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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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I Have Some Intense New Comments for You

Comments (22)

I love blog comments – I think of them as the Dark Matter of the Blogosphere.   I haven’t been able to get an accurate count of the total number of comments floating around – my guess is that there are somewhere between 1 billion and 10 billion.  That’s a lot of comments.

I’ve also talked about The 80-19-1 Rule in the past.  In blogging, the 1% are the bloggers, the 19% are the commenters, and the 80% are the readers.  However, up to this point, the tools for the 19% suck. 

One of the TechStars companies – Intense Debate – worked on a comment replacement system this summer.  They’ve officially launched and are now up on about 1,000 blogs, including Feld Thoughts.  Give it a spin and tell me what you think (in a comment, of course.)

  • Robert

    I like it, but I might be biased :-)

    I might Josh on an entrepreneur forum a few years ago and found out he used to live a couple miles away from me. It was at that time that he was also launching Intense Debate v0.001a – a bulletin-board forum for arguing about politics.

    Watching it change directions a few times has been interesting, and I hope to see continued adoption in the blogosphere.

  • Robert

    might = met… I didn't really might Josh.

  • http://lagesse.org Rob La Gesse

    Sorry, I'm not impressed. I have no clue how their system works – I never got that far. The way they pounced on me after I downloaded turned me off. And an email to the site about my concerns was not answered.

    You don't build community and get involved in a conversation by interrupting a conversation – out of context, uninvited, and sticking your business in my blog.
    Fix these things and I may actually install the code.

    Maybe.

    Rob

    • http://lagesse.org Rob La Gesse

      oh, a link – http://lagesse.org/findable/ - look in the comments. How is Intense Debate relates to the conversation they interrupted?

      • Robert

        I see what you're saying, but in all honestly it looks like Isaac was trying to help. Saying they “pounced” on you is a little misleading IMO.

        Why didn't you just delete the comment?

  • http://http:lagesse.org Rob La Gesse

    @Robert – let's see. I gave Intense Debate my email address when I signed up. Hours later they are commenting on a completely unrelated post asking why Intense Debate wasn't running. They got in my spave for their own benefit. That is NOT helping me – that is helping them.

    Yeah – that's pouncing. They could easily have sent me an email.

    And then they never even responded to my email to them asking about this incident.

    Not what I consider user friendly. Sorry if you disagree.

    Rob

  • http://www.mattmaroon.com Matt Maroon

    Intense Debate is to Disqus as Tech Stars is to Y Combinator, a lame ripoff. The only difference is that while Tech Stars stole the application, Intense Debate stole code.

    • Robert

      Intense Debate came before Disqus.

  • http://sophisticatedfinance.typepad.com Robert Hacker

    So far I find Lijit.com the most useful of the blogging tools companies you are “invested” in, given that Feedburner was sold. While I agree that organizing comments is a big opportunity I don't yet see where Intense Debate is much of a step forward. Also, with all the blog widgets and tools now out there I think people are getting more suspect about adding them to their blogs.

  • Dave

    Making “intense debate” easier just means that the comments will become filled with noise, thus removing my motivation to spend the time to produce “signal.”

  • http://lagesse.org Rob La Gesse

    Just to let everyone know – Intense Debate did apologize for spamming my blog. I'm sure it won;t happen again, so I am pleased with the resolution of my concern.

    Now I'm going to turn on Intense Debate and see if I care for the service (or more importantly, if my readers care for it!)

  • http://www.izit.com david

    Brad – As you know I'm no techie and I was able to get IDC loaded up and working on izit.com within a few minutes. And that even included having to edit some html to have their plugin show up in the right spot. Good stuff. Thanks.

  • http://asteele.net Alan Steele

    I tried briefly to add to my Tumblr blog – I'm no html guru but I wasn't immediately able to find the right place to stick it in my template. (I got a stack of comment boxes instead of just one.) In general, I really like the idea of improving blog comments but I am very sensitive to visual clutter and page load times – have tried dozens of similar javascript tricks over the years and still haven't found one that feels responsive enough.

  • http://www.izit.com david

    Wow! Being able to see the comments Intense Debate friends make as they bloggle around their favorite blogs is very cool. I used to pay attention to Blogrolls, but I'm numb to 'em now. This is a far better way to keep track of blog posts that friends find interesting enough to comment on. Nice feature!

  • virgilio

    Cool new tool

  • http://politicalgrind.com politicalgrind

    We have been using Intense Debate comments since July. Since implementing ID, our readers have put over 1500 comments in the ID system. Since July we have had an increase in comments on our blog which is always a good thing. The ease of use and threaded features help put ID at the top of 3rd party blog comment systems. It is very easy to use and allows for tracking and many other features which I'm sure all bloggers will appreciate. Hope you enjoy ID as much as we all do Brad (and everyone else using ID on their blog).

  • Ajay

    Nice comments..!

  • http://www.olsonomics.com Eric Olson

    I like this system a lot and I know I will get a lot of value out of it. My only issue now is formatting.

    When you click on the comment list from a post of the main page and that post doesn't currently have any comments the user is brought to the permalink page (of course). The formatting then messes up a bit so that the user is left at the bottom of the page past the comments which would frustrate me if I wanted to comment.

    The formatting is also a tad off on the posts with comments (comment box is too long, etc.). Any ideas guys?

    Once I get the formatting fixed I know I will love this thing.

    • http://www.respondingtoopportunity.com josh

      Eric, we can help you. I will be in touch.

  • Steve Bergstein

    Well, Brad, I like the new comment system: you apparently don't need to preview my comments before they become visible. I suspect that you like this feature more than I do.

    On the down side:
    I'm currently having trouble logging in. I don't know why. I click login, enter my username and password, and click the (other) login button. Nothing happens.

    I noticed that if I hit enter after typing my password, that my login request doesn't get submitted – this is a usability error.

    The “Post Comment” box should include the option to specify my ID username and password simultaneously with my comment, rather than having a separate exchange on the topic.

    I mentioned the foreground/background issue earlier, but I noticed in that same thread there were formatting issues with the wrapping / truncation of the right side of the comments.

    Lastly, I've noticed that it seems to take a long time to load the ID comments (in general, I find that your blog page loads slowly, but the comments themselves load even more slowly).

  • kylewelsh

    Great idea/solution for managing comments. I'm going to give it a try on one of my WordPress blogs, but I think it may cause some formatting issues on some more complicated themes. The OpenID integration is SWEET!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/robert960 robert960

    I see what you're saying, but in all honestly it looks like Isaac was trying to help. Saying they "pounced" on you is a little misleading IMO.

    Why didn't you just delete the comment?

  • Rob La Gesse

    @Robert – let's see. I gave Intense Debate my email address when I signed up. Hours later they are commenting on a completely unrelated post asking why Intense Debate wasn't running. They got in my spave for their own benefit. That is NOT helping me – that is helping them.

    Yeah – that's pouncing. They could easily have sent me an email.

    And then they never even responded to my email to them asking about this incident.

    Not what I consider user friendly. Sorry if you disagree.

    Rob

  • Matt Maroon

    Intense Debate is to Disqus as Tech Stars is to Y Combinator, a lame ripoff. The only difference is that while Tech Stars stole the application, Intense Debate stole code.

  • Robert Hacker

    So far I find Lijit.com the most useful of the blogging tools companies you are "invested" in, given that Feedburner was sold. While I agree that organizing comments is a big opportunity I don't yet see where Intense Debate is much of a step forward. Also, with all the blog widgets and tools now out there I think people are getting more suspect about adding them to their blogs.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/robert960 robert960

    I like it, but I might be biased :-)

    I might Josh on an entrepreneur forum a few years ago and found out he used to live a couple miles away from me. It was at that time that he was also launching Intense Debate v0.001a – a bulletin-board forum for arguing about politics.

    Watching it change directions a few times has been interesting, and I hope to see continued adoption in the blogosphere.

  • Dave

    Making "intense debate" easier just means that the comments will become filled with noise, thus removing my motivation to spend the time to produce "signal."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/robert960 robert960

    Intense Debate came before Disqus.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/robert960 robert960

    might = met… I didn't really might Josh.

  • Rob La Gesse

    Just to let everyone know – Intense Debate did apologize for spamming my blog. I'm sure it won;t happen again, so I am pleased with the resolution of my concern.

    Now I'm going to turn on Intense Debate and see if I care for the service (or more importantly, if my readers care for it!)

  • Rob La Gesse

    Sorry, I'm not impressed. I have no clue how their system works – I never got that far. The way they pounced on me after I downloaded turned me off. And an email to the site about my concerns was not answered.

    You don't build community and get involved in a conversation by interrupting a conversation – out of context, uninvited, and sticking your business in my blog.
    Fix these things and I may actually install the code.

    Maybe.

    Rob

  • Rob La Gesse

    oh, a link – http://lagesse.org/findable/ - look in the comments. How is Intense Debate relates to the conversation they interrupted?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/david1971 david1971

    Brad – As you know I'm no techie and I was able to get IDC loaded up and working on izit.com within a few minutes. And that even included having to edit some html to have their plugin show up in the right spot. Good stuff. Thanks.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/politicalgrind politicalgrind

    We have been using Intense Debate comments since July. Since implementing ID, our readers have put over 1500 comments in the ID system. Since July we have had an increase in comments on our blog which is always a good thing. The ease of use and threaded features help put ID at the top of 3rd party blog comment systems. It is very easy to use and allows for tracking and many other features which I'm sure all bloggers will appreciate. Hope you enjoy ID as much as we all do Brad (and everyone else using ID on their blog).

  • Ajay

    Nice comments..!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jpmorgan jpmorgan

    Eric, we can help you. I will be in touch.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/alan_steele1974 alan_steele1974

    I tried briefly to add to my Tumblr blog – I'm no html guru but I wasn't immediately able to find the right place to stick it in my template. (I got a stack of comment boxes instead of just one.) In general, I really like the idea of improving blog comments but I am very sensitive to visual clutter and page load times – have tried dozens of similar javascript tricks over the years and still haven't found one that feels responsive enough.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/david1971 david1971

    Wow! Being able to see the comments Intense Debate friends make as they bloggle around their favorite blogs is very cool. I used to pay attention to Blogrolls, but I'm numb to 'em now. This is a far better way to keep track of blog posts that friends find interesting enough to comment on. Nice feature!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/eric_olson1990 eric_olson1990

    I like this system a lot and I know I will get a lot of value out of it. My only issue now is formatting.

    When you click on the comment list from a post of the main page and that post doesn't currently have any comments the user is brought to the permalink page (of course). The formatting then messes up a bit so that the user is left at the bottom of the page past the comments which would frustrate me if I wanted to comment.

    The formatting is also a tad off on the posts with comments (comment box is too long, etc.). Any ideas guys?

    Once I get the formatting fixed I know I will love this thing.

  • virgilio

    Cool new tool

  • kylewelsh

    Great idea/solution for managing comments. I'm going to give it a try on one of my WordPress blogs, but I think it may cause some formatting issues on some more complicated themes. The OpenID integration is SWEET!

  • Steve Bergstein

    Well, Brad, I like the new comment system: you apparently don't need to preview my comments before they become visible. I suspect that you like this feature more than I do.

    On the down side:
    I'm currently having trouble logging in. I don't know why. I click login, enter my username and password, and click the (other) login button. Nothing happens.

    I noticed that if I hit enter after typing my password, that my login request doesn't get submitted – this is a usability error.

    The "Post Comment" box should include the option to specify my ID username and password simultaneously with my comment, rather than having a separate exchange on the topic.

    I mentioned the foreground/background issue earlier, but I noticed in that same thread there were formatting issues with the wrapping / truncation of the right side of the comments.

    Lastly, I've noticed that it seems to take a long time to load the ID comments (in general, I find that your blog page loads slowly, but the comments themselves load even more slowly).

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