If you come to my blog much (as opposed to just reading the RSS feed), you’ve probably noticed that I’m using a comment-handling system called Disqus, which has been in beta for the past few months or so. Fred Wilson of A VC uses it too, and so does Andrew Baron of Rocketboom, and so does my pal Dave Winer. Founder and CEO Daniel Ha asked me to try it out and so I’ve been using it since about November.

As with some other comment-aggregation systems, such as CoComment.com (which I also used for awhile), Instense Debate and SezWho, Disqus gives you a central place where you can track all of your comments, and it also gives you a built-in, threaded commenting system for your blog — which if you use WordPress, as I do, comes in the form of a plugin. It’s easy to set up and easy to administer, and you can decide whether to let it handle all your comments or only the new one.

Disqus.com has avatars for those who register, and it also gives users the ability to rate a comment. The registering part has irritated more than one reader, but I figure it’s a small price to pay for a lack of spam. In the few months I’ve been using it, I’ve had two pieces of comment spam make it into my email inbox — everything else has been handled by Disqus. One of the best parts of the system is that when you get an email notifying you there’s a comment, you can simply reply to the email and it gets posted as a comment in reply, which is a huge time-saver.

There are a couple of things that I don’t like about Disqus. For one thing, it doesn’t support trackbacks — although Daniel said they were working on something that would take the place of trackbacks. Another thing is that if you create a draft post in WordPress, it can be revealed on your Disqus comment page even if it hasn’t been published; Daniel said this was a flaw and they were planning to fix it.

The other little thing is that it took me awhile to figure out how to delete a comment (you have to click on the person’s avatar to get a menu). Other than those quibbles, I think Disqus is an excellent system and I intend to continue using it. The best part is that I find myself commenting more, and that is (I think) a good thing. If you have any thoughts about it, please let me know — in the comments :-)

About the author

Mathew 2413 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

33 Responses to “Disqus: Some thoughts on comments”
  1. I've been using Disqus on WinExtra as well since I first heard about it and I've been pretty pleased with it as well. Like you I have found it excellent at handling the comment spam – I only hope that when they do come up with the trackback equivilent that it will deal with spam as well as it does for comments.

  2. Hi, great post. We are excited to see more players in this space. We at coComment are always looking for better ways to serve users needs. As it seems you have used few of the comment tracking services, would love to hear your thoughts about coComment and why you chose Disqus over coComment.

    Thanks and feel free to email us anytime at joaquin@cocomment.com

    Joaquin

    • Am I mistaken or does coComment not even do what Disqus does. It appears they're completely different services.

      Can't speak for anyone else, but coComment never really worked for me.

    • I thought CoComment was pretty good, Joaquin. But Disqus is more of
      an all-in-one kind of thing — which could be good or bad, depending
      on your perspective, I suppose. As I said in the post, I like the
      fact that it ties in with your email, making it easy to respond to a
      comment. And it handles spam as well, which is a pretty killer
      feature for me.

  3. Am I right in thinking that Disqus completely replaces your regular commenting system, and stores the comments on their own servers? If that's right, then my biggest concern over Disqus is simply that there appears to be no way to get comments on your blog out of it – how, if you decide to drop it, do you get the comments that it retains back into your blog?

    • Couple things:

      1) You can export data out of Disqus at any time.
      2) Correct, we are a hosted comment service. We power, manage, and enhance discussion on websites — and this is a plus for most. In the near future, there will be a solution that allows you to retain the comments on your own server (and sync with Disqus).

      Thanks Ian.

  4. Just wanted to clarify — unlike Intense Debate and Disqus, SezWho is not a comment replacement system. We augment existing comment systems by providing additional functionality such as filtering, rating and reputation, and linkage to other contributed content. There's no separate registration to deal with and your comments stay on your site, so you never have to worry about access or loss of your comment data.
    - tedd at sezwho

    • Thanks, Tedd — I should have made that clear. The same goes for
      CoComment, which enhances comments that remain on your site.

  5. I am glad to hear that disqus is planning on fixing the extra early preview problem. I noticed that people were commenting on things before they were even done, and I was confused, and then disappointed that it did that. I hope they fix it it soon!

  6. […] and I like some of the new features like the “community page.” Most of all, as I’ve mentioned before, I like the fact that I can respond to comments as easily as I respond to an […]

  7. […] very well by WordPress and Akismet, so I was concerned about how Disqus handled this problem, but by all accounts it works well and very little gets […]

  8. Thanks for the post… I've been looking into the different commenting systems and I like the idea, but I'm not sure which I want to chose or if people will comment more, or less, with one.

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  17. Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for writing. I will certainly be subscribing to your posts.

  18. Well done. I hope others enjoyed this as much as I did.

  19. Disqus is Great! Currently there are some “comment plugins” which can let a page have function of comment.The best one I know is Disqus With greater control and commenter profiles. this plugins is really cool, I love it.

    Was a good read. thank great post, I think this article is useful. I'll be back for more. Thanks for sharing the information . .. :)

  20. We are about to install Disqus on our server! This is a Great post

    Tnx and keep it up

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  25. Disqus is a great tool, I have it on many of my blogs already. It will only get better in the next few years..Disqus is a popular commenting platform…

  26. I like Disqus because it give me a freedom to give comment without having to login to each blog that i went in.I love Disqus much more.

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