A Blogger Improvement? The New Google+ Comment Interface

Yesterday, Blogger (or Google, or whomever) announced a voluntary "upgrade" to the commenting system that powers many of our Blogger blogs.


The big news was that by clicking a button in your options, you can now change your commenting interface to seamlessly interact with Google+.  In short, this means that any comments made on your blog can automatically show up on Google+ and vice versa.  

Also, and this is where it gets a little nutty, anybody that shares or talks about your post on Google+ (whether you're aware of it or not) will have their share and subsequent comments on that share pulled into your post as well.  That way all the noise created by your blog post can potentially be viewed and replied to in one place.  

There's a little more to it, including how your Google+ sharing settings play into what other people actually see, but that's the basic concept.  One that potentially could expand the reach of your blog, creating more interactivity and attracting more readers.

More readers?  ...and the crowd goes wild!!!

I have to say I'm not all that warm to this change and probably won't integrate it into the Mothership for the time being.  Strange statement from somebody that's typically a fan of all things Google, right?  Well, there are two main reasons why, and I think each is pretty significant.

1.  The interface is with Google+
Who uses Google+?  If this was an integration with Facebook or Twitter, I think we'd be on to something...but Google+?  Despite my best efforts, It's still nowhere close to being an active social hub worthy of changing your blog around.

2.  In order for folks to comment on your blog...they'll need to have a Google account.
No more Open ID, no more Anonymous.  That kinda sucks.  Try to type in the text box and you are immediately prompted to log into your Google Account.  Now most people have a Google account these days, but making them use it (and also set up a Google+ page) just to submit a comment on one of my crappy blog posts...I'm not feeling that.

All that said, if you want to see a living example of how it works, I turned it on over at my Tenkara Sasquatch blog.  Here's a link and screen grab that shows what it looks like.  (Take note, that if you don't have or are not logged in to a Google Account, you won't see any of the Google+ activity.)


In this example, I had shared the post on Google+ as both +Michael Agneta and +Troutrageous!.  +Christophe Laurent commented on my share at Google+, however Mark Kautz-Shoreman simply commented at my blog, no Google+ involved.  As you'll notice, all the activity has been pulled into one place now.  No matter where you do the commenting, it all gets pulled in as one experience.

Confused yet?  I was too until I played with the functionality for a little bit.  Do yourself a favor, it'll make more sense after you do.  At the very least, I'm happy that this wasn't forced down our throat like Facebook does when it changes something and everybody complains.  I dig the fact that Google left this as optional.

So are you going to make the switch? 
Would love to hear why or why not (ironically) in the non-upgraded comments section below...


Comments

  1. I made the switch.
    Also decided I'm not going to switch my site to WordPress, as I had been thinking about doing.I think this Google company might be something someday...

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  2. LOL, you might be right Mat.

    No comments allowed from anybody not connected to Google? That's kind if elitist don't you think. I think I'll stick with the old and turn my back on the new.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elitist, self serving, all a point of view. I haven't flipped it yet, I'd still like there to be an ability to comment as a "guest." Would be a shame to limit that.

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  3. I'm on the fence about this one. I might try it for a little while to see how it works.

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    Replies
    1. Cool, would love to get your thoughts once you enable it.

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  4. On the fence. I don't like anything that makes it harder for folks to comment. I'll test drive it on your blog Mike to see how it works. Thanks for taking the plunge on our behalf.

    Z

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    Replies
    1. It's interesting... Yes, you need to log in with a Google Account...but do you know what's eliminated in doing such? Those damn captcha codes. I don't do them on my blog, but many do. I also would guess it would pretty much kill SPAM comments...at least until the spammers figured out a workaround. So in a way, it's kinda a trade off.

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  5. Forget it. No changes needed for me right now! I'm too busy fishing. And I like open water and open comments. : )

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    Replies
    1. You are too busy fishing...seems like every day you're off somewhere else catching big fish. Can you tell I'm jealous?

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    2. You will be catching your share of BIG fish once in Florida... Then, mine will look like minnows... heehee

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  6. Mike, I thought about it for awhile. Decided to "not" get on board with the change. I have struggled with Google + as a social medium. So don't see any big reason to change based on that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the need to have a "Google" account to comment with the new system. I have changed to that setting on my new blog in a manner to control all the "spam" crap that is constantly being submitted for comment approval. I will try this for a bit, but, could be convinced to switch back to "normal" commenting operations. We will see. RD, makes a good point. Just go fishing!

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    Replies
    1. I agree, the only reason why I may still do it is because of the functionality. I do kind of like how it works better than the current setup...plus other than a handful of folks, I don't get regular comments anyway. Probably says something about my writing...

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  7. I am happy with what I have right now and don't feel that it is appropriate to make a change yet of this magnitude. But I will keep my eye on things and see how it develops. And after some debate I am thinking I am going to stay with Blogger and not transfer to WordPress.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you're not defecting to WordPress. Us Google bloggers need to stand strong!

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  8. I'm giving this a go, there are things to like and things to dislike but google have a good habit of removing the dislikes over time so let's hope they do the same here. I moved my blog from a self hosted Drupal site to blogger last year to try and connect with more bloggers, while my blog has more visitors now I seem to get less frequent comments or at least comments are more spread out.

    I'll write a post and people will comment and share it on G+, Twitter and FB or comment on my youtube video, but those comments didn't show up on my blog so I sometimes miss them which makes me seem a bit lazy I think. This integration will mean that I pick up more of the comments from G+, if it was extended to youtube, twitter & FB that would be really awesome.

    I'm going to continue with this integration for a while and see how Google improve it and how I can make best use of it.

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    Replies
    1. Let me know your findings. I believe one can always switch back, so in the end, no harm, no foul.

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  9. Additionally, I can see how this might lead to a very, very poor signal/noise ratio actually in each blog post.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Relevant noise is fine, but there could be other things that just look out of place.

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  10. Replies
    1. I'm keeping the old comments just for you Mark.

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  11. My blog's like a favorite fishin' shirt. Old, worn, and out of style, but too comfortable (and probably fragrant) to tolerate switching to some stiff, scratchy new threads. I must maintain my curmudgeonly, old dog, image. How can I do that with a spiffy new look.

    Besides, it would just be putting lipstick on a pig.

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  12. I saw the announcement for this a while back but was not sure what made it different than the old comment system and if it would be better. Thank you for your insight, it has cleared up my thoughts. I think for now I am going to stick with the old. I agree with Google+ as not being much of a social hub. I cant think of any friends that have told me about their Google+ page.

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  13. There's a little more to it, including how your Google+ sharing settings play into what other people actually see, but that's the basic concept.
    Glyn Willmoth

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  14. I am not happy ~ with G+ ~ miss the comments I used to get and don't know how to switch back ~ any ideas? Thanks ~ G+ is too inclusive right now for me ~ should have stayed where I was ~

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