Disqus: Some thoughts on comments

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 🙂

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