A few weeks ago, Danny Brown wrote a blog post here titled, “Spin Sucks is Making the Switch to Postmatic.”
Right before that blog post went live, we did, indeed, switch to Postmatic, a new commenting system.
Jason Lemieux, the platform’s founder, was awesome. He pretty much did all of the work while I sat back, ate bon-bons, and directed him.
It was no small job. Spin Sucks has gotten so large, it’s a bit unruly on the back-end. But he managed to figure it all out and make us look like heroes at the same time.
I’ll admit I was a bit panicked to take it live. After all, I couldn’t imagine that people would want more emails in the form of comments in their inboxes, yet here we are.
The comments have increased by about 30 percent.
Postmatic Gives Bloggers More Control
Let’s take a look at Postmatic, what it is, how it works, and what it means to you.
First, it’s a commenting system that, for the blogger, puts you back in control.
With Livefyre (which I loved with all my heart and still have a soft spot for), I didn’t have the contact information for anyone who left a comment. Postmatic changed that.
Now I have all of your emails addresses. Muah hahahaha!
(Just kidding; you know I’ll never abuse that.)
In all seriousness, we do now have you all in our system as users, which means if you want to guest blog for us (hint, hint), we already have your information set up to give you an author account.
If you have any trouble, we can easily help you without your having to create a user account, get a password, wait for it to arrive, change it, and go through all of that rigamorole.
If you want to leave a comment, it’s ridiculously easy to do by just hitting “reply” on the email that arrives in your inbox each morning.
While it gives me more control, it does you, too.
How Does Postmatic Work?
So here is how it works.
You subscribe via email (there is an RSS option, too, but that’s not the purpose of Postmatic).
Every morning, you receive an email that looks like this:
Now you have a few options:
- You can click “add it to my inbox” underneath each description and it will come via email.
- You can click “read it online” and it will bring you here to read it, and leave a witty comment.
- If you do the first option, now you have the opportunity to hit reply to the email with the full blog post in it to leave a comment.
Even if you never actually come to the site, you can participate in the conversation.
And, if you’re getting too many emails because there are so many comments here, one of two things happens: 1) You can tell it to slow the heck down; or 2) It sees you’re not reading as fast as they’re coming and slows it down for you.
How Can I Comment from Email?
Let’s say you’ve gone with the first option and have the blog posts now coming to your inbox.
This is what yesterday’s blog post looked like in your inbox (I cut out all of the copy for show-n-tell purpose).
See that copy at the end, though?
If you want to add a comment, you just hit reply to the email. Your email address will not be shown, and neither will your email signature.
One little reminder, however: If you intend to email one of us, you can no longer do that by hitting reply. You must forward it.
If you hit reply, your email will be in the comment section here.
That said, if you make a mistake, we can easily—and quickly—delete it, so don’t panic.
Help! It’s Too Much!
Now, let’s say you have each blog post coming to your inbox and it’s too much (we do publish twice a day here, after all).
All you have to do is reply and write the word “digest” and it goes back to sending you a recap of the blog posts for the day.
And, of course, if you want to unsubscribe, you do so by hitting reply to the email and typing that word.
From my perspective, I have more control (and can keep private) all of our readers.
From your perspective, you have complete control on how and when you receive blog posts and comments.
It’s a pretty cool tool.
The (Very) Few Cons of Postmatic
That said, there are a few things that make me a little batty:
- The subscription box at the bottom of each blog post isn’t super pretty.
- To do a double opt-in subscription page, I had to use OptIn Monster and Mailchimp. Then I have to manually import the new subscribers every morning. It’s not a huge deal—and I know customized subscription is coming—but it is kind of a pain (not one that outweighs the increase in comments, however).
- There isn’t an author photo or bio on the daily digest. So you don’t know who wrote what unless you go to view it. We’ve been trying to add that information in the description for the time being.
- You have to remember to add a featured image, if you don’t already use that function for your blog posts (we don’t). If you forget (and you’ll notice that’s happened a couple of times), an image doesn’t show up in the digest email.
I’ve had a few emails from some of you about what you don’t like and some of it I’ve been able to address, while some of it is out of my control.
Change is hard. It’s been hard for me, too. But with a 30 percent increase in comments and the ability to better engage one-on-one with each of you, I’m willing to work it out.
P.S. Does anyone want to place bets on how many comments come from Danny today?