Disqus and the comment-o-sphere

As a number of people — including Nick Gonzalez at TechCrunch, Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider and Om Malik over at GigaOm (who I think broke the story first) — are reporting, the hosted-comments company known as Disqus has raised money and launched some new features. There’s a post by Fred Wilson at the Union Square Ventures blog, since USV led the $500,000 round. Disqus says it has about 4,000 bloggers using the tool now, and about 60,000 commenters in total.

I know that the “Comment 2.0” space has a number of players in it, including SezWho.com and Intense Debate, but I think that Disqus is a more interesting play in a lot of ways, so it’s probably not surprising that — as Adam Ostrow notes over at Mashable — I use them for the comments here on my blog. I like the interface, I like the fact that it handles spam almost effortlessly, 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 email (SezWho has a somewhat pissed-off response to the Disqus announcement).

As I mentioned in that previous post, there are a few quibbles I have — such as the lack of support for trackbacks, which CEO Daniel Ha has said they are working on a solution for — but overall it’s a solid service. It also supports OpenID (through ClickPass) which I think is important for any kind of centralized comment system. Some people don’t like the idea that the comments are hosted somewhere other than their own server, but I think that is actually a benefit in some ways, and in a comment on my earlier post Daniel said the service would soon support synching between your server and theirs, which would be a cool feature.

There are hints in Fred Wilson’s blog post about where Disqus might be heading with all this. For example, he says that he sees the company as doing for comments what RSS did for blog posts and other information, and that Disqus could be the one that “unlocks comments from blogs and brings them into the mainstream” and also “surfaces the most interesting blog comments and blog commenters.” All of that presupposes that everyone starts using Disqus, of course — a tall order — but it’s still an interesting glimpse of where blog comments could go in the future.

24 thoughts on “Disqus and the comment-o-sphere

  1. You know, those hints about possible uses for comments imply that Disqus will have some level of control over comments, and will use them out of context in a separate application.

    That might be appealing to some people, but wouldn’t it mean that Disqus would wield control over ALL comments in its system?

  2. Wheré did u get the
    DARPA Dog
    cant find on the web
    Ill invest through my skeletor stuckture presence.
    lmknw

  3. Pingback: Bloggers don’t have an exclusive on conversations | WinExtra

  4. matthew,

    i don’t think everyone needs to use disqus for the vision i outlined to happen.

    i suspect that once everyone sees the power of unlocking comments from the ghetto of blog hosts, that we’ll see a lot of innovation and cooperation from all the players including the blog hosts themselves

    fred

  5. Thanks for the comment, Fred — maybe I overstated that a bit, or put it badly.

    I just meant that comment systems such as Disqus are better the more people use them and the more comments that are aggregated by them. As I think you’re suggesting, that could be accomplished in a number of different ways.

    Meanwhile, in some kind of bizarre coincidence, for some reason Disqus didn’t get activated on this post.

  6. I had no clue that they didn’t have trackback links.

    Regardless, I think Disqus is a neat system and can be very useful when dealing with comments. So many people forget to come back and check for replies and I think it solves that problem and allows for the conversation to continue, when it usually dies out because people forget to come back and respond.

  7. I posted a response on Jitendra’s blog post as well. It’s a good discussion to have.

    Mathew,

    Oddly coincidental about the Disqus deactivation on this entry. 🙂

    Our implementation of trackbacks was supposed to be in for beta 2. Missed the deadline, but it’s almost there.

  8. Pingback: 6 Great Reasons Why You Should Be Using Disqus’ Commenting System » SheGeeks

  9. Probably one of the hardest things anyone can do is try and learn something new. Congrats to anyone who tries.

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  11. Yups !
    Disqus could be the one that “unlocks comments from blogs and brings them into the mainstream” and also “surfaces the most interesting blog comments and blog commenters.”

  12. I think Disqus is a neat system and can be very useful when dealing with comments. So many people forget to come back and check for replies and I think it solves that problem and allows for the conversation to continue.

  13. I think Disqus is a neat system and can be very useful when dealing with comments. So many people forget to come back and check for replies and I think it solves that problem and allows for the conversation to continue.

  14. I think Disqus is a neat system and can be very useful when dealing with comments. So many people forget to come back and check for replies and I think it solves that problem and allows for the conversation to continue.

  15. Disqus has ability to import existing comments as well as export comments. I didn't lose any comments when I moved to Disqus..Disqus is really good stuff methinks…!

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