As part of my slight overhaul of the look and feel of my website, I have added a new system to the site for managing comments on my posts. I read somewhere that “a good comment to a blog entry is just as worthwhile as a good entry itself.” I am a firm believer in this statement, and as I have become a more avid blogger in the past months, I have been making an effort to read other bloggers’ entries more often, and contribute with my own thoughts on the topics they write about through comments. This allows for great conversation to happen on topics that myself and my other blogger colleagues all are passionate about.
One of the problems with the stereotypical current blog layout, though, is that all the emphasis is placed on the post itself, with the comments just intended as an afterthought. In my opinion, it should be quite the opposite, with the post having importance, but the comments having almost the same-if not more-importance than the original entry does! The entire system should function like the conversation, with the original post just being the “ice-breaker.”
Fortunately, the people at Disqus agree with me! They have developed a comment system for blogs that allows the comments to act more like conversations. There are a few main features of Disqus that I really love, and think you will too:
- Disqus allows for threaded conversations. In the “old” comment system, if you saw something another commenter posted and wanted to reply with a comment in reference to that, the only way to reference that you were replying to that specific commenter was to state it in the body of your comment. Now, you can actually click a “Reply” link under the comment, and your comment will be indented after the comment to which you were replying-like a conversation! This helps track
- Disqus works via email. This applies to both me as the blogger and you as the commenter! I, of course, get email notification any time someone posts a comment to a blog entry. With Disqus though, if you create an account with them and then make a comment, you will be notified if anyone replies to your comment! The kicker? Both you and I can reply to that notification email, and the content of the reply email will automatically be posted as a reply comment to the comment the email originally notified you about! This means that both you and I can participate in the discussion in real-time via email, even if you’re not checking my site all day!
- Disqus allows you to keep track of your comments. If you’re like me and you comment on lots of different blogs, Disqus will help you keep track of everything! By signing up with them, you’ll be able to log the comments you make on any blog site that has Disqus installed (over 10,000 as of last May, MANY more now!) on your own personal profile page! For an example, you can see my Disqus page, which lists all the comments I’ve made on blogs, as well as updates I’ve posted to any of the following services-the ones I actively use are bolded: Facebook, FriendFeed, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Delicious, Tumblr. This way you can see what I’m commenting on, and I can see what you’re commenting on. Who knows, one of us might introduce a great blog to another person that they didn’t even know about!
- Disqus has Facebook integration. I mentioned this briefly before, but now it’s working full-throttle! If you don’t want to get a Disqus account, you can post from your Facebook account, which will allow your Facebook friends to see that you’ve made a comment on my blog, as well as automatically embedding your profile picture in as the avatar. Pretty cool, huh? Just click on the FacebookConnect button and follow the prompts!
One other cool feature to note is that if you want, you can use the “Record Video Comment” link to post a video reply to my post!If you have a “Seesmic” account, you can use this, otherwise you can make the post anonymous. There are many more advantages to the Disqus system that don’t really effect you as a commenter (most of them are aesthetic or technical advantages for me as a blogger/moderator), but I hope that it proves to be as advantageous to you as I know it will be to me!
Do you have a Disqus account? Do you have any good or bad experiences with the service? Do you have a question about it? Try out the new Disqus comment system on this post by letting me know what you think about the switch!