I’ve recently installed the Livefyre commenting system on the Gadarian Digital site, and I thought a Livefyre review was in order. Before diving in, I should also mention that this commenting platform is still in private beta although I’m told that they should be launching the public version any minute now. They bill themselves as a real time commenting platform.
So let’s start with why I chose this platform. The blunt answer is while I like how both Disqus and Intense Debate render on other sites, over here I did not have the same experience. Perhaps that has to do with
Headway Themes*, but whatever the reason, Livefyre looks great here. In fairness to both Disqus and Intense Debate, people from their organizations did respond back to me in an attempt to sort it out, so gold stars all around.
And yes, there is more to it than looks alone. I like this system a great deal for a number of reasons. The first being ease of use to install. I installed it. It works. I’m a simple man.
Going further though, it is easy to get excited about this company because they have a great deal of enthusiasm for what they do, and they have an innovative real time approach to solving this problem. There are some ‘standard features‘ as well such as the ability to use Twitter of Facebook to login (although being able to login as a Facebook Page instead of personal profile would be great – but I suspect that has more to do with Facebook not allowing that level of Facebook Page functionality yet) and as the Livefyre commenting ecosystem develops I think their solution to allow commenters to “cross the pond” and see what other people as saying about similar subject should be really great. I am also confident that they will be rolling out new features at a pretty rapid clip – they’ll have to in order to compete with their more established competitors, which again is great news for the end user.
I also like this company because they are a group of innovators and from my standpoint, it is always great to be a part of a company, and to participate in a product at this stage. A few other examples that as a user I’ve participated in include both Wibiya and HootSuite. With both of those products it was very rewarding to watch as those companies continued to build and advance their products. Another company I like in this vein is MailChimp*. I use all of these products regularly, some on this site, and some on others, but I am consistently drawn to how they approach and solve problems.
I suspect Livefyre will approach their space with a similar zeal and will continue to innovate and advance their offering on an ongoing basis. They have also managed to raise a small “A” Round which should give them some breathing room from which to continue to grow and to innovate, and also gives me some confidence to recommend them.
My concern is that Livefyre is attempting to develop 3 separate tracks (Blogger, Publisher and White Label) which might serve as a disruptive factor, but I get it, people need to eat, and if you raise a round investors want to see a path. Right now the Blogger track is free to use although I don’t know that it will always be so (for what it’s worth both Disqus and Intense Debate currently offer a “free” version so I suspect Livefyre will have to as well if only to stay relevant in their market).
Another great factor playing into my enthusiasm for Livefyre is their interest in communicating and helping their user base to get sorted out, which is an attribute they have very wisely emulated from their more established competitors, all of whom are also active on the blogs, Twitter and elsewhere.
If you are interested in learning a little bit more about Livefyre take a look at this interview on TechCrunch with their founder, Jordan Kretchmer – the interview gets a little technical but it is really interesting to see how these guy approach what they do – 10 minutes of your life well spent if only because sometimes its great to think about business problems other than your own:
Meanwhile, have some fun with it, and if you want to test out how it works, go ahead and leave a comment here and you can see it in action for yourself. And yes, as a reminder if you like what you see go on over to Livefyre and sign up – as I mentioned they are on the verge of opening it up, but I suspect if you apply for the “private beta” they’d be happy to let you in.
UPDATE: As of right now Livefyre has moved out out of their beta mode so now anyone can utilize the service. Have fun with it!
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