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!