UPDATE: Soon after I wrote this article, Michael Koenig of IntenseDebate posted a comment with an offer to help me via his personal address. I appreciated the gesture, and made some modifications to the article below to reflect that. I think for the time being I will be keeping the default WordPress comments, but will not completely rule out IntenseDebate for the future.
In the beginning of April, I became aware that my blog was corrupt – no articles were visible, and the visuals weren’t right. I promptly contacted my web host pair Networks, and after an hour of trying different things – their agent (who was extremely helpful), told me it was likely a problem within WordPress. He tried repairing the database, but subsequent browser refreshes just corrupted the WordPress database further. With this knowledge, I thanked the agent for his help and prepared to restore my blog in a fresh copy of WordPress.
By the time April 10th came around, I had mostly everything working – the only problem left was the comments – a good 90% of them were not appearing in the articles. You see, I’ve always used IntenseDebate for my comments. It had a good feature set, and did exactly what I expected it to do. When I installed a fresh copy of WordPress, I naturally installed IntenseDebate very early on – and yet, it didn’t restore my comments properly… the vast majority were simply missing from their respective pages. Concerned, I contacted their support address, providing plenty of detail, and offering URLs to illustrate my point.
I decided to wait for a response before I restored my blog fully – comments were too important to me.
Two weeks passed, and I still hadn’t heard back… so I submitted a support ticket via their website, including the same information I sent via e-mail. Considering that e-mail (as a medium) isn’t flawless, I also asked whether they received my e-mail or not. I realized that it was even possible that Gmail’s spam blocker was eating their message. To cover that possibility, I started regularly checking and deleting my spam. But time passed, and my site remained down – all without the slightest word from IntenseDebate. I started to get annoyed… especially when I noticed that they were happily telling people to contact their support address on their Twitter page. Yet, no help available for me. So, as you can imagine, I logged into Twitter, and posted the following message:
As I’m writing this, they have not replied to me. They still continue to reply to people on their Twitter page, but they have not acknowledged me in the slightest.
On May 2nd, I decided to drop IntenseDebate. I had to manually make corrections in my WordPress database, but after waiting so long, it was an attractive option.
Could it simply be an isolated incident? Perhaps… but I still consider it difficult to forgive.
UPDATE: Soon after this was posted, they replied to me. See the update at the top of this post for details.