Rolled out Disqus for #comments commenting
You know, if you travel in my august circles, you’d already know about Disqus (pronounced “discuss”). It’s the comment service that everyone’s talking about. Yup, that’s right, in my circles everyone talks about blog commenting services. Don’t be jealous.
I’d been reading and seeing how it was the bomb, most recently a post by Fred Wilson. I’d been avoiding it for a few reasons, mostly because I have a lot of comments on the site already and didn’t want to lose them – Disqus doesn’t yet have a way to import your comments, but I’m told that it’s coming. However, they let me know that installing the wordpress plugin lets you configure it to show up only on posts without existing comments and going forward, so in fact, it’s a non-issue. And with that, I took the 2 minutes it takes to install and lo and behold.
The key feature for me is the email replies for commenting. After you comment any replies to you (the comments are threaded now, remember) are sent to you in an email and the magical part is that you can reply by simply replying to that email… you know… in an email! So it really lowers the barrier to keep things moving in the comments. That’s pretty amazing.
For a lot of other people I think the shared profile is the big noise as well. If you verify yourself to Disqus (it takes like 1 minute, just click the “verify” checkbox when you post) you then get a profile on their site and that gets updated whenever you post to another Disqus enabled site. So it’s a central repository for all your commenting. Personally, that’s a nice feature, but wasn’t a maker or breaker for me – although it’s interesting to see people comments flowing into FriendFeed as a result of that.
If you’ll recall I experimented some time ago with CoComment which offered a similar feature. It had the nice effect of duplicating the content so that all posts stayed in the wordpress system as well as showing up on your CoComment profile which was very nice. But, as a feature, I just didn’t care enough about that and it slowed down and complexified the reply box so I removed it.
UPDATE 2: Oh, as Mathew Ingram mentions another area that I’m bummed about is the loss of Trackbacks. While, it was a major spam vector, it was also an interesting and useful way to help aggregate discussion. Hopefully Disqus works that out soon.