Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Blogging

A Review of Livefyre

A month ago, I announced that I was going to try the Livefyre comment system for a month.

A couple of friends assured me that because some type of login — either registering for a free Livefyre account (which takes about 10 seconds), or using your Facebook or Twitter sign-in, or another option or two — I’d see a sharp drop in the comments I had received.

I expected this. I was sure they were right, in fact. But assuming that there were no major bugs with Livefyre, I was prepared to try it for a month, then, 30 days later, remove it with all necessary apologies that might hopefully get a stream of comments back in motion.

Little did I imagine….

But before I get to the results of the comment statistics comparison, let me address the plugin and the tech support.

I had no major issues with Livefyre, but rather one minor little problem: Livefyre was taking about seven hours to sync with my WordPress database. This meant that as soon as someone left a comment at my blog, it would appear immediately for everyone to see. But on the main front page of the blog, the comment count wouldn’t update until hours later. My administration page wouldn’t show that the comments were even there until that delay had passed.

I mentioned it to the Livefyre support team, having experienced similar sync problems with Disqus. The suggestion I got from Disqus, unfortunately, was to deactivate all of my plugins then reactivate them, one by one, until the problem was solved. This is the blogging equivalent of saying, “It’s your problem, good luck to you.”

Trouble is, I can’t deactivate all plugins, because doing so crashes the site. (That is to say, a handful of plugins are required to make the blog display correctly.) So if either of those plugins were responsible, it was a moot point, anyway.

In any case, when I contacted Livefyre’s support team, they told me they’d investigate. They came up with the answer to the problem, wrote a patch for me, then offered to install it themselves to make sure it would work. It took a bit of time, but they stayed in regular communication, always apologizing for the delay, and updating me on the status.

But once they let me know they had finished with the patch, and that it had been installed, the little delay was gone.

Now, I’d like to step back into the comment stats issue. Like my friends, I was sure I’d see almost no comments at all, because I was asking people to register or use a social media login to comment here.

So I did a little math. I counted the number of comments I received the month before I started using Livefyre, then counted the number I received in the month after.

In both cases, I didn’t count comments I left in reply to others, as that would unfairly amplify the numbers.

Once I had the two figures, it was time to figure some percentages, to see exactly how much my comment had dropped.

But they hadn’t. In fact, they had almost tripled.

To be specific, comments were up 185% since I started using Livefyre. To put it another way, I had 2.85 times the comments during the month with Livefyre that I had the month before I installed it.

I can’t begin to explain it. But I’ve definitely noticed more interaction among commenters as well, with people actually replying to each other and keeping the conversation going.

So Livefyre is definitely staying put. If you haven’t given it a try, yet, please consider it. I’d love to see what you think of it, too!

43 Comments

  1. Very nice article on Livefyre, I do also agree Livefyre is best platform to others comment platforms.

  2. @Antonio del Drago Livefyre sometimes takes an hour or so to have new comments appear in my dashboard, but they’re instantaneous on the blog itself, so since I don’t require that I approve every comment that comes in before it appears, that really isn’t a problem for me.
    The newest version of Livefyre is definitely a big improvement!

  3. I’m thinking of switching to livefyre from Disqus.  I’ve been having serious synchronization issues with Disqus as of late, and hope that livefyre will be more reliable in that regard.

  4. I’m thinking of switching to livefyre from Disqus.  I’ve been having serious synchronization issues with Disqus as of late, and hope that livefyre will be more reliable in that regard.

  5. Many thanks, appreciate the secondary encouragement… found this article trying to figure out why my WordPress comment, timely as it was, still isn’t up there with livefyre. I cut an pasted into the blog post, now will likely have two comments there… ah well just flexing with the new system… seem more connected than my previous Disqus.
     
    Appreciate!
    cp

    1. @KennethHolland@livefyre Thanks, Kenneth…hope it goes well…keep us posted!I will say that if you have questions, I think you’ll find Livefyre’s tech support team to be top-notch. They take any question or complaint very seriously and I’ve rarely found a group that’d work harder to help you resolve an issue.

      1. @patricksplace@KennethHolland@livefyre Definitely let us know if you have any questions, Kenneth. We’d be more than happy to help!

  6. Patrick – man it’s like you wrote my exact findings. While I don’t have the specific details in front of me – my comments have more than doubled and on some occasions they have quadrupled since installing livefyre!

    I was amazed.

    I knew from the experience of others like @ginidietrich and @DannyBrown that LiveFyre was a good risk – but I had no idea how well it would be accepted and used on my blog.

    The biggest thing I have noticed (like you mentioned is the interaction between commenters. It’s not just me replying to comments left.

    LiveFyre really is not a comment system, but a conversation platform.

    Top-notch stuff!

  7. @ExpatDoctorMom Definitely! Great idea!

    Glad you found the post helpful. No one is more surprised than I that I’m receiving MORE comments since switching. I had people assure me, and I was already certain, that I’d have virtually no interaction at all when I switched to a comment system requiring registration, even of the very simple, painless kind that Livefyre offers.

    I think when they roll out the guest commenting, the sky will be the limit in terms of building community better than you can with WordPress’s built-in comment system.

  8. Thanks for this Patrick! I had researched a commenting system extensively and really liked livefyre the best aside from the inability to guest post a comment… I feel like my community are many others who don’t have their own blogs, stay at home, work from home moms who would decline commenting due to needing to sign up…. Jenna at livefyre assures me that this may be coming soon! So either I wait or I write a post instructing my readers about this… For the last post where I tried to entice readers to share their comments online and not just with me via email or in person, I did a jing video going over how to interact online and be part of a community. Maybe either another video or a link to one about livefryre is in order.

    Take care and look forward to future posts.

    Regards,Rajka “Ryka”

  9. @JMattHicks No problem! Having just switched to LF, I really do like it. I’m sure you guys will expand it’s features to resolve the issue. Thanks again!

  10. @patricksplace@JefTek

    Hey guys, first, thanks a ton for the feedback. We’re always working to make the product more intuitive and we’ll keep your thoughts and insight in mind as we continue to develop.

    The “back and forth” syncing, i.e. deleting from WordPress and seeing it gone from Livefyre isn’t a syncing issue, it’s just not in the functionality at the moment. We’ll only recognize deletions from Livefyre (I was a bit confused earlier and misinformed you earlier Jef, I apologize for that!), but we’re developing a feature that, when deletes happen through Livefyre, it’ll be synced back to WordPress as well.

    And Patrick, I just e-mailed you back, so I won’t re-hash that here 🙂

  11. @patricksplace@JefTek

    Hey guys, first, thanks a ton for the feedback. We’re always working to make the product more intuitive and we’ll keep your thoughts and insight in mind as we continue to develop.

    The “back and forth” syncing, i.e. deleting from WordPress and seeing it gone from Livefyre isn’t a syncing issue, it’s just not in the functionality at the moment. We’ll only recognize deletions from Livefyre (I was a bit confused earlier and misinformed you earlier Jef, I apologize for that!), but we’re developing a feature that, when deletes happen through Livefyre, it’ll be synced back to WordPress as well.

    And Patrick, I just e-mailed you back, so I won’t re-hash that here 🙂

    We’ll be in touch shortly with the both of you!

  12. @patricksplace @JefTek Hey guys, first, thanks a ton for the feedback. We’re always working to make the product more intuitive and we’ll keep your thoughts and insight in mind as we continue to develop.

    The “back and forth” syncing, i.e. deleting from WordPress and seeing it gone from Livefyre isn’t a syncing issue, it’s just not in the functionality at the moment. But let me look into why the delete comment no longer in the database is still showing up in Livefyre for you Jef.

    And Patrick, I just e-mailed you back, so I won’t re-hash that here 🙂

    We’ll be in touch shortly with the both of you!

  13. @JefTek No, no, that makes sense. If I remember correctly, when I first installed Livefyre, they had recently updated the software, because I remember seeing mention of a “Sync” button somewhere that I REALLY wanted to find, but then I saw that it said that if I had the newer version, this was done automatically.

    I agree, though, that it would definitely be nice to have a manual forced-resync option to fall back on if, for whatever reason, the automatic syncing is either delayed or misses something.

    As long as I have moderation off within my WordPress installation, disabling Livefyre even temporarily leaves me vulnerable during those few minutes to comment spam. (And lately, I’ve had a good bit of comment spam from Russian IP addresses. Fortunately, Livefyre has prevented all of them from showing up, but if they happened to strike during that brief downtime, I suspect they’d be all over the place.)

  14. @patricksplace Required Moderation is off. The issue I had was I had enabled LF, it imported the comment data. I then was deleting duplicate comments I found (from Disqus actually) via the WP interface. I noticed they still showed on the site. I went into the LF moderation page to remove them. That is when I questioned whether it was syncing bi-directional from the WP to the LF databases. I can understand having a single point of administration, and then sync back to WP. This is why I was suggesting replace the moderation console in WP, with one that is moderating LF itself, but without having the admin leave the familiar WP console. People might mark something as Trash thinking it’s gone from their site, only to be surprised when when they see it still show up on their page is all.

    Perhaps in the WP inerface, show a “LF Sync Status” icon for the specific comment? And a button to resync that specific comment if one gets stuck?

    I know nothing about the LF infrastructure, so I’m just brainstorming.

    thanks!

  15. @JefTek Just curious: are you requiring moderation for comments as they’re being left on your site? If so, I’d recommend against that. Livefyre has been pretty quick to learn what is spam and what isn’t, and it is better if you don’t require that additional step of moderation; it definitely makes the interaction happen faster without it.

    As for the WordPress UI, I tend to delete the actual comment from the page (through Livefyre’s interface). I find it syncs faster that way. Maybe that would be worth a shot?

    One of the main reasons I stopped using Disqus was that I could never get it and WordPress to sync on its own. I was constantly having to resync Disqus, and they couldn’t seem to figure out why.

  16. @JMattHicks I just deactivate/reactivated the plugin, which did trigger a re-sync. It completed, but unfortunately the specific comment I was testing with is still “active” in LiveFyre, while it is in “Trash” in WP. I just deleted the comment in WP to see if it would delete in LF as well. No luck.

    As a feature request, could you replace the Comment interface in WP with the moderation stream of LF? This is similar to what Disqus/IntenseDebate do.

    Or at least add an option to “Verify Sync” wtihout having to disable/reenable the plugin. Other than the sync problem, LF has been awesome, but I don’t want to tell other people to have to disable plugins, or have to go off-site to do moderation they were used to doing I’m afraid 🙁

  17. @JefTek What you could do when you do moderation from the backend is deactivate the plug-in and re-activate the plug-in and then resync Livefyre with your WP database, but that’d get pretty tiring.

    I’d suggest just deleting it from your Livefyre Admin panel or from the stream, that way it’s no longer active on Livefyre and if you REALLY want to get rid of it, you can do so from you WP-Admin panel.

    We’re working on ways to make the syncing more efficient, so stay tuned for what we’ve got in store for the future 🙂

  18. @JMattHicks Good to know! That means…I have a localized issue which I can hopefully discover. My first suspect is going to be caching. I just wanted to verify it was capable of sync, before I spent time trying to track it down. Thanks for the confirmation!

  19. When moderating comments in WordPress UI, when you mark a comment as Spam or Trash, did they disapear from your site?

    I’ve marked some comments as Trash in WP, but they still show as “Active” in LiveFyre moderation site. Is this “normal”, or perhaps I have a sync problem.

    Any insight would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Jef

  20. […] from Gini Dietrich to Patrick Phillips and Shonali Burke pointed out positive impacts on metrics, conversion, and […]

  21. I forgot to mention one odd thing: I receive e-mails with others’ comments to posts I’ve commented on, just not the original notifications of new posts. That seems strange…

  22. Some things are good on this system and some things need more. I still don’t get e-mails telling me when a new post goes up. I’m not sure where I’ve gone wrong with that. Otherwise it seems pretty good. Pity it won’t work with Blogger. I’d love to see more comments come in on mine. Maybe when Google renames Blogger this will be available as a service or they will come up with something like Livefyre.

  23. @eeyore17026 I’m the same way, so I wanted to make sure it didn’t completely restrict people. I’m more likely to use Twitter as a login on someone else’s blog than Facebook.

  24. That’s really an odd development. Who would have thought you’d have more comments? In my case, though, I do appreciate being able to use my Google account to log in. Under different circumstances, I’d also use my Twitter or Facebook account. (I have different levels of online “friends” so I don’t always use those accounts for everything) Perhaps more people are like me in that respect. *shrugs*

  25. Hey Patrick! We’re pumped to have you on Livefyre man and we sure do appreciate you taking the time to do a review of us. We’re here for whatever you need; don’t hesitate to send any questions my way! And definitely let us know when you make that trip to the Bay Area, we’d love to have you stop by the office!

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Patrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.