Vanilla Comments: Integrated Comment System to Supercharge Your Community

Today, we’re announcing our latest feature: Vanilla Comments. This feature will allow those of you who have a blog or news site to use Vanilla as a commenting system and really engage readers who might otherwise just enter a comment and leave.  (Check out the comments on this article to see what it looks like).

Great communities start with great content, and you’ve already got that in your blog. If you have a blog and are thinking of launching a community forum, you can use your blog traffic and blog comments to quickly seed the community. If you already have a community forum, integrating comments will prolong the life of your editorial content and expose it to more people. In either case, you’ll end up with a more engaged audience and more traffic.

Why use Vanilla for blog comments?

  • A single profile, reputation and user experience across the community and the comments
  • Engage commenters with Vanilla’s existing gamification and curation features
  • Use blog traffic to quickly seed community participation and vice versa

How does it work?

Embedding Vanilla Comments into your blog will insert a comment window at the bottom of each article:

Comment Window

If the reader is not already signed in, they will be prompted to do so:

The comments are displayed below the article and simultaneously, a new discussion thread is created in the community:

Forums showing comment thread

How do I implement comments?

There is a WordPress plugin available that allows you to enable comments on your WordPress blog from your WordPress dashboard. Alternately, we have a universal javascript code snippet that can be placed into any page to get comments enabled.

f you are using different blog software, you will need to edit the blog template and replace the existing blog comments with the code that can be found in the Dashboard under Forum>Blog Comments. Use our Universal Code, the code snippet can be modified to create discussion threads in the appropriate forum category based on the blog post category.

Readers can log in using a Disqus ID, Twitter, Google, FaceBook or via single sign on.

What does Vanilla uses as an excerpt from my blog article when creating a blog comment discussion?

When Vanilla creates a discussion thread based on a blog article, it will grab the blog title, the first few lines of the blog text and an image. You can use Open Graph meta tags to specify what image should be used. Otherwise, it grabs the first 4 images on the page and finds the “best” one it can – i.e. the biggest image that is at least 100×100, but smaller than 800px wide and not banner-shaped.

What about my existing comments?

Vanilla is offering a comment importing service. Please contact us if you would like more  information about this. In the future we hope to release tools to automate comment import.

We can also help you setup your blog so that existing comments remain in the old system and only new comments get created with Vanilla.

How much will it cost?

Comments is available on all our paid plans.

How is Vanilla different from other commenting systems?

Vanilla provides an integrated comment and forum community that will increase your readership engagement.  We are good at understanding how to reward positive behaviour, get people to participate in a community and help the community drive moderation and curation. Vanilla now brings all that to your comments.

We don’t have all the features that stand alone commenting systems have but we are working on many that we see as important such as pre-moderation, integration into blogging software dashboards and automated imports of legacy comments.

Can I see an example of a Vanilla Comment implementation?

Sure, right here on this blog. Leave a comment below.

Ready to get going? Sign up for a free trial