Intense Debate is definitely one of the best debate/comment systems out there. There’s no question of that here! Automattic has done a brilliant job with Intense Debate but it still needs a lot of work. I love the fact that one Intense Debate account allows you to login to many different sites to post comments because of their diverse and widespread plugins for many different platforms. It certainly is easier to users and to webmasters because they don’t have to worry about pruning for spam and checking on their spam plugins. Sure, a webmaster still needs to look into those but with Intense Debate, the pruning is all handled by them and not by you. The time needed to clean up the spam is greatly reduced.
I for one was very excited when Intense Debate announced WordPress.com Sign In. I don’t know if you have noticed but Automattic has slowly been implementing that across all of their platforms. However, across their other platforms, they have also included account mergers, merging accounts between services with the WordPress.com account with identical email addresses. That is where they really shine. I’ve had a WordPress.com account for a while, because I needed the API Key for Akismet. I’ve also had a Gravatar because I love not having to set my avatar up on every site I start up. Late last year, they merged the databases of Gravatar with WordPress.com and my two accounts became connected. There was no longer a disconnect.
However, the Intense Debate implementation failed in this context. Account Mergers are not possible at this time. The Intense Debate Team said:
If you already have both IntenseDebate and WordPress.com accounts, don’t worry – we will be merging your accounts in the next phase of our integration, so keep commenting!
That’s good, it means that integration is coming but it’s still not quite ready for mainstream use. Let me give you my own story.
I decided to try out Intense Debate myself to see if it would fit the needs of this site. I ended up creating a new Intense Debate account, not realizing that I could just sign on with my WordPress.com login and password. I linked this site to and my comments synced perfectly with Intense Debate. Then of course, I read this post and decided that I wanted my Intense Debate profile to be the same as my WordPress.com one. Of course, I deleted my Intense Debate account and then reset the plugin. I tried to connect it to my “new” account but of course, it wouldn’t let me do that. It seems that you need to disconnect your WordPress blog from Intense Debate before deleting or switching accounts. Now I’m stuck, without Intense Debate. My hope is, that when the merger goes through properly, they will realize that my orphaned blog belongs to my WordPress.com account and attach the two together. That would save a lot of hassle for all of us who don’t read directions properly before beginning.
Therefore Intense Debate isn’t quite ready for WordPress use. It’s very close and it’s getting closer, but there is still a short ways to go. Once they manage to complete the merger, I for one will be quite pleased with them. I’m just hoping the “next phase of [their] integration” happens soon!