Trying Disqus again… Comments?

Back in April I damned Disqus and its rival IntenseDebate as solutions in search of a problem. And now, four months later, I’m giving Disqus another go.

As was the case previously, there are two significant cons to using the service:

First and foremost is that Disqus comments are tacked on to the end of posts as JavaScript, meaning that readers with that particular feature turned off in their web browsers won’t see any comments at all — nor will you see them if you’re reading this site from Mippin. You will be able post a new comment (from Mippin at least) so at worst you’ll be at risk of repeating what someone else has already said.

My second issue is perhaps more petty, but still valid. It has to do with the dreaded web-marketing-speak buzzword known as SEO. If someone searches for one of your brilliant comments they won’t be directed here to where you posted it — JavaScript, remember? — but instead to Disqus.com, where they will see snippets of the original post and other comments but not the whole shebang. They’ll have to navigate back here for that.

So why am I giving it another chance?

Data portability is a good reason. If you’ve never used Disqus on your WordPress blog it actually doesn’t touch your original comment database, just makes a duplicate copy. The great thing about this is that I can dump Disqus at any time and instantly be back to business as usual. The not so great thing is that my upwards of 1,000 comments are still in the process of syncing — for example, the commenter called “Andrew” that you’ll see in older posts is actually me; Disqus is still in the process of figuring that out.

Disqus also provides an extra layer of spam filtering. Akismet is very, very good but still lets the occasional junk comment through. I have enough faith in Disqus that I’ve actually turned comment moderation off, at least for a trial run. I also comment on other blogs around the web (it’s true!) and know the validation that comes with seeing your comment go live immediately after you hit the return key. Disqus gives you the ability to edit your comment after the fact, and to broadcast your comment to Facebook or Twitter if you’ve an account on either.

And for the flamebait and such makes its way through I’ll at least be able to spot it while on the run with Disqus’ mobile interface.

But the biggest reason I’m giving Disqus another shot is because I’m coming to realize that it is, in fact, a social network of sorts. More and more of the blogs I regularly read use it, and having it installed here means that you can easily track my comments left on those sites. This is why I’ve replaced the “recent comments” sidebar item with a Disqus widget showing the top commenters here who are members.  Doing so also makes room to feature the latest from this site’s Twitter account, which I’ve wanted to do for a while now.

Barring some unforeseen disaster I’m going to give Disqus a full week to prove its worth. If you’ve any thoughts or issues with it please let me know. You know what to do!

6 comments:

  1. I like these commenting systems you know, but what puts me off is having to log in to comment. God I hate that. I for one still prefer the good old name, url email WP stuff. Works easy for me and fast too! That’s just me btw 😀

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