A Spring Postmatic Update

The sun is finally out here in Vermont! I hope the snow has melted wherever you are. Here is a quick update about everything going on in the Postmatic world.

Replyable launches – affordable two-way commenting to all WordPress sites

After our fall retreat in Michigan we spent the early part of the winter developing Replyable – the mini version of Postmatic which starts at $3/month. It’s been nice to have a lower-end and simplified product out in the wild. Replyable seems to offer immediate value to any site which installs it – and the simplicity has kept support requests at a minimum.

If you use Postmatic just for comment notifications and need something cheaper and simpler to manage definitely check out Replyable.

We started a new blog to focus on WordPress commenting

With Replyable’s focus on just commenting we thought we would take a lot of the ideas we have on the subject and write about them over on replyable.com. We launched a new blog there and post weekly about the comment scene, new plugins (ours and others), and best practices. Danny Brown has been doing much of that heavy lifting. While he has long been our #1 evangelist it’s great to officially have him on board via his new venture: Social Media for Your Business. I’m increasingly convinced that nobody has their thumb on the WordPress commenting space more than Danny.

Here are a few posts from the Replyable blog you might want to check out:

Updates to Postmatic

With Replyable in the wild we can now shift our focus back to Postmatic. We will be working throughout the summer to build features aimed at content delivery and publishing. Last week we pushed a quick update which introduced some filters for better customizing category-based digests. Apologies for the rapid succession of releases. It was our first update to Postmatic with a new package control system (that feeds both Replyable and Postmatic) and we hit a few snags. That shouldn’t happen again.

Next up will be a new replies-only mode for comment subscriptions in both Postmatic and Replyable. Users can subscribe to comments and receive only direct replies via email. I’m not crazy about the idea but it’s been such a huge request for so long we ought to make it happen. I like to think that our comment intelligence and daily digests are the best solution for healthy conversations.

After replies-only we’ll be getting to work on incoming webhooks for better integration with other services – especially optin packages like OptinMonster (and our new favorite, ConvertPlug (seriously, worth checking out).

Postmatic Press supports a healthy democracy

Our initiative to offer free services to journalists has wrapped up the first round of applications and implementations. We’re excited that the first Postmatic Press sites will be rolling out in the next few weeks. Expect an announcement here. We have more capacity in that program so please, spread the word to your news organization friends:

Does your newsroom run WordPress? Get free content delivery and commenting services from @gopostmaticClick To Tweet

 

We’ll see you at WordCamp US 2016

We’ll be in Philly later this week for WordCamp US 2016 and hope to see you there. If you’re in the northeast, don’t have plans this weekend, and love WordPress as much as we do… then come meet us!

it's a secret!Say hello and hear about our new product

Look for Jason in a Postmatic t-shirt. He’ll be handing out early invites for something new we’ve been working on. It has a logo which looks a lot like what you see here. 🙂

Oh! Tacos and beer!

On thursday night we’ll be co-hosting the first annual WordCamp US Taco Club. We’ve teamed up with CalderaWP to put on a laid-back and non-exclusive event for fellow WordPress enthusiasts to talk shop, dream up products, and maybe even hack a bit. You can RSVP if you think you’d like to join us.

Help us test our new blog monetization platform

We’re about to launch a zero-configuration monetization platform built on Postmatic.

It works by inserting contextually appropriate ads in the header and footer areas of your Postmatic emails – For posts, newsletters, digests, and comment notifications. The ads are tailored to both your content and your subscribers – ensuring an experience that is smooth, makes sense, and generates revenue.

The goal is to make you money while giving you free Postmatic service.

We’re calling it Postmatic Pays.

Interested in trying it out? If you have a WordPress-based site with an active commenting community and subscriber list of at least 500 email addresses get in touch. The beta is open now.

Join the beta

Livefyre is shutting down. Here are the best alternatives to move back to native WordPress commenting.

Adobe just announced that the Livefyre comments plugin will be shutting down beginning this week, with final closure coming mid winter.

Here is what you need to know about moving away from Livefyre

Your conversations on existing posts will continue to render until early February of 2017, but starting immediately (October 20) users that do not already have a Livefyre account will not be able to create one and comment on your site. Then, come March you will lose all Liveyfyre comments immediately.

Step One: Get your data back

Update – October 21, 2016

Adobe has just announced that a proper Livefyre > WordPress migration tool will be made available by November 30th. Cheers to them for making that happen.

If you have been running Livefyre on your site (this doesn’t apply to any Postmatic customers, btw) the first thing you’ll need to do is to get your comments off of their server, and on to your own. The Livefyre plugin should be copying comments back to your WordPress database already. If it is not, you need to reach out to their support immediately and request and export.

The limitations of the comments you’ll get back

This is where the tragedy begins: the comments which Livefyre does send back to your site are less than stellar. There are two problems with the data:

  1. Livefyre will not give you the email addresses of your commenters. This is a huge loss for your email marketing efforts and also means WordPress will not be able to generate Gravatars for your commenters. Moving forward your comments will display on your site, but you will not have profile images, which makes for a rather boring comment area.
  2. You will lose your comment hierarchy. This is the biggie. Livefyre will release your comments in a flat list, rather than with replies/nesting in tact. This is going to make the conversation hard to follow on your old posts, but at least your data is there to continue giving you an SEO bump.

Step Two: Build an awesome comment system for free, using native WordPress commenting

Hopefully this will be the final time in which the case needs to be made that third-party comment systems are nothing but trouble. Managing comments inside WordPress can be so easy. Plus, you’re not selling your user data to advertisers and what is yours stays yours. As it should be.

This is all you need to build a fantastic comment section on your WordPress site

For the comment form and comment display:

  1. Epoch or WpDiscuz
    Each of these free plugins supercharges your comment form and how your comments display. Maybe you were using Livefyre because the comment template in your theme was ugly and slow. Both of these fix that handily

For spam and comment moderation:

  1. Akismet – The free and awesome standard for detecting spambots. Indispensable.
  2. WpBruiser – A great addition to Akismet to help with detecting bots on the front end and managing trackback spam as well. Thank us later.
  3. Crowd Control – Our little plugin that lets your users report inappropriate comments and automatically send them back to moderation. Take a vacation and let your readers take care of the site.
  4. Postmatic – Paid Postmatic plans offer the ability to moderate comments via email, from wherever you are. It’s a fantastic way to make keep your guest authors in the loop on conversations on their posts, while also making them responsible for moderating their own comments (all without leaving their inbox or logging into WordPress)
  5. Sift Ninja – A new service that is currently in beta – Sift Ninja provides invaluable control over trolls. It filters comments for Bullying, Racism, Violence, Sexting, or PII (Personally Identifiable Information ). Keep an eye on these guys. They are making wonderful stuff.

For comment subscriptions and higher engagement rates

Postmatic Basic – Postmatic lets your readers stay in the loop by receiving smart email notices of followup comments and replies. Features include smart throttling and batching of new comments so nobody gets too much email  – and of course the ability to respond to comments simply by hitting reply from within their inbox. Awesome.

Step Three: Stay tuned

We hope to release some of our own tools to clean up those exported Livefyre comments very soon, as well as writing more detailed migration guides. Keep in the loop by subscribing to our blog using the box below.