Many people find it easier to use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to share content, rather than write a comment.” I do not understand this statement – writing a comment and sharing content are two entirely different things. Do you mean that many people find it easier to use social media to indicate they have a comment, reaction or response, rather than write a comment?

  3. Ninja says:

    And in response to your question: yes I think I just proved that blog comments have value. It’s just another way to react. What on earth is wrong with that people?

    I don’t think blog comments were ever “unsexy”.

  4. Mark Evans says:

    Ninja: Sharing content via social media and writing a comment are two different things. My point is if people have the choice, many people find easier and faster to simply share a URL than actually write a comment. In any event, thanks for your comment! Mark

  5. Judy Gombita says:

    I dislike the way Livefyre treats “tweets” as if they are comments.

    And I really, really dislike when that platform pulls MY tweets into a post, as if they were a comment.

    I didn’t choose to comment. I simply chose to “engage” with someone who decided to promote that post.

    I think that’s disingenuous–it’s almost like “stealing” my property and taking it into a Livefyre blog house.

    Give me native WordPress any day.

    (Oh, I almost forgot how much I dislike the “gaming” aspect of awarding points regarding Livefyre comments. Give me a break, are people 10 years old or something that they need a point reward to comment?)

  6. Mark Evans says:

    Judy: Thanks for the insight and the comment. It would be good to see WordPress take its comment system to the next level. I tried Livefyre on another blog but didn’t like it much. Mark

  7. Judy Gombita says:

    Here’s the thing, Mark. I think Livefyre is designed to have lots of chatty “conversations” (and bantering), including the (what I see as obnoxious) “pull in” mechanism of “I mentioned you in my comment” tweets.

    But are those very chatty blog conversations particularly useful, in the long term? I’d rather use boring native WordPress and pull in a really thoughtful comment or two from a universally acknowledged subject expert than have 123 “opinionating” comments.

    Have you studied what type of comment (platform) performs better in search? That would be useful information to know.

  8. Dita says:

    Hi Mark,

    I have been reading a lot about the various 3rd party commenting platforms and I just can’t see myself using one. I really dislike the fact that you are kind of nudged to sign up into their accounts or the blog accounts (and in case of some very popular techy blogs you are actually required to do that).

    Many of the comments, especially in LiveFyre remind me of some of the useless chats on Skype.

    I am completely in an agreement with Judy Gombita who mentioned that she rather have a few meaningful comments than a whole bunch of meaningless garbage.

    I like to leave a comment when I read a good article but will not leave one if the blog uses 3rd party commenting system (like LiveFyre, Diqus, Facebook).

    To be honest with you my favorite platform is commentluv. I really appreciate to have the opportunity to see what other bloggers are blogging about by having the link included in the comment.

    I have formed some pretty good relationships with a number of the bloggers I “met” via their links when they commented on the commentluv blogs.