Intense Debate – Exposing comment “Dark Matter”

Wanna help get rid of the Dark Matter of the Blogosphere? There are billions of blog comments on the internet, and we’re basically blind to it. What are your friends saying on the blogs? How about the people you respect? Right, you have no idea.

About a week ago, I started using a blog comment replacement plug-in from one of the Techstars teams called Intense Debate on this blog and on the Techstars blog. If you comment on this or any relatively new post on either site, you’ll notice that the comment system is not the typically crappy one you see on other blogs. That’s Intense Debate – here’s how it looks.

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Intense Debate is super simple to install, and supports WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad blogs. Right now they’re still in a closed beta, but you can request early access. One of my major concerns was that I’d lose my existing blog comments, but Intense Debate does a great job of preserving them when you upgrade. On my older posts, you’ll notice the plain old WordPress comments are still intact.

Intense Debate gives me a ton of new features, including:

  • Threaded comments
  • Reputation tracking
  • Tracking of comments
  • Detailed statistics

One of my favorite features is that I can get an RSS feed of basically anything of interest within comments. I can track all comments made by a particular user across any Intense Debate enabled blog (here’s mine), or I can have a single feed that shows me any comments any users that I mark as friends. I can also just track comments in any sub-thread within the comments. It’s very easy – I can access these features and more for each user via a menu right inside the comments.

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Intense Debate solves a major problems with blog comments – namely that they just suck. Go sign up for the closed beta, and you can get it on your blog soon. And feel free – go ahead and comment here to try it out. I’m sure the founders (Jon, Isaac, and Josh) will be hanging around here to answer your questions and would love your feedback.

file under: Blog, Startups

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