The Google Plus Comments Experiment Revisited

G+ Communities

One of the biggest challenges bloggers face is building a highly engaged community. We all lead busy lives and face daily decisions about how and where to spend our time.

In December 2012 I shared a post about Google Plus communities and discussed my hope and curiosity about whether it would be a useful resource for community building and increasing engagement.

Overall I have been quite pleased with the impact and effect that Google Plus has had which is why last week I began the great Google Plus comment experiment here.

Results, Response and Feedback

Thus far the results have been quite positive and I have noticed a distinct uptick in activity in both commenting and traffic. The response from you has mirrored that and overall things continue to look quite promising.

There are two issues that I am working on now.

  1. There is a big gap between the Google Plus box and the Livefyre commenting box. That space disappears when people comment using Google Plus. Still I wonder if the gap causes people to miss the Livefyre commenting box and come away with the impression that comments are not available.
  2. Notifications about new Google Plus comments are a bit rough. If the comment doesn’t address me directly I don’t notice the comments unless I go looking for them.

Next Steps

Earlier today I tried using the Comments Evolved plugin that Danny Brown mentioned in the initial post about Google Plus comments. I had a couple technical hiccups associated with it that made me turn it off not long after I turned it on.

I couldn’t get Livefyre and Disqus to work as tabs.

Now it is possible that there is an easy technical solution to this and that I just missed it. I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to trying to figure  out what the issue was so I deactivated the plugin.

I’ll try to take another look at it later and figure out how to fix it.

I also want to take a hard look at notifications in general so that I know people are being made aware of additional comments and we can facilitate a deeper and more engaged conversation.

What About You?

Do you have any thoughts, comments or ideas to share? I would love to hear them.

8 comments
Mary Stephenson
Mary Stephenson

Hi Josh

I guess I am confused with the two commenting sections.  If someone was thinking they are commenting on your blog and are really using Facebook, etc. does this appear as you are catching them in a different ...uh platform may be?  Is the comment recognized by the search engines as on your site?  (ratings juice?). Of course I see Google + as liking it.

Mary

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lauraclick
lauraclick

My question is - does it make sense to have multiple commenting platforms? It forces people to choose. And, you end up with multiple conversations instead of one that's more streamlined. I'm seeing more and more of this now - as people are adding options from Facebook or Triberr too. But, I wonder if it just makes things more confusing. Thoughts?

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes moderator

@Mary Stephenson Hi Mary,

I am working through some of those things. There is a plugin that sets up one comment box that you can use to leave comments with Livefyre, G+, Facebook or DISQUS. 

I had some technical issues trying to set it up but if I can make it work it should take care of some of these issues.

What I know is that the addition of G+ has helped to generate more traffic here and engagement. I like that. 

Now to see about making is less confusing.

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes moderator

@lauraclick It is a good question and I am not sure I have the answer. My objective is to generate conversation and engagement.

Some of the people in my tribes only comment via Triberr so if I don't turn Triberr comments on those are missed by people outside of the tribes and sometimes me.

What I have noticed is that the G+ comments are starting to pull in people who as far as I know were not readers. I see that as one of the benefits.

But I wouldn't surprised to find that some people were confused by the options.