Phase Ignition!

"Quod Scripsi, Scripsi."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Commenting. The Next Discontinuous Evolution.

When I first started blogging, I was rather content with Blogger's commenting system. As time went on though, I was looking at various different technologies that could plug into this blog. I then went to make a decision that I would come to regret. I installed Haloscan on my blog. Actually Haloscan wasn't really all that bad, I could moderate comments nicely and my commenters (as if there are a million comments per post!) could post a little avatar etc. But after a while I realized that once the overall comments hit a certain number, they'll get put into a database of sorts and the counter for them older comments will be reset to zero. Not that they get deleted or something but basically that's what you get for having a free Haloscan account. How do you get back the 'lost' comments? Easy, pay 12USD a year.

Er...I wasn't willing to pay just to get my comments back so I've wiped the slate clean, and installed Disqus. Yep, commenting just turned Web 2.0. There has been lots of interest in this start up and co-founder Daniel Ha even got interviewed in net@night with Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur. So how different is Disqus compared to Haloscan and even the native Blogger commenting system?

Disqus promises to make commenting more "interactive and manageable". It kinda makes 'communities' out of commenters who then connect with each other. A side benefit of this is that promoting a blog becomes much easier with this community element present in the commenting system. Community is what makes Disqus truly Web 2.0. Here's a shot of their site:

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Intrigued, I went and looked at how this thing works in real blogs. I chose Dave Winer's blog cause well, I like his writing and he's been using Disqus for a bit now. He's also responsible for a lot of things like RSS, blogs and podcasting. Here's a look at the comments in one of the posts.

(Click to enlarge)

See where the red arrow points to? that is an avatar on a Disqus powered commenting system. When I moused over it, that box with the red circle appeared. Now, look at the next avatar below, see that little 2 gray arrows pointing up and down below it? That enables you to vote the comments up or down, Digg Style. Going back to the box, you'll see a number 1 in an orange box. That will show show how much karma or 'clout' (as its called in Disqus) you have. You can even follow the person's comments via RSS (shown with the red circle. What makes it really interesting is the fact that Disqus and Seesmic have now teamed up to enable video comments to be inserted into blog comments. Here's a shot of that in action:

Now, from what I heard on Net@night, this system integrates easily into any blog and it also works as a plugin for Wordpress. When I put Disqus into my system, it actually asked if I want to overwrite my previous comments or begin from the next new post that I'll be writing. Fancy that, they actually thought that part through. Daniel when asked by Leo about monetizing the service remarked that at the moment, they were more focused on rolling out the service but the service will remain free. So to the 2-3 people who actually read this blog, take a shot at the comments and if you wanna leave a video comment, knock yourself out.

Oh yeah, I wrote this post with ScribeFire so let me know how it worked out as well.
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