JangroCast 9: Inbox Zero and Intensely Debating

by scott on February 19, 2009


Trying to get more frequent with podcasts requires not only jumping in and recording, but not getting bogged down with post-production. I’ll build up some proficiency there, but for now, we’re going raw.

Maybe if I can get these published early, I can catch your morning commute.

Covered in this podcast:

1. My podcasting inspiration in Merlin Mann, Sam Harrelson’s new Thinking.fm, GeekDads@Home, AffiliateThing, and Cast of Geeks (née GeekCast).

2. I went from tens of thousands of emails in my inbox several years ago down to zero today. It’s really not that difficult, and it is a wonderful place to be. Check out Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero video.


3. I’ve been doing a good bit of discussing in twitter about the virtues of third party blog comment systems such as Disqus and IntenseDebate

Twitter _ andrew wee_ @jangro +yr opinion on qua ....png

Twitter _ eprussakov_ @jangro Have you found Int ...-1.png

Are Disqus and Intense Debate still worth it? Aren’t blog’s own blog comment systems catching up and just as good? I share my thoughts.


andrew wee February 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I've been using email notification for blog comments for some time and it's worked out well.

I don't quite like having my content on an uncertain 3rd party and having uncertain comment portability if i decide to use another 3rd party system or bring it in-house.

You did a thorough review of the pros and cons of commenting systems and i believe those sitting on the fence will have a better idea if a listen

PS: i like the idea of sam harrelson as the kid who introduces everyone to drugs at school. it's a better image than the airy-fairy evangelists circulating around these days.

Scott Jangro February 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Thanks Andrew.

Sorry, I should have addressed the content portability question. Had I thought of it, It would have turned into a 30 minute show.

It isn't really an issue because they sync the comments with your wordpress comment database. When I was changing from Disqus to ID, I simply turned disqus off and turned ID on. Once ID synced up, it was good to go. Actually, I left WP comments on for a few days in between, while I was testing out ID on a dev copy.

You can see WP comments in action if you visit jangro.com via a mobile device where ID will stand down and let the WP comment system do it's thing. Pretty cool.

As for whether these guys themselves are uncertain, that's fair from a performance perspective if not data.

Reliability has been not 100% as well, but not bad either.

andrew wee February 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Again, great exposition.

One thing that bugs me abt ID is that the login cookie doesn't lodge properly in my ver of FF all the time, which is why you see the anonymous-type replies.

The self-hosted style comments are great. Though I'll likely stick with the native blog commenting system for now.

PS: ID Login cookie didnt lodge again. sigh.

Shawn Collins February 20, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Good talk on the commenting plugins, Scott.

I've completed the circle of comment life from WP comments to Disqus to Intense Debate and back to WP comments.

So far, the spam level hasn't changed at all – I've got Akismet and Bad Behavior running.

The "Discussion" interface in settings has options for nested comments and getting a notification when people post comments.

I've got both checked and neither is currently working, so I need to look under the hood on that.

Also, as you mentioned, it's essential to community to have new comments emailed to people who previously commented.

I used to have a plugin for that – need to go back and find it.

And BTW – I am not using IE anymore – I skipped over to Chrome.

Joe Magennis February 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Scott, meant to comment earlier .. nice job, I think a solo podcast is toughest of all.

What is your take on the added value that Disqus brings with easy Facebook Connect integration?

Scott Jangro February 21, 2009 at 10:43 am

Don't look too hard. Thesis theme doesn't support nested comments. But disappointment there as I've embraced that theme for any new projects, like the coffeecast.

I'm seriously contemplating putting ID on that blog.

I've used those plugins that email people who previously commented and they make a big mess of the WP user database. They work, but I never l really trusted that they were working well.
It's been a few years since I've investigated that.

I cannot stress enough how critical that is. For example, because this post is on geekcast, I'm not getting emails about all your comments. I had to come back and check.

Scott Jangro February 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

Thank you Joe! It is definitely a personal challenge to do a solo podcast.

Honestly, because I have a Disqus account, I've never tried the FB connect. I also don't notice anyone using it — strangely.

Scott Jangro February 21, 2009 at 10:50 am

I see that cookie issue once in a while too. What was happening to me is that I accidentally ended up with two ID accounts and I could not shake the "wrong" one. I'd log out, log in with this one and the other one would keep coming back.

I'm a smart guy. I know how to clean up cookies and otherwise make a browser forget stuff. But this zombie would not die! I finally shook it. I don't even know what I did.

Stupid little annoyances that can bring down a great service!

Shawn Collins February 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I've got the nesting issue on my Unique Blog Designs theme at http://blog.affiliatetip.com – I guess there is a support issue there, too.

This is Intense Debate here, so I'm not sure why you aren't getting responses.

I only removed ID from my main blog.

Scott Jangro February 21, 2009 at 6:34 pm

I mean because it's not my blog. I get emails on ALL comments on my own blogs.

Though I'm not getting notifications of your responses to me here either. It shouldn't be this f'ing difficult.

Shawn Collins February 21, 2009 at 6:43 pm

I don't get why there aren't more high functioning paid WP plugins. I'd gladly pay for one that was consistently developed to fix frustrations like this.

I wish ID would just integrate with WP already and tighten everything up.

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