Showing posts with label Bloggiesta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bloggiesta. Show all posts

Thursday, July 23, 2015

6 Commenting Systems and What Sucks About Them | Book Blogging Tips (#9)

I took on a little project with this edition of Book Blogging Tips. I went to a bunch of blogs, checked out their commenting systems and wrote down what's good and what's bad about them. 

Hopefully you'll be able to gain insight and maybe get inspired to change your commenting system.

At the end of the day, you're the one who has to decide what's the best choice for you. Whether it's Blogger, Wordpress, Disqus, IntenseDebate, Self-Hosted or something else. Everything has their pros and cons. Unless it's Facebook. Please get rid of that.

1. Default Blogger System

- You're able to comment anonymously
- Very easy for Blogger and Wordpress users
- Notification on your dashboard for each new comment 
- Supports clickable links as HTML
- Email notification for replies available

- Not really aesthetically pleasing: Looks a bit odd and chunky when there's multiple comments on your page
- Supports clickable links as HTML (have fun typing those brackets out)


My two cents: It's alright design if you aren't tech-savvy and not too fond of third-party commenting systems. Consider changing to Wordpress, their default commenting system is much better.

2. Default Wordpress System
- Nice and clean look
- Option to like
- Easy to reply
- Email notification for replies available

- poor spam control

My two cents: You're good to go. Wordpress is a nice choice and gives enough options to satisfy the majority of your readers.

3. Disqus

- Option to create own account so you'll be able to keep track of your comments 
- Notification in your Disqus account whenever you get a new comment
- Built-in anti spam and related posts features 
- Comments aren't lost if you transition from Blogger or Wordpress to Disqus
- Options to like and showcase comments
- Blog host can easily delete and edit comments
- You can drag and drop an image into your comment

- No Wordpress log in option
- No dashboard notification for Blogger users 
- Needs a few extra seconds to load


My two cents: Congrats, you've chosen my favorite. I'm biased, obviously. 

4. IntenseDebate

- Let's you easily control and delete comments
- Users are rated due to their comment history
- Best commenters widget
- Collecting points for every comment you leave is fun!

- Users are rated due to their comment history (surveillance state much?)
- you lose ALL your previous comments when switching over to IntenseDebate


My two cents: I like the look of IntenseDebate personally and it's an okay system, but after this Spring's Bloggiesta I noticed that I'm pretty much alone in that opinion. I love the best commenters widget, but if you're going to go with a third-party commenting system, choose Disqus. They're quite similar in looks and concept, but Disqus gives you way more options.

5. Self-Hosted
- Option to add CommentLuv: The commenter can feature their latest post on their blog in their comment
- Most themes let you add your website
- You can use elaborate html (strike, bold, italic, blockquote etc)

- Most self-hosted commenting systems don't let you log in
- Rarely options to comment anonymously without sharing your website's URL
- No option to upload icons


My two cents: I'm not too fond of these. Consider either choosing a commenting system that gives more options or installing a third-party system.

6. Facebook
- Nice and clean design
- Options to like and reply directly

- Poor spam control
- Your Facebook friends will all see what you're commenting and where (privacy issues)
- NOBODY wants to use their facebook account to comment on a blog
- Don't do it


My two cents: No.

What's Your Favorite Commenting System?

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

What I Learned During This Bloggiesta

It's been a fun week with you guys and I'd like to thank everyone that helped their fellow bloggers improve! You guys rock! I have learned so many new things I didn't know before that I decided to put it all in one spot so you (and I) can look back and memorize the important new lessons by heart.

So here's what I learned:

...about The Book Blogging Community
  • It might seem scary at first to talk to other bloggers, but they are all very nice and willing to help
  • It's absolutely okay to go ask a fellow blogger for help
  • Promoting your blog is fine, but don't overdo it
  • Treat your fellow blog the way you'd want yours to be treated and you shall reap the rewards (actually read other blog posts and write comments that make sense and people will notice you)
  • Social media is cool, try to make friends and don't be shy
  • We want to get to know you, so be yourself.
  • Other bloggers are your friends, not your rivals. 

....about Blog Design
  • Pop-ups aren't nice
  • Have a proper comment system! (Disquis, Wordpress, but DON'T use IntenseDebate, nobody likes it)
  • If you have CAPTCHA and you're wondering why you don't get comments: There's your problem.
  • You have to declutter your side bar. Just do it.
  • Make compromises. What you like isn't necessarily what's the most practical for your blog.
  • Less is more

...about My Personal Blogging Experience
  • Taste varies, but there are a few rules you have to follow
  • Listen to your fellow bloggers, even if you might be hesitant about their advice. They're usually right.
  • Blogger burnout exists- don't stress yourself
  • You don't have to live up to anyone's expectations but your own
  • Scheduling is your friend

Other Spring Bloggiesta Posts:

I can definitely say that this Bloggiesta was a success for me and that I'm definitely going to participate again next time. Thank you all for making this a great experience. 

What did you learn?

Are you planning on participating in the next Bloggiesta in June?

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

5 Pieces of Book Blogging Advice (Bloggiesta #2)

If you're fairly new to blogging, you've probably faced a lot of challenges and have had to make a lot of hard decisions already. What helped me a lot is to check other bloggers' sites for advice, because in 99% of the cases- they're right. Here are some pieces of advice from a 6-month+-long blogger:

  • Do It for the Right Reasons

Blogging is time-consuming, frustrating and in most of the times it doesn't end in success. If you're looking to become a blogger or are already blogging on your own site, be aware that blogging may be a hobby, but it may also take up a lot of your time. I know some people who solely blog in hopes of getting free books from publishers. If you're only there to grab some books, you won't last long, because you'll notice that blogging is indeed hard work.

  • Constantly Rework Your Old Posts

You may think at first that nobody will read your old posts anyway, right? Especially when you've been blogging for a few months and have been noticing a huge improvement in both traffic on your site and your content, you're going to think that people will only care about your new stuff.

WRONG! You won't only get traffic from links you posted a week ago. Eventually, people will start finding your old posts and even commenting on them. Make sure to rework your old content in both language and design so you won't shoo away any possible readers with your bad quality early blogging days!
(I'm still working on that one myself, but I'll get there...)

  • There's No Such Thing as Instant Success, So Don't Sweat it

Hey, I'm a small blog and there's nothing wrong with that. If you're blogging for the right reasons and doing it only for yourself, it won't matter whether you have 10 followers or 1000. Of course it's nice to have a huge following, but in the end it doesn't matter. It takes time to build a following and if you're patient and constantly striving to be the best you can possibly be, it won't matter how many people read your blog.


I don't know how many times I've said it- just respond for the love of God! You want your readers to comment on your blog, right? You're maybe even saying things like "even just saying hi is already enough" above your comment form. But then you don't even reply when people do exactly that.

Come on, if someone takes time out of their day to make you smile, it's only decent to respond to their comment. And if the person commenting on your blog is a blogger as well, it's a nice cherry on top if you go to their blog and comment on one of their posts. That's an easy way to make friends by the way!

  • Organize Your Blog!

While taste may vary, I think we can all agree that themes play a tremendous role in whether you want to continue reading a blog or just click on to the next one. Don't use weird fonts and bright colors, it has to be readable. I don't want my visit on your blog to feel like a slap to the face with widgets, moving pictures and glitter fonts.

You have to have the essentials down: People have to be able to find your reviews, your blog archive and your about page. That's the minimum. Don't use busy background images and please don't use white text on a black background. You want people to read your blog, right? Make it readable.

Do you have some pieces of advice for new bloggers?

What do you think about my advice?

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring 2015 Bloggiesta (#1)

It's time for some spring cleaning around my blog....It's Bloggiesta! 

What is Bloggiesta, you ask? Let's ask the Bloggiesta gurus themselves and see their answer:
           "Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon (sometimes over a weekend, sometimes four days and this time one week!) where we as bloggers gather together to help each other work on all sorts of blogging tasks, stuff that we often put off and avoid. Or stuff that we’re scared of trying. Or stuff that we haven’t had time for. But during Bloggiesta all that stuff suddenly becomes fun! There are others doing the same thing ! So, it becomes a party! Wait, no. It’s a FIESTA!"
A List of All the Mini Challenges!

Amanda from On a Book Bender gives advice on how to Simplify Blogging.
Andi from Estella’s Revenge explains how to Organize your Feed Reader.
Belle from Ms. Bookish shows us how to Create a Treasure Trove of Blogging Ideas
Brittany from Book Bumblings explains how to Create a Blogging Schedule.
Kassiah from Pretty Sassy Cool on Getting Organized with Trello.
All about Book Blogging
Katie from Doing Dewey on  Diversity Reading Goals.
Lindsay from Nighttime Reading Center challenges to Pin Your Author Interviews.
Stacy at The Novel Life displays Eight Not-to-be Missed Podcasts.

Disqus Challenges
Shannon from River City Reading helps us to Improve our Disqus Experience.
Alysia from My Little Pocketbooks shows us how to Retrieve Lost Comments from Disqus.

Joy from Joy’s Book Blog on How to Make Memes.
Jessica from The Bluestocking Society on how to Create a Blog Style Guide.
Suey from It’s All About Books has a Twitter Chat Tutorial.
Tif from Tif Talks Books has a list of Past Bloggiesta Mini Challenges.

There will be a Twitter chat party every day!
  • Monday March 23rd at 4:00 p.m. Eastern: PEOPLE: Giving and Getting Comments and Followers
  • Tuesday March 24th 7 p.m. Eastern: E-PRESENCE: Social Media Savvy
  • Wednesday March 25th at 12 p.m. noon Eastern:DISPLAY:  Side Bars and  Page Layout
  • Thursday March 26th at 9 p.m. Eastern: REVIEWS and Other Content Ideas (guest hosted by Jessica from The Bluestocking Society)
  • Friday March 27th at 9 p.m. Eastern: ORGANIZE: No Stress Allowed (guest hosted by Amanda from On a Book Bender)
  • Saturday March 28th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern: Books and Reading (guest hosted by Rachel Noel from Purple Owl Reviews)
  • Sunday March 29th at 3 p.m. Eastern: Feedback and Free for All

My Bloggiesta Goals so Far:

❏   Write at least two reviews  (1)
(The Wedding Girl + ?)
X  Read and review books that have been lying around on my TBR 
(The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham, review scheduled!)
X  Change something about my blog theme/the entire design? 
(Added Disquis, decluttered Sidebar, changed some details and the widgets)
X Have at least 10 posts written and scheduled in my drafts 
(I'm actually at 13+)
X Keep up with the memes again!  
(Scheduled Posts all the way through April!)
X Check out, comment & follow the other participants' blogs 

My Bloggiesta:

Do you have any distinct goals for this Bloggiesta?

Continue Reading...
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