Adios IntenseDebate!

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For those of you following comments on my sites via IntenseDebate, I’m sorry to say that I’ve decided not to use the system anymore. I used it here on WP Guru and over at to provide an easier commenting experience for my readers and more comfortable back end features for myself.

Turns out it wasn’t all that good for either of us I guess. Let me explain.

Please be aware that you need to re-subscribe to topics if you still want to follow them via email.

A lot of bad stuff has been said about IntenseDebate on the web, and I don’t really care about / agree with much of it. On the surface it looks like a great idea, and with the proper combination of tender love and care on the developing front we’d all be using IntenseDebate. WordPress would have it built in by default. But it hasn’t, and there’s a reason for it.

Features look great on paper:

  • login with your WordPress/Twitter/Facebook credentials
  • readers can subscribe to follow ups
  • it looks cool, it has threading and pagination
  • and there’s the illusion of a centralised control panel for comments from various sites

However, my reasons for removing IntenseDebate boil down to one simple problem: I get a really annoying bug that replaces every single apostrophe (as in “it’s a problem”) with an escaped character (like “it/’s a problem”). So every time I answer a question, I have to go through my own reply AGAIN and replace all those annoying instances. I seriously haven’t got time for this.

But I used to like the system, so I tried to contact the IntenseDebate team on three seperate occasions. I never got a reply. At some point I’ve noticed that the comment form on the IntenseDebate website was closed – which tells me that the core team who used to look after IntenseDebate have long moved on to bigger and better (and probably more profitable) things.

In short: they stopped giving a f*ck. And that’s very sad πŸ™

Maybe Automattic have bought IntenseDebate just to wind it down – who knows. I’ve started using the Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin instead and am more than happy to have less work re-doing my answers and more time answering your comments instead.

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4 thoughts on “Adios IntenseDebate!”

  1. You should really look into Comment Love, this is wordpress plugin that is similar to intensedebate only specifically written for WP. It was developed by Andy Bailey and the community is awesome. I would leave you me url but it be sites as spam. Instead go directly to there site if you do decide it works for you, a comment on my site would show luv.

    Hopes this helps.

  2. Thank you for using my plugin πŸ™‚ Reading that you ditched IntenseDebate makes me very happy! I hate it, that’s why I started developing my own code eheh.

  3. UPDATE:

    In their defense, several months after my third email to IntenseDebate I actually got this surprising reply:

    Hi Jay,

    I apologize for the major delay and frustration. We will be releasing the next version of our plugin in the coming weeks. We would love it if you gave ID another try once that is available.

    ID is still very much alive. our contact form is reopening tomorrow morning and we’re excited to welcome the world famous support team of Happiness Engineers to IntenseDebate as well.

    We will post to our blog at when the new version is available.

    Kind regards,

    Michael Koenig
    Automattic |

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