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What’s The Deal With Disqus?

Posted by on Dec 23, 2009
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You know, sometimes it seems like some of us repeat ourselves because we just have to. The lessons that we feel we learn by our own experience are put into what we write on our blogs, people see them and comment and seem to agree, then they go back and do exactly what they wanted to do in the first place.

I have spent time on this blog talking about the benefits of commenting on other blogs, which I truly believe helps people get noticed in the blogosphere, at least initially. And you know by now that I believe there’s a fine line between success and failure and a lot of that could be because of many people not feeling that commenting will do them a world of good.

At the same time, I’ve lamented at how many people seem to set up roadblocks to commenting on their blogs. I wrote a post asking if it was easy to comment on your blog. I wrote one saying why I hate logging in to comment on blogs. And there was quite the discussion when I talked about why I dislike Blogger blogs.

Lately, I’m turning my attention to these blogs that make you double opt-in to comments. They haven’t made it hard for you to leave a comment, but they do make it generate a lot of stupid extra email to make you do something extra just to see if you really want someone to notify you when or if someone has responded to your comment or not. I hate that also, obviously; if I left a comment of course I’m hoping to know that someone commented back on it. If I didn’t, why would I leave a comment in the first place? Yeah, I know, some people only want link bait, but those folks know the consequences of leaving comments to begin with.

Now there’s this thing with this plugin some folks have called “Disqus.” The basic principle behind it is to create kind of a discussion community that potentially has the ability to spread beyond just the one blog you’re commenting on. This link potentially can help spread your reputation far and wide, and the only thing it requires is for you to create an account and make sure you sign in.

Uhhh, just asking, but did anyone notice I posted a link above about not liking to log in to things to comment? So, I’m not doing that. Disqus doesn’t make you do that. What it does do, however, is ask you if you want to log in or post as a guest, which is irritating, and then you get an email asking you to respond to the link if you want to receive comments to your comment or any comments after yours. Hmmm, I think I addressed that above also.

Sometimes we get enamored with the next great thing. We like to find these things that we think are cool and use them for our benefit. That’s all well and good. But if we’re blogging with the intention of having other people participate, the idea is to make it easy for them to do so. Irritating people isn’t a good way to encourage them to keep coming back. Sure, there are certain people within the community who will love coming back and playing the game, but the overwhelming majority are going to move on.

I find that I rarely comment on Blogger blogs these days, because I don’t always want to comment and have it directed to my business blog. And I’m not setting up another account; to be truthful, I never remembered setting up the one I have. I’ll probably find myself not leaving comments on more blogs that have this Disqus feature, and there’s another one I’ve seen often enough that I can’t remember right now that does somewhat the same thing.

I’m taking my own stand; any more blogs where I comment and receive email asking me if I want responses to the comments, I’m removing from my blog reader and never commenting on again. I may miss out on a lot of stuff, but I guess I’m ready to take that chance. As for some of you who I already follow, well, I probably won’t remove your accounts immediately, but if you hear less from me you’ll know why.

Freedom, justice, and the right to comment without restrictions; viva la commenting!

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29 Comments »

I think you’ve got that wrong Mitch. Once you’ve created your Disqus account, Disqus will remember you wherever you go. Any Disqus blog I visit “knows” me, even if I’ve never been there before, so it’s the opposite of what you describe, and that’s the reason so many people are moving to it.

Also once you’ve created a Disqus account, you can set up what parameters you want in there, and they will apply to all Disqus enabled sites. I have mine set to:

1/ Notify me of any comments on my blog

2/ Notify me of any comments where people have specifically replied to a comment I have made.

But I could set it to notify me of any comment added to a string I have commented on for example.

I suspect you’ll find more and more bloggers moving to the system – the only thing it lacks at the moment is a comment luv option.

Mitch Reply:

No Mike, I don’t have it wrong at all. I didn’t set up a Disqus account; I don’t want to set one up. Because of that, every blog I visit that has it asks me if I want to set up an account. I always tell it just to post my comment as a guest. Then I receive an email asking if I want to subscribe to the comments to get any comment from my original comment. To me, that’s irritating.

ch Reply:

“I could set it to notify me of any comment added to a string I have commented on” — the idea is in fact a very awesome technique which provides a brand new potential to us blog writers. For instance, the capability to perform threaded responses is really great. This signifies anybody are able to participate any one else immediately, preferably than responding in general to virtually all. The threaded comments are indented, helping to make it simple to monitor sub-discussions. I might state this is one of my personal preferred attributes.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Ah, but if you noticed, I have threaded comments on this blog without having to use Disqus. And everyone gets notified if someone responds to a post, so there’s nothing new there either.

December 23rd, 2009 | 11:46 AM

Oh I see. Well, I guess maybe the answer is to set up a Disqus account? Given that so many bloggers are using Disqus now, I think it would make life easier for you.
.-= Mike CJ´s last blog ..Objectives for 2010 =-.

Mitch Reply:

No, it would still be problematic. I have 3 blogs, and I change up which blog I’m writing from based on the topic. I’d have to set up 3 different accounts; not doing it. Plus, I don’t believe all that many bloggers have gone that route, based on my blogosphere travels, so it’s not like I wouldn’t have other places and people to visit.

Overall, my opinion is that setting things up like this discourages people from wanting to participate. Kind of a transparency thing with me; if I have to jump through hoops, I’ll take my ball and go elsewhere. Just to follow our theme a little bit, you don’t see any of the big time bloggers using it.

December 23rd, 2009 | 12:40 PM

Ah I see your problem – I guess in your case Disqus will always be a problem.

Would have to totally disagree about Disqus discouraging people from participating though. Comments on my site doubled post Disqus! And I know several other bloggers who have had the same result.

“You don’t see big time bloggers using it?”

Maybe not, but there are plenty of small time bloggers who use it:

Gary Vaynerchuk
Chris Brogan
Robert Scoble
David Risley
Mashable

Not big players, I know, but there are some up and coming names there, don’t you think? :)
.-= Mike CJ´s last blog ..Objectives for 2010 =-.

Mitch Reply:

Not a bad list, I’ll admit Mike. I guess it’s just something that’s going to make me a rebel without a cause one day. Luckily, not today. ;)

December 23rd, 2009 | 1:27 PM
Brad:

I think commenting is overrated. For every comment you leave, what does that get you, maybe 5 random visitors? I have never seen much more than that. And it takes me like 5 minutes to read an article and comment. If I want some initial exposure for a blog next time, I will just pay Google or Stumbleupon for targeted visitors.

Mitch Reply:

Brad, the thing is if you comment on many different blogs those 5 random visitors start to add up. And once you’ve got some loyal visitors, they help you bring more new visitors. You can pay to eliminate the middle man, and it might work well, as long as you’re marketing a product that you believe will help you get your money back.

December 23rd, 2009 | 9:48 PM
Nathan hangen:

Disqus works great for me, but to each their own.

I like that it remembers me and I don’t have to fill in my details all the time. I also like that it automatically emails me if any comment receives a reply.

As a blogger, it makes threaded comments easy, and it just looks nicer. At least that’s my opinion :)
.-= Nathan hangen´s last blog ..How Having a Job Has Helped Me Build a Business =-.

Mitch Reply:

Hi Nathan,

I have threaded comments, and if I wanted to, I could alter the colors so that they stood out more. And, by using Firefox, every blog I go to already has my name and email address in there, and all I have to do is select which website I want to use. I do have to change that info if I’m writing representing a different blog, but I’d have to do that with Disqus also.

And that’s why we all have opinions and likes; the world would be boring otherwise.

Nathan hangen Reply:

You’re right, I can’t argue that.

I think another natural benefit is that it integrates with Twitter and Facebook, which means you can sign in without a Disqus account.
.-= Nathan hangen´s last blog ..Nothing is Impossible – How to Turns Dreams into Reality =-.

December 24th, 2009 | 12:09 AM

I have used Discuss in the past so still have an account, as someone alluded to it follows you around and it is irritating! I see these things as add on gimicks, they have their place but the real thing that counts in my mind is the substance contained in blog posts.
.-= Peter Davies´s last blog ..The Self Improvement Giveaway Event =-.

Mitch Reply:

Thanks Peter; for a minute there I was starting to get a complex! :-) My only gripe with this thing is that if I leave a comment, and I don’t want to have to subscribe when the email comes, then pretty much I’m never going to receive any feedback from my comment if one is forthcoming. Therefore, why even bother, right?

December 24th, 2009 | 2:51 AM
Mitch:

Dennis, I only used Disqus as an example of the type of thing that kind of gets on my nerve. Not that I necessarily expect people to reply to every comment I write, but if they do I’d like being notified about it without a lot of muss and fuss.

December 24th, 2009 | 10:34 PM

Mitch, even though I’ve joined Disqus I don’t overly like commenting on blogs using it.

I like my commenting system the way it is and I can’t see myself changing anytime soon.

Actually, if I remember correctly, I did use something similar once, but I got rid of it soon after testing it out.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Merry Christmas To All =-.

Mitch Reply:

Just asking Sire, but since you’re one of the people who signed up and didn’t like it, what was it you weren’t all that happy with?

Sire Reply:

If I’m logged in it’s OK, but that’s not always the case and I find it tedious to have to log in again.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Merry Christmas To All =-.

December 25th, 2009 | 8:18 AM

Times without number I’ve had issues commenting on blogs that use third party commenting systems such as Disqus and I’ve made up my mind never to waste my time on them. They seem to take forever to load on my slow internet connection and the whole logging in thing ain’t pleasant @ all.
.-= Udegbunam Chukwudi´s last blog ..Hostgator Hosted Blogs Run Faster With Wp-SuperCache =-.

Mitch Reply:

I don’t know about the speed issues, Udegbunam, but stuff getting in my way all the time is somewhat irritating.

December 25th, 2009 | 1:37 PM

I don’t like it when I have to jump through hoops to comment, either. It’s a bummer, because I like a lot of the features some of those commenting systems offer. Disqus doesn’t bug me.

By the way, I hope my blog isn’t sending you an email asking if you want to subscribe to comments. I use the “subscribe to comments” plugin, but I thought that was only supposed to add the option on the front end. If it’s sending out irritating emails I want to know! Also, I can’t find the stupid place on my blog where it lets me tick the “Notify me of followup comments via email”. I generally keep that box unchecked because I know all readers don’t want to read every comment left by everyone who responds to my posts, and I don’t want to discourage commenting. But I do want the option to check it. If you don’t know offhand, please do not bother with my questions.

Thanks & take care!
.-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..Zombie Attack Imminent! =-.

Mitch Reply:

I think yours is fine, Heather, but if I get something next time I comment, I’ll let you know. I use that same plugin.

I just don’t know how many Blogger blogs I’ve written comments on over the years and never heard anything, which is why I rarely comment on them anymore, and it’s a shame because there are a lot of people who write pretty good stuff.

Heather Kephart Reply:

Thanks, Mitch! I appreciate you taking the time to answer me.

When I had a Blogger blog I used JS-Kit for comment reply notification.
.-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..Zombie Attack Imminent! =-.

Mitch Reply:

Heather, though I may let you get the last word in every once in awhile, I will always respond. I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t! ;)

December 26th, 2009 | 11:41 AM

I’m annoyed with Disqus right now. I have it on my Blogger blogs because I don’t want to have to moderate all my comments and Blogger commenting sucks when it comes to not being able to moderate a comment once it posts. I received a few spammy comments and although I wanted to keep them I did want to edit out the link that was spammy and could not. Frustrating! But now all comments left on my writing blog prior to a certain date are not showing in the posts through Discus although they do exist. Sigh

I can’t afford to move everything to WordPress, but as soon as I can I plan to. You would think with such a big company like Google/Blogger/etc. they would have a better commenting system.
.-= Anne´s last blog ..2010 Wish List ~ Non-Resolution Style =-.

Mitch Reply:

Anne, Blogger was like that way before Google purchased them and they’ve never made any changes to it. I’ve always hated how they have comments, but I once came across a Blogger blog that had comments set up just like everyone else. I wish I could remember which blog that was, because I’d show everyone how it looks.

By the way, I’m sure you’ve been asked before, but a sideways picture?

Anne Reply:

I could flip it I suppose, but no, you’re the first. ;)
.-= Anne´s last blog ..POW! BAM! ZONK! =-.

Mitch Reply:

How stunned I am that I’m the first; what’s with all those other folks? lol

December 28th, 2009 | 3:05 PM