I’ve been looking for a killer combination of the comment layer of WordPress blogs and making these sit also in a forum environment too.
There are a number of systems and solutions that do this – for example, I’ve played around with Vanilla Forums for quite sometime and their WordPress integration feature has become better and better over time.
What Vanilla Forums does is provide a way for users to comment on the blog post and then mirror these comments into a direct forum where the conversation can live in parallell as well as persistently.
There are a lot of reasons that one might do this, anything from fighting comment spam to creating a consistent user-experience for community members who can view all their conversations in a dedicated location.
For example, Cult of Mac does this really well:
As you can see, I have a simple comment on a recent blog post as seen above. This is connected directly to their massive forum community, and you can see the created thread here:
Here, we can continue the conversation about this particular blog post as well as see all the other discussions and comments that I’ve engaged with. Pretty sweet, right?
Now there’s a new kid on the block, called Moot, which is really pretty and really fast (it’s also managing spam via Automattic’s Akismet), and it’s really, really free (or just free):
I booted it up and started a new forum at http://moot.it/wpdaily:
It was easy to start and very attractive. The company has a pretty extensive pedigree of founders to boot:
The company was founded by Portland-based serial entrepreneur Courtney Couch, along with jQuery Tools creator Tero Piirainen and Janne Lehtinen, both of Helsinki. The team had previously worked on popular web video player Flowplayer, which is what led them to the idea to create Moot in the first place.
Not bad at all. An interesting comment on TechCrunch compared this service as the much more simple version of the other products as to Tumblr to WordPress:
If Tumblr was the simpler form of blogging to the more powerful but complex WordPress, then Moot may be seen as the simpler commenting and discussion platform to the others on the market today. Just getting the basic forum up-and-running takes under a minute, notes Couch. Then it’s only a matter of copy-and-pasting some embed code.
I’ll have to dig in a bit deeper to see if that’s true but I like what I see so far.
What are your thoughts about combining blog comments with a community forum? Is this something that you’d use? Are you a fan of bbPress?
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