I’ve always thought that comments were a huge part of a blog site. I realize that only a VERY small percentage of the people who read a post comment, but I think comments give the overall community a voice. Whether you commented or not, chances are your thoughts (or something similar) are reflected in the comments that are there. Plus, for the blogger, it’s a great way to see how a post is being received.
Well, I’ve been following some blogs that use DISQUS lately and I just recently added it to the site here. Basically DISQUS is a way to turn a simple comment system into a more engaging community. While it still works the same as regular comments (but I think it looks much better), it also provides a bunch of features, that I think people who comment, can take advantage of.
For starters, it’s free. And it works everywhere. So where ever you participate in a DISQUS comment, you use the same account – which means you can track your discussions on their site. Not only can you track discussions and your comments, but you’ll also see notifications when people reply to your comments. And you’ll see it all in the Notifications section right on the site you’re commenting in. And it’s not just notifications for that site – it’s for any site where you used your DISQUS account. Here’s an example of what I saw in my notifications today:
For me, a great part about it is that I comment on lots of sites. But I always forget what I commented on. Sometimes I know I commented on something that I want to go back to, but I can’t find it. With DISQUS you can go back and see all of your comments, and the blog posts where you made them.
Also, you can tag people in comments so they get notified you mentioned them. Plus, it’s real-time. So you can see when some one is typing back to you and actually have a mini-conversation right there. I guess my favorite part about it is the consistency. I create one account, and I can use it on any site that uses DISQUS. I know I mentioned it before, but it just looks better than the regular WordPress commenting system. It’s easier to see threaded comments, and you get options like thumbs-upping (or downing) a comment, collapsing and expanding comments and sorting through them. It’s actually a very slick system, and I’d suggest you check out their home page because there’s a little interactive demo. And if you’re a blogger, you should consider adding it too (it’s free).
And if none of these things interest you, then you don’t have to change a thing. You’re not forced to use it or create an account. You can still comment as an anonymous person and you don’t have to sign up or sign-in for anything.
So give it a try. All you have to do is create a quick account the first time you do it (seriously, it takes less than a minute) and you’re ready to go.
Have a good one!
Matt one of the great things about Disqus is if you enable the 2012 features.. you can have it suggest other posts by you, to your readers!…
It helps to keep the readers engaged with your site a lil more.
Its a great feature.
Also… you can add a different default image for anonymous commenters so it doesn’t have to be the lil shady looking grey guy.. but anything that you choose it to be.
I found that to be a nice touch.
Thanks Jason. Wow! I never knew that. I’ll have to dig in a little further and tweak it a little. Plus, I’d love to change the shady guy image 🙂
Glad to be of help!
Yeah.. my entire family was killed by that shady guy avatar! =p
Benefits aside, I will be curious to know if the hurtle to login/signup lowers commenting.
Stephen there is no hurtle to login.. its actually easier than all other options. You can log in with Google Facebook Twitter.. etc etc etc.
Except for the option of open commenting with no login at all. Regardless of how easy it is to login – it still requires registration with a supported service.
Matt- love the new comment system- think I will add it to my blog..
Hi Matt – I’m just trying this out. Happy New Year.
OK, I’ll try it. Let’s see what happens when I hit ‘Next’.
Sounds like a plan.
Hey Matt, how do i add an Avatar to this?
Hey Dennis – there’s a little gear icon in the upper right corner of your comment. Just click it and choose Edit Settings. You can add a photo or have it use your Gravatar photo if you’ve ever added one. Thanks 🙂
Hey Matt, thanks! I just didn’t look for that gear.
Okay Matt, you got me hooked! 🙂 Not sure if I did it right, but we’ll find out! Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I can see it. Awesome change.
I figured I’d start the discussion just so you could see it 🙂
Hey Matt! Sounds cool…I’ll play…Just registered, so we’ll see how this goes. Hope you had a great start to 2013, and here’s hoping the rest of the year is even better!
Just trying it out ….
I wish everyone a happy new year
Great idea Matt. Thanks.