Thursday, September 30, 2010

Installing Intense Debate

One of the difficulties with blogging is that it is difficult sometimes to keep track of where you have commented and to remember to check back in case the author has replied.  One tool that helps manage this difficulty is Intense Debate.  This is a replacement for the default commenting system on your blog, and it includes some nice features.  You can have comment threading (so you can reply to a specific comment), get notified when someone replies to your comment, and integrate with Facebook and Twitter.  Here is how I installed Intense Debate on this blog:

    1) I created an account with Intense Debate.  In my case, I used the OpenID option and typed in the URL of my blog.  Once I verified that I owned this blog, I entered a username and email address and I was set.

    2) After I logged in, I clicked on the "My Account" menu and then "Install IntenseDebate":

    3)  I entered the URL for my blog and clicked "Next Step":
    4) I chose to install this tool as a template, because then my blog will load faster.  Be sure to enable only on new posts, or you will lose all the comments on your old posts.

    5) Click on "Open" and you will see your blog control panel on the right side of the screen.

    6) In your Blogger dashboard, click on "Design" and then "Edit HTML".  You should see a link to backup your current template. Save it somewhere on your hard drive where you can find it easily.

    7) Upload this file that you saved using the dialog on the left:

    8) After you click this button, your blogger dashboard will reload on the right.  Click "Design" and "Edit HTML" again.  Now delete all the text in your template.

    9) Select the new template code in the box next to item 3 by right-clicking and selecting "Copy".  Go to the template you just deleted and paste in the code by right-clicking and selecting "Paste".

    10) Click "Save Template" in Blogger.

    11) Visit your blog and click on the "Comment" button for a new post without any comments.  You should see the new comment dialog:

    12) Congratulations, you're done!