For those who hold their message board comments near and dear to their hearts, IntenseDebate has built an online community centered on its commenting software. An application that can be added to any Web site or blog, IntenseDebate fosters conversation, and builds its community around its users’ comments.
Recently purchased by Automattic (The company who brought us the open source blogging software WordPress), IntenseDebate will now be found much more commonly throughout the blogosphere. And with a larger Web presence, IntenseDebate will look to continue growing its comment-savvy community. So how are they doing it?
As you can see from the image below, with a clean, simple interface, users’ comments are threaded and ratable in a binary “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” style also seen on YouTube. By default, the top rated comments are seen at the top of every post, along with when the thread was last active for relevance. Comments can also be sorted by date and last activity. Also, all threads are collapsible, enabling the reader to separate the wheat from the chaff instead of having to sort through an entire message board to find the morsels of good content.
And if there is a conversation the user wishes to watch, he can do so via his RSS reader. To respond to a previous post, users have the option of continuing the conversation in the thread on the page, or they can respond via email – a unique feature IntenseDebate has implemented.
So how is this building community, you ask? Well, there is a link to the user’s personal profile, complete with picture and reputation points next to every comment he leaves.
Upon clicking on the user’s profile link, their personal thread of most recent comments, a list of users this person is following, recent profile visitors, and links to external social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as personal blogs and Web sites.
Check out this sample profile:
So I guess after learning about this app, my question to you would be whether or not you think this does a good job of generating community discussion. Would you consider installing IntenseDebate on your blog? Would you register for IntenseDebate so you could comment on another blog? Let us know your thoughts!