Intense Debate is a WordPress plugin designed to facilitate active discussion and, well, debates. By default, anyone who posts a comment will be subscribed to receive emails about future comments (easy to turn off if you don’t want to.) It utilizes threaded discussions, so anyone can reply to the whole topic or to an individual poster.
Here’s how to sign up for and use Intense Debate.
Step 1: Join Intense Debate
Fill out the form to start the signup process. Make sure to check the “I want to install IntenseDebate on my blog or site” box.
You’ll need to verify your email address. Click the link emailed to you, which will then return you to the IntenseDebate site to continue the setup process.
Enter the address of the blog you intend to setup.
Click the “Wordpress” button.
That’s all the installation you need to do on Intense Debate’s site. Next is setting up your WordPress blog.
Step 2: Install and Activate
Find the Intense Debate plugin using the plugin search at Plugins > Add New in the left hand side menu bar. Click “Install Now.”
Then click “Activate Plugin.”
Step 3: Setting Up Intense Debate on Your Blog
Intense Debate won’t immediately take you over to the setup procedure when you activate the plugin, so you’ll have to find the plugin in your “Settings” menu.
Enter the login details from the signup process in the beginning.
Step 4: Importing Your Comments
If you want to import all your previous comments from your blog into Intense Debate, click “Start Importing Comments” on the next screen.
If you import all your comments, you’ll need to wait a few hours for Intense Debate’s servers to index all of them.
If you don’t want to index comments, just click “Skip Import.”
After the import process, you’ll see the successful installation screen.
Step 5: How to Use Intense Debate
To post a comment, just type a comment in the box and click “Submit Comment.”
By default, Intense Debate will subscribe you to all the replies to your comment. This is designed to help get people back to your site more often and get people more engaged.
But if you want to change your subscription options, just click the dropdown menu before hitting submit. You can choose to get no notifications at all, or get notifications for every single comment.
To reply to a specific post rather than posting a brand new comment, click “Reply” under any comment.
This will start a threaded discussion. Anyone can respond to your message or the original poster and “talk” to you directly, rather than post to the whole thread.
Anyone subscribed to the discussion will also get notifications, which will likely spawn even more replies and more conversation.
Here’s a brief example of a threaded conversation.
Congratulations! You’ve setup Intense Debate, both on the Intense Debate site and yours. You’ve imported your old comments and learned the basics of how to use the threading and subscription system.