Vanilla Forums has announced the general availability of its new commenting feature which allows publishers to use Vanilla to power blog comments and turn those transient commenters into engaged community members. When an article is published, a new discussion thread is automatically created in the community forum and commenters can then participate in further conversations with each other in the community. Any comment posted to the blog or to the corresponding thread in the community is displayed in both places simultaneously.
“It takes a lot of effort to get an active, vibrant community off the ground,” according to Vanilla Forums co-founder Mark O’Sullivan. “Vanilla Comments let you use existing content and traffic to seed a community forum and really engage the readership. Using Vanilla to power both comments and the forum lets members have one identity, one reputation and one user experience on all sections of the website.”
For Cult of Mac.com’s Leander Kahney, publisher and editor of the popular daily news site about everything Apple, Vanilla’s comment feature is a way to increase readership engagement and grow the site: “We are working on building a full-featured forum, and using Vanilla Forums for comments is a bridge to that goal. Without it, it would probably fail. The comments allow us to leverage the popularity of the blog into building a forum from scratch.”
Vanilla’s comments feature is easy to embed into a WordPress or other website and supports single sign on. It offers the same gamification, reputation and moderation features as found in Vanilla powered communities. For publishers that want to make the switch from an existing system to Vanilla, a data migration service is offered.
Vanilla Comments is available only to Vanilla’s hosted customers. Plans start at $49 per month.