Congrats to the 3 blogs we’ll be reviewing at #Blogchat

by Mack Collier

If you remember last month we reviewed 4 blogs during one of our #Blogchats, a new one every 15 mins.  That #Blogchat was very popular with y’all, so I decided to make it a monthly feature!  The 3rd Sunday of every month we will review 3 blogs from #Blogchat participants.  This is a VERY small way I can hopefully repaid you guys for helping to make #Blogchat so successful.  I really do appreciate every one of you!

Now, for how we will handle tonight’s #Blogchat:  Every 20 mins starting at 8:00pm Central, we will review one of the 3 blogs listed below (they will go in the order listed).  Each blogger has given us some feedback on the areas they want us to pay close attention to, but if you see something else that catches your eye, make note of that.  And feel free to be critical of the blogs (we are trying to help each other) but please also offer suggestions for improvement.  For example, if you tell a blogger that ‘your left sidebar is really weak’, explain to them how they can make it stronger.  Just try to make sure that every time you point out that something is broken, you follow up with ‘here’s how you can fix it…’

And without further adieu,  the winnahs are…

Todd Jordan’s The Broad Brush.

Here’s Todd’s feedback for us:

1) Sidebar -> is it relevant/interesting to my blog’s focus

2) Landing pages -> serious help needed here. What can I change/add/delete- HELP!

3) Contact page specifically.


The Nerd Connection.

Here is Allison’s feedback for us –

I’d love to have The Nerd Connection [] looked at for readability. I feel like the sidebar may be too cluttered and the articles may be too indepth to garner much readership.  I’m trying to reach bloggers in general, Nerds/techies as a niche, and wordpress users as a whole.


Senior Care Corner.

Here is the feedback Barry gave us (BTW Barry gave INCREDIBLE feedback, if you want to get your blog chosen for one of the future Blog Review #Blogchats, give as much information as Barry did here).

Our blog is written primarily for adults who have elderly family members for whom they are caring and/or about whom they care, often while living some distance apart. The blog is first an outlet for sharing information to help both the family members and the seniors about whom they care, which is an interest of ours from both personal experience and work. We would like to earn revenue by providing attractive products/services that solve problems faced by our audience but realize we need a larger regular audience to make it meaningful financially.

We value the #BlogChat community’s suggestions regarding design changes or feature we should consider to get more repeat visitors. From our stats, the overwhelming majority of our visitors are first-timers and we would like to get more of them to return or at least to follow our content through some means. Are we making it easy enough to get our information? Does the overall visual effect of our site turn off visitors or negatively impact their perception of the information we provide?

Many #BlogChat participants are either part of our target audience or will be at some point so the feedback would be valuable from that standpoint as well as their experience with successful blogs.


So those are our 3 blogs that we will be reviewing tonight! Thanks to everyone that submitted their blogs, if yours wasn’t picked, please resubmit it next month!  Please visit these blogs today and make some quick notes on what you would improve about each one, paying close attention to the areas that the bloggers asked for feedback on.  This will be a lot of fun and even if your blog isn’t being reviewed, you can still learn a ton from what others have to share!  See you tonight!

Tojosan June 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Glad to be selected! #Blogchat folks rule.

Josepf June 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm

2 of the 3 sites are down right now… Suspect #blogchat traffic acting as a denial of service for smaller hosting plans….

Justicewordlaw June 20, 2011 at 8:58 am

This was a very good idea to do this. A lot of fun to assist other bloggers with their sites and offer suggestions.

MackCollier June 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm

@Justicewordlaw Thanks Justice, also helps us learn about how to improve our own blogs!

LindaShermanKauai June 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Always a pleasure to participate in #BlogChat as lindasherman @KauaiTalk or boomertechtalk . Perhaps with the blog review night, we should ask people who will have their blogs reviewed make sure they check with their server hosts to ensure they can withstand a surge in traffic.

Have you played with making images live links to websites? I think more than one blogchatter was trying to click on the images until they found the website link below.

The success of BlogChat couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Congrats.

LindaSherman June 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm


MackCollier June 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm

@LindaShermanKauai lindasherman boomertechtalk@kauaitalk Linda I should have made the screenshots clickable to the blogs. I thought of that last night during the chat. Was probably confusing to some people, and I will make that change when we do blog reviews next month!

LindaSherman June 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I was signed into Livefyre on this browser but the commenting system still asked me to sign in. I misinterpreted “post comment as” for sign in – and ending up posting the beginning of my comment which I’ll leave for the moment than delete.

I am using your blog to see how Livefyre works. I have registered with Livefyre before with my kauaitalk account to post on NonStopHonolulu but I don’t think I was actually recognized then because apparently everyone starts with 5 points and I still had 5 points when I commented here. Or you only get points for what? likes? Can’t tell yet. (I commented as KauaiTalk below here).

Post to twitter. I do prefer the systems on Disqus and Posterous. You can add user names (though admittably you don’t get autofill as you do with Livefyre) but those two platforms POST the beginning of your comment as a tweet with a link back to the post. Here I get a tweet which is an announcement from livefyre that I made a comment. And I have to authorize tweets to the people I mentioned telling them to go see the tweet. Now I imagine the one advantage of that is I don’t need to worry about getting their twitter names into the first 120 characters.

If I were to put Livefyre on a blog, I would want for it to allow visitors the option to just sign in with a name and email and if they wish their website name. Disqus commenting boomertechtalk allows that and we have had zero commenting spam even without akismet installed (I recently installed akismet just to block trackback spam).

Since I already announced on Twitter that I have commented on this post, it would be repetitive to post to twitter again, so this time I am just posting.

jennalanger June 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

@LindaSherman Hi Linda, thanks for the feedback about Livefyre. Here are some answers to your questions, and feel free to send any other to us at support at livefyre dot com.

– Post comment as is shown when you are not signed in to Livefyre and will post your comment after you authentication. I’ll see what we can do to make that more clear in the interface.

– When you create an account you start with 5 points and then get 1 point each time someone likes one of your comments. We’ll be adding more to the point system in the future.

– The reason we don’t include the comment in the “post to Twitter” tweet is that we feel a comment without any context isn’t helpful, so we include the article title. Others have had similar feedback to yours and we’ll see what the best option is for 140 characters – quite the challenge sometimes :)

– We ask the user if they want to tweet the reply to someone to make sure we never tweet without the user’s permission. Sometimes I like to use the mention feature just to bring context to my tweet, but I don’t necessarily want to tweet from my account at that user.

– We’re working on changes to our login/registration system, and guest commenting is something we’re discussing implementing.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, it all helps make our product better!

LindaSherman June 21, 2011 at 2:49 am

@jennalanger Thanks Jenn! I was signed in to Livefyre. I just tested again by going over to Todd’s (Tojosan) Livefyre commenting platform on his blog on this same browser and Livefyre didn’t recognize me. (I’m on Firefox 3.6.17). Once I have commented on a particular blog – here – Livefyre does continue to recognize me.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Wondering about Livefyre commenting quality. Lots of negative feedback.

Thanks for the ton of great blog feedback!

jennalanger June 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

@Tojosan Hi Todd, Jenna from Livefyre here. Just wanted to point you in the direction of Mack’s intro post to Livefyre: We get a ton of great feedback from our community, and we continually improve the system based on feedback. In general, we see that sites using Livefyre see an increase in all core metrics, from number of comments to time on site to page views. If you have any questions feel free to send me an email directly at jenna at livefyre dot com. Thanks!

LindaSherman June 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm

@jennalanger Noticed that I am now subscribed to all comments on this blog without choosing it. Being notified for replies to my comment is cool but every comment on a blog can be a bit much if I didn’t opt in for that.

LindaSherman June 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm

@jennalanger I am curious as to what you think is the driving force to getting more comments with Livefyre when there is a registration barrier to commenting. I know several people who would comment here on this topic but they are not willing to register in order to do so.

jennalanger June 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm

@LindaSherman If you roll over the “following” link under the top comment box you can “unfollow” the conversation to stop receiving updates. We’ll be updating our notification settings soon so you can have more granular control of the emails you receive.

MackCollier June 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm

@Tojosan Todd I continue to hear some negative feedback as well. And Jenna to be fair, I haven’t seen an increase in page views or time spent on the site, and if anything, I think I’ve seen a decrease in comments since adding LiveFyre.

But your support is exceptional, so that overcomes a lot. Still, I am hearing more and more complaints from my readers like Linda (signin process, comments are lost), and that worries me.

MackCollier June 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

@Tojosan I decided to check on the comments, and for the 31 comments that allowed posts since I switched to Livefyre, they averaged 18.13 comments per post. The 31 posts that allowed comments BEFORE I added Livefyre averaged 16.71 comments per post. So I’m getting roughly 1 extra comment per post on those since I added Livefyre.

MackCollier June 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm

@Tojosan I mean on the 31 POSTS that allowed COMMENTS since I switched to Livefyre 😉

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm

@LindaSherman @jennalanger I agree. Alternate logins would help. Had folks just using Twitter via Disqus before I had Livefyre.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

@MackCollier Good job gathering that up. I’ve not done a scientific review. Will do that since it’s easier on my blog still.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

@MackCollier Understood. Ha.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

@LindaSherman kauaitalk boomertechtalk This is a great way to test it out, and it doesn’t hurt @MackCollier any. Ha.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

@LindaSherman kauaitalk boomertechtalk Great way to test this out and show @MackCollier some love.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm

@jennalanger @LindaSherman Thanks for jumping in Jenna! Anxious for alternate login choices.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm

@LindaSherman Playing along.

jkretch June 21, 2011 at 8:45 pm

@Tojosan @jennalanger @LindaSherman Hey Todd, which login options are you looking for? You can currently sign in using Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, Google, and OpenID.

Tojosan June 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm

@jkretch @jennalanger @LindaSherman Okay, perhaps I’ve missed them or am missing since I’m a Livefyre user already. Hmm. Apparently it is not obvious you can do that. Hmmm.

jennalanger June 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

@MackCollier Hi Mack, thanks for the heads up. The sign-in process sounds like a user interface issue and we’re working on ways we can improve and simplify that, including guest commenting to completely remove the need to use one of our social sign-in options. Livefyre has a different impact on the stats of different sites, but on average across our network comment counts increase by 30%. There tends to be a snowball effect over time. Again, we really appreciate the feedback as we continue to evolve our product to make an engaging conversation experience for all. Also, you should activate the SocialSync feature I emailed you about last week, it’s really cool :)

jennalanger June 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

@LindaSherman It depends on the community and how they use our system, but a few things that really drive interaction are: real-time updates, friend tagging to bring people to the content, sharing to Facebook and Twitter, and that the conversation in general feels more human. We get a lot of feedback that people just enjoy the process of interacting on Livefyre. With the reply emails and new comment emails (which I know can be a bit much) we really see people coming back to the content more often to continue participation. Registration really doesn’t seem to be a large barrier but we are working to make the process easier and will be adding guest commenting soon. Hope that helps!

jkretch June 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

@Tojosan We keep you signed in for a while, so if you roll-over your avatar above the main comment box and click “sign out,” then click the avatar again to sign in, you’ll see it recommend you signing in with a social account.

MackCollier June 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

@jennalanger thanks for the reminder, I just activated it!

LindaSherman June 21, 2011 at 10:16 pm

@jkretch @Tojosan @jennalanger As I have pointed out you can sign-in with those platforms but you are still asked to sign in again on Livefyre if it is a blog you haven’t commented on before, and if you are a new commenter after you sign in with Twitter you still have to register with Livefyre. I am not pushing DISQUS, but I am familiar with it, new users can actually sign-in with Twitter or Facebook without registering for Disqus. There are added advantages to registering for Disqus but they are not forced.

LindaSherman June 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm

@Tojosan Thanks Todd – I DO love Mack. My intention is to show you some love too though.

LindaSherman June 21, 2011 at 10:23 pm

To be scientific in counting comments, try comparing a count for new commenters per post. Granted once people are registered for livefyre they will come back to reply (same with Disqus). As a blogger I enjoy commenting on Disqus and CommentLuv. Disqus because I happen to like the style of pushing my comment to Twitter. CommentLuv is obvious. It would be interesting to compare SEO on all the different commenting platforms. The big SEO guys appear to prefer plain commenting (Studio Press themes as one example have nice threaded commenting built in). And at some point, one needs to compare the benefits of Facebook commenting. I have seen combinations of plain commenting with Facebook commenting, giving the visitor a choice.

jkretch June 22, 2011 at 12:21 am

@LindaSherman @Tojosan @jennalanger New users are able to sign in with Twitter and Facebook using disqus, but it actually does create an account for that user, they just don’t tell you that it’s doing it. For example, when you sign in with Twitter on disqus, it creates an account for your twitter handle. If next time you sign in with Facebook, it creates a new account for your facebook handle, so on and so forth. What you end up with is a number of different accounts, disconnected from each other, but for the same user. But accounts still are being created. We just made the decision to tell the user it’s happening.

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