About a month ago, we published an article explaining how to add the new Facebook Comments System to your blog. In the copy you can see some of the reservations I have about comment systems in general, one of them being giving up your comment content to a third-party. I had been burned before. But, the size of the Facebook community is a strong temptation, so I decided to give the new Facebook Comments System a chance – with some stipulations.
- I was not going to give total control away. I decided to run the Facebook Comment System side-by-side with the standard WordPress comment engine. Visitors could use either – or both.
- I would set a time limit for evaluation. In one month, I would re-evaluate whether it was worth it to have both systems, or even to move to the Facebook system entirely.
So, it’s been a month and a week, and I have decided that the Facebook Comment System sucks, and I am going to remove it from GeekRev.com. Here’s why:
- It’s ugly. Seriously, you have little control over how it looks, and frankly, the white and blue Facebook color scheme is so “Word-Perfect 3” if you know what I mean. At least Google knows it’s stuff is ugly and gives you some ability to control how things look.
- It’s quirky. Depending on a third-party for content is infuriating at times (the follower count widget on the right side of this site is an exercise in frustration, for example). Sometimes the Facebook Comment System doesn’t show up on the site at all. Sometimes, it is visible but doesn’t work. Sometimes it stores your comments and replies, but does not display them. So you keep resubmitting your comment, thinking it didn’t take. Then later on in the day you find your comment posted five times in a row.
- The notification system sucks. I have to say that I was surprised by this. Given the fact that my MMS and email in-boxes are flooded with stuff from the FaceBook site’s notifications systems, including things I told it not to tell me about, I assumed I would be flooded with notifications of comments, replies, and shares – all of which were promises of the new Facebook Comment System. To this date, over a whole month, I have received exactly ZERO notifications. I just can’t afford not to know when people participate with the site.
- It slows down my page loads. Yes, I know I said 3 reasons, but I decided to give you a bonus reason! I really don’t get this: as large as Facebook is and as much as they want their hooks into every part of your life, you’d think that they’d put a ton of resources into the servers running the comment system. But they haven’t – at least the load speed doesn’t give that indication.
So, there you have it. I gave it a solid try, but in my opinion, the Facebook Comment System sucks. And, since it did not really increase reader interaction much at all, the crappy-ness isn’t worth it, and it will be gone from GeekRev.com very soon.