Comment Hell with Intense Debate

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For the last month, Intense Debate has been behaving extremely badly. It’s been hiding comments from everyone, on seemingly random rates and times. Basically, at various occassions, replies to particular threads would disappear. Sometimes it would be just one or two replies, at others it would be the whole thread past the first reply.

And while this started out mild, as the month passed, it has grown progressively more intense, to the point where now there’s always at least some replies missing, and at worse, hundreds of them. This is even more annoying since those comments still exist in the system (ie, I can see them in the dashboard) but appear sporadically. So in one refresh I will see 90/100, and the next refresh I will see only 15.

Unfortunately, the developers have really dropped the ball on this. Even though this seemed from the start as a quite important problem, and even though this was reported early on, there was initially no response, then there was some non-functioning workarounds, and finally the problem was acknowledged just last week after me and other started screaming bloody murder. Incidentally, it was at this point where this was becoming unbrearable which I assume meant some of their big name clients started complaining as well.

So now, this is creating a comment hell situation for me, especially for the long discussions I’ve opened with Lockeanists and the like. Not only do many people get confused about their disappearing replies, but they also get the impression that I’m secretly deleting comments. And this just too much.

So for now, I’m going to stop replying to comments until this fucking issue is resolved. This is not say that I will leave your replies unanswered, but that I will only start a conversation, when a conversation can be maintained. Of course, this assumes that IDC will get their act together and fix this annoying bug ASAP. If this does not happen, I may have to do the unthinkable and remove it altogether in order to be able to discuss again.

Needless to say, this whole situation is seriously pissing me off, especially since I’ve been a devout proponent of IDC for a while now.

I’ll be updating this post with the status of this comment hell in the future.

UPDATE1: It seems that the IDC folks have finally located the code causing this and have produced a fix to stop this from happening in the future. Now all that’s left is fixing the problem as it already exists and they plan to push an update for this once they know the fix worked.

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17 thoughts on “Comment Hell with Intense Debate

  1. I agree that IDC is dropping the ball in a number of important areas. Comment display is unpredictable, they've still never implemented any html tags. They still paginate comments with no option to defeat and display all. Also it's getting a bit ridiculous when you try to edit your text, letters randomly disappear and you have to select all to get the display to refresh.

    Unlike you, I'm not a code wizard, so I paid good money to my webmaster to get IDC implemented, with the immediate result of a dropoff in comment frequency, and a reduction in functionality. I'm with you, I may drop them, since a lot of the social benefits I thought would occur have not, and the situation has actually become worse.

    Hello, IDC, are you listening? Do you care at all?

    1. Hey there, just fyi, they've finally started fixing this issue and should be resolved soon I think (see here).

      As for the other issues you've been having:

      HTML is actually available, just not all the tags. For example links are possible (see above) as well as bold, italic blockquotes etc. I'm still pushing them to implement the rest but there's also plugin functionality so someone else might write this eventually

      Pagination: I agree that it's not the best implementation but I think this is a technical consideration. Basically, on busy sites with a lot of comments, loading the whole comments every time will melt their servers, so they send it in chunks. It doesn't affect big threads though.

      Missing text: I've never seen that to tell the truth. I've seen it mangle links but not losing letters. Are you posting from the normal form or from wordpress backend?

      Reduction in comment frequency: On this I disagree. I've had much longer threads and much more readable since I've had IDC, as threading allows the conversation to be followed and email notifications/replies provide an incentive for people to return and reply.

      Reduction in functionality: I'd disagree with you here as well. Other than supporting a bit less html and not allowing editing of other's comments, there's a lot of functionality. For example, allowing everyone to edit their comments, threading, email notifications/replies, videos, smileys etc.

      Generally, there's a lot of reasons to keep the system. It's just that this latest thing is almost big enough to overcome them.

    2. Hey there, just fyi, they've finally started fixing this issue and should be resolved soon I think (see here).

      As for the other issues you've been having:

      HTML is actually available, just not all the tags. For example links are possible (see above) as well as bold, italic blockquotes etc. I'm still pushing them to implement the rest but there's also plugin functionality so someone else might write this eventually

      Pagination: I agree that it's not the best implementation but I think this is a technical consideration. Basically, on busy sites with a lot of comments, loading the whole comments every time will melt their servers, so they send it in chunks. It doesn't affect big threads though.

      Missing text: I've never seen that to tell the truth. I've seen it mangle links but not losing letters. Are you posting from the normal form or from wordpress backend?

      Reduction in comment frequency: On this I disagree. I've had much longer threads and much more readable since I've had IDC, as threading allows the conversation to be followed and email notifications/replies provide an incentive for people to return and reply.

      Reduction in functionality: I'd disagree with you here as well. Other than supporting a bit less html and not allowing editing of other's comments, there's a lot of functionality. For example, allowing everyone to edit their comments, threading, email notifications/replies, videos, smileys etc.

      Generally, there's a lot of reasons to keep the system. It's just that this latest thing is almost big enough to overcome them.

  2. It seems to me that their tech support has really been struggling to keep up with all the problems lately. They used to be fairly responsive.

    1. Yeah, I think they grew too large too soon :-/.

      Hmmm, I just noticed a layout change now.

  3. This still isn't fixed :: My comments disappear constantly … it's making me want poke my eyes out :: I'm surprised that you've stuck with IntenseDebate.

  4. hi
    did you have any solution on how to migrate intensedebate comments from blogger to wordpress ?
    a previous post was mentioning the possibility.
    thanks.

    1. Yeah, I used a custom plugin. Contact Intense Debate support and ask them about it. They should be able to give you a file

  5. I am really really aggravated with Intense Debate. I have emailed them with an issue for over 4 months and receive no help and no replies. I installed Intense Debate about 5 months ago on my blog, but when I went to change something on it, it stopped working. I figured out that I only installed it but forgot to register (Didn't know that was possible with anything). So, I deleted Intense Debate from my blog and started over. Now that I am registered it asks to install to blog. When I try to install it, it says that my blog already exists. I really don't know what to do from this point except to keep using the comment system that blogger offers. *sigh*

    1. If idc is completely broken with you, you can always try disqus. I do agree that their tech support and customer relations has been pretty absent this year. No idea what is going on with them,

  6. i just installed intensedebate on my blog the other day and it happens to me all the time. i was just searching for a solution and found this.. i'm going to uninstall it now, because it seems to not have been fixed.

  7. I installed Intense debate 5 days ago and just my latest post had intense debate commenting system. It had over 25 comments when i check 4 hours ago.. Now there's nothing there. all the comments disappeared. The comments are not even there on the intense debate dashboard. And it is the default blogger commenting system now 🙁 Do you have any ideas how to get back my comments?

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