Awhile back a debate raged over at The Viral Garden about whether Mack should install a program called SezWho, which would allow people to rate other peoples' comments ("Commenters, are you ready to be rated?"). It was an interesting system that Mack learned about from Mario Sundar ("Bringing the 'wisdom of the community' to blog comments; SezWho"). I was reminded of this conversation while watching an episode of GeekBrief TV (episode #0252), when Cali Lewis introduced an application called Intense Debate, which works in much the same way as SezWho. We are now experimenting with the feature.
When Mack wrote about SezWho, I suggested that he try out the application, keeping in mind that he could remove it at his own discretion. However, at the time the application wasn't available for Blogger. When I saw the feature in action over at GeekBrief, I decided we needed to try it on for size.
What I Like About Intense Debate So Far
- It's flat-out easy to use. And it gets easier once you're logged in with an account (which isn't required).
- No more captcha. That's worth the price of admission right there... Especially since...
- It's free.
- You can track commenters across blogs. There are some brilliant people out there whose greatest contribution is in their comments on other peoples' blogs. How great would it be to see what they write besides in those places you frequent? In doing so, you open the door to accidental discovery.
- Word filtering. Go ahead. Try and use the word "Viagra" here. Won't work.
A few things:
Your concerns are paramount. If you have issues with the way this system works, please remember it is an experiment, and we need your feedback, good or bad, if we're going to improve what we offer.
- If the feature is abused by trolls in a way that cannot be systematically resolved by Intense Debate, we will remove it.
- If users find the feature more difficult to use, we will remove it.
- If the feature routinely breaks or leaves this blog otherwise unreadable, we will remove it.
At this time, we're using an "advanced" template for Typepad, which Intense Debate doesn't fully support for all of its features. As such, we will not be able to install the Latest Comments or Top Users widgets, but to be honest, we can live without them (although I'd really like an ability to install the first).
Try it out. Give it a spin. But above all, let us know what you think.
Let the debate begin. - Cam Beck