“Who does this Open attitude dude think he is? I’m going to give him a piece of my mind…!”
“Wha? Oh, um… Let’s see…”
“I don’t have an intensed-ebate account, whatever that is — or WordPress or OpenID…”
“I am on Twitter but is this blog going to steal my password or something? And why do I have to log in and give my name & email too?”
“Nuts to this, I’m outta here.”
I can only imagine how many times this has happened over the last seven days. All I can say is, I’m truly sorry. Just like the typical Apple user I used to be I got so caught up in geegaws that I lost sight of what’s truly important — your valued feedback on my posts.
The tenuous agreement between you and I has proven to be surprisingly robust over the three months. You understand that I moderate comments to keep out the spam and trolls; I understand that the email address you give me might not be legit — I honestly don’t even care, so long as your comments are sincere (though with a working address you do the opportunity to subscribe by email to new comments, should you so choose).
For some of you (Kevin Neely) it would be more convenient to have comments go live right away so you could Tweet your replies right after you post them; unfortunately the cost is too great for everyone else, me included. Other would-be commenters would have to endure that retarded login field or worse, sign up for a third-party service just to write in. And what I have to deal with on my end isn’t any easier.
Disqus is perhaps slightly less of an affront to your eyes, but it’s slow as fuck to load onto the end of posts. In the few days I had it running here there were lots of issues, from missing comments to broken links and widgets.
IntenseDebate, on the other hand, doesn’t even feel like a finished product. I wrote a support email with two simple questions:
- Seeing how I’m handing over my comments database to you, will my 200 or so comments on this blog ever count towards my ID reputation?
- More importantly, can I stop links in my comments from opening in new windows and instead make them behave in accordance with the rest of my blog?
The answer (provided many days later) was no and no. No reasons given.
Oh, and I got a nice little parting gift for deactivating the IntenseDebate plugin: the links I had put in my comments while running it all broke in exactly the same way, like this:
Both Disqus and IntenseDebate seem virus-like in their behavior, while running or when removed — at the very least they’re a solution in search of a problem. Maybe if you’re a site like Mashable, with potentially hundreds of comments on each post, an external commenting system might make sense. But at that point you’re likely not paying attention anyway, so why have comments at all?
I think it’s best if we keep things simple ’round here. After all, our friends on Mippin might want to comment too. And who are we to stop them?