I blogged in November about these 2 companies that in my view are Conversation Platforms or Conversation Engines that can power the discussions on blogs and media sites way better than anything on Facebook or Twitter for coherency.
Since then I have used both extensively. But there is a critical difference in their Marketing, Branding and Technology Evolution that Livefyre is winning me over with. Whether they know it or not they are using what Greg Verdino , Senior VP of Strategy at Powered wrote a book about: MicroMarketing.
The two key differences between the two are Technology and how they Engaging with Bloggers on Blogs and on Twitter. I have gotten to know Jenna Langer (@JennaLanger) and Jeremy Hicks (@JMattHicks) both Livefyre Community Managers over the last 2-3 months on blogs like Gini Dietrich's SpinSucks (@GiniDietrich , @SpinSucks), and a few other blogs. Also on Twitter for both Livefyre Support and personally as people. Plus Jordan Kretchmer (@JKretch) the CEO is not above chiming in on Twitter as well. This is personal one on one growing of relationships one person at a time.
They feel the best way to market and to learn how to improve their service is by giving great customer service, getting feedback, and acting on it.
They even have a sense of humor. When I was joking with Ingrid Abboud (@nittygriddyblog) that maybe my account was singled out for punishment by Livefyre for being a Trickster to Jenna Langer on SpinSucks....
Jordan chimed (Yes the CEO!) in explaining it was to help fix Ingrid's tech problem. Yes they put the system on hold for a minute to fix one users problem!
All this for little old us? Who else does this stuff? Please alert Joseph Jaffe Chief Interruptor at Powered that a Funnel is Being Flipped! Plus Jenna and Jeremy participate on many of the Beta Testing blogs, not just to show off their Livefyre technology, but to learn more about Marketing!
For notifications, I am given the choice of following the whole Conversation or just my comments. This allows you to see all the comments from your email box. Disqus default is just your comment. I myself leave the whole conversation. Yes it slams my Inbox but then I know what topics are getting the most chatter.
Lastly technology. I asked Jenna about some features that exist and that we would like:
You can add people with Livefyre Accounts to your conversation and even include Twitter handles to alert people you roped them into the discussion.
"Social mentions: We love this feature too :) People can mention their Facebook and Twitter friends right from the content, making commenting a much more social experience. It's great to see everyone using it."
Edit Feature. I like this for Disqus. But Livefyre has a philosophy about it:
"Editing comments: This is something we go back and forth about a lot. The reason we don't allow users to edit comments is because it allows them to change the context of what they said, which could change the entire conversation. We're looking into other ways to handle these situations."
Video and photos:
"Image/Video integration: If you include a link to a Youtube or Vimeo video, or pictures on Twitpic, Flickr, and others in your comment, Livefyre automatically pulls a thumbnail that links to the original content."
Lastly I brought up monetization. I rail against Twitter and Facebook for not having subscription models. We pay for a cell phone and internet access. Why do they not have the Apple business model. They are not Content Providers they are Technology Providers! Do we get free use of Windows or MSOffice? Or a free IPhone in exchange for seeing Ads or having our private content exploited?
"Cost structure: We are licensing our white-label product that includes advanced features like Single Sign-on. We will also have an upgrade from the basic version so bloggers can take advantage of additional tools as well. We'd love to get your thoughts on this."
They want input. How many companies are so arrogant only they know best? Watch any interview with Mark Zuckerberg. Yes we all want to share so much that 80% of Facebook accounts are 100% private. He didn't ask you how you want to use Facebook or watch how you use it. He is telling you how to use it, over and over even when you refuse to listen and use it differently.
Does this mean I do not like Disqus or their technology? No it does not. But Livefyre is working really hard to convert me, and others into Brand Ambassadors through yes MicroMarketing and Flipping the Funnel and no I was not paid to say this by Joseph or Greg*. Kudos where due. Maybe one day when I integrate a real Conversation Engine here you will know my answer. Stay tuned.
*Chief Alien Note: After I had read Aaron Strout's Blog Post on MicroMarketing I included the concept in a post on September and Aaron kindly sent me a copy. I have read only half so far (bad Alien) but the concept is a good one. See LINK