Automattic, a web development corporation, has been making headway with its blogging and publishing platform WordPress, and now the company wants to spice things up with an integrated commenting system by the name of IntenseDebate.
The company recently purchased IntenseDebate for an undisclosed amount and plans on integrating some of its functionality within WordPress for the upcoming 2.7 release.Following the recent release of WordPress 2.6, the development team has acknowledged that WordPress is in need of an upgrade for its comment system -- it wasn't keeping up with the times. So, there are two options: either develop a solution or acquire one. Automattic opted for an acquisition.
WordPress is obviously aiming to have their platform appeal to bloggers of all skills, and requiring those users to install multiple plugins to replicate the same functionality that IntenseDebate could do is not as easy as it sounds.
WordPress CEO Toni Schneider had stated that a better commenting system was in planning for quite some time, and that IntenseDebate's technology made perfect sense for the acquisition.
Automattic Gets Intense
As many people know, WordPress' commenting features were in a dire need of updating. Bloggers today expect more from a micro CMS like WordPress, including:
* Threaded comments
* Comment rating
* Social functionality
* Wide availability
* Auto login
* Email functionality
There have been several solutions, such as SezWho and Disqus, that have made some of these functionalities possible. There have also been numerous plugins created to make these functionalities possible. However, none of them were built-in. In fact, there isn't even really a problem with the commenting system, other than that most of the functionality wasn't built-in -- which some users might consider a good thing.
IntenseDebate, on the other hand, supports features like posting across different blogs, customized user profiles, OpenID support, threaded commenting and plenty more features that would be expected from a commenting system.
Combining the Two
WordPress 2.7 will include some of IntenseDebate’s features, such as threaded commenting, by default. The service will also introduce a plugin that tightly integrates with the rest of IntenseDebate’s features like aggregated commenting across multiple blogs.
In a blog post announcing the deal, IntenseDebate says that it will now be re-entering private beta, though the service’s current users will still be able to use it. IntenseDebate will stay as a separate service that will be tightly integrated with WordPress, but will also be available for other platforms. Akismet’s spam filtering has been used in a similar manner.
With IntenseDebate making it into WordPress, what happens to those users opting to go for other solutions like Disqus and SezWho? Will they have to jump through hoops to make those systems function correctly? Will these new features bog down WordPress more than users might like? Will everything here be optional, perhaps, allowing users to stick with the old way of doing things? How will spam solutions function with IntenseDebate? Will video commenting be integrated? How will plugins that take advantage of the existing commenting system be affected?
Just so many questions that will come from this. Perhaps, the WordPress' development team will reverse-engineer everything within IntenseDebate and slowly integrate it into WordPress with time, but we will have to wait and see. Regardless of the reasoning, the company seems to be sure of their purchase of IntenseDebate. However, some people might debate whether IntenseDebate's acquisition was worthwhile. Still, it is quite obvious that the aforementioned features are generally desired amongst commenters, and this purchase will help resolve them as soon as they utilize WordPress 2.7.