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Forum participation dropped after Comment system implemented

Who cares about a Gravatar?

     
9:39 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



My web developer set up a commenting system at my site. To the side of commenting fields are few sentences about it being gravatar enabled.

Do most folks even care? I haven't seen such a statement by most other commenting systems.

The reason I ask is that since the commenting system was implemented, forum participation has dropped. I am thinking of removing the Gravatar blurb and putting a few brief words about the forum with a link to it.

I can see no downside to this but maybe I'm missing something. Am I?

Most of my site visitors are newbies and I doubt very much that they give a hoot about a Gravatar. Most people who comment don't use a Gravatar anyway.

Thanks in advance for opinions and suggestions.

3:08 pm on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Great question, Shallow. As you add more ways and places to interact with your site, they become redundant and potentially confusing. This is particularly true if the authentication is different. E.g., only registered members post in the forum but unregistered people can reply to blog posts with a third-party image.

My personal inclination would be to let the discussion occur in the forum and use linkage or discussion snippets to draw traffic from other parts of the site.

vBulletin, for example, enables auto-posting of forum topics from a feed. When a new item like a blog post shows up in the feed, a forum topic is already started. I've heard of solutions that auto-link to that discussion on the blog end, but haven't actually used any.

7:16 pm on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I like your idea very much rogerd. After the holiday, I'm going to have my web developer implement the feed.
7:37 pm on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The reason I ask is that since the commenting system was implemented, forum participation has dropped.

Don't overlook the possibility that correlation does not always mean causation (or however the scientists word it. :-) ) If it's recent, maybe your participants are off the computer for the holidays under threat of the husband/wife's broom handle.

3:14 am on Dec 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



That's a good point, rocknbil. Some clues to look for would be an uptick in comments from existing members that coincide with a decline in posting by the same members.
3:19 pm on Jan 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



A year ago I tried to steer users from comments to a forum. It pretty much failed. Many of my users are newbs and my subject isn't something that lends itself to a forum. It's more of a seasonal topic. I did change the comments to a threaded system to make it easier to reply to certain comments. I was also getting a ton of spam on the forum that I couldn't keep up with.
 

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