So…one of the neat things about FriendFeed is that it highlights services for me that I don’t presently use, but that keep showing up in the feeds I follow. For example, I checked out GoodReads based on seeing a couple of people using it, and it’s nifty. I’ve got an account there now, in fact (wiring it up to LibraryThing comes later). FF supports a lot of services that I haven’t used ,but I think the most interesting thing I’ve seen is Disqus. So interesting that I think I’m moving my comments there.

Weird, eh? I mean, I live for running my own stuff. I host my blog myself, host my mailserver myself, host my wiki myself, host my…we’re seeing a pattern here, aren’t we? *grin* So what’s different?

Well, a couple things I think. One is simply pragmatic, but it enables the other. Firstly, in a pragmatic sense, pushing my comments out into the cloud is a fundamentally different thing than hosting my email there. My blog is public, and the associated comments are by design, public as well, so there’s not the privacy and 4th amendment issues associated with my personal email. For email, this is still a show-stopper for me…it would require serious crypto-wizardry for me to store my full email corpus in the cloud. For comments, not so much…which means I’m willing to at least entertain the idea. And once I do, it’s pretty attractive.

Disqus provides a lot of cool features for both a blog owner and a commenter (and hey, I’m both!). For a blog owner, it provides nice conversational management tools, good spam filtering, dashboard management, etc. Nice to haves. But it really, IMO, shines for the commenter. You suddenly have a persistent identity across thousands of blogs, allowing your reputation and ID to become a much more useful online tool. You can also use widgets and services like FriendFeed to easily highlight your witty remarks from any tenth-rate blog (like, say, this one *grin*) on your own site or in your own feed. Nice!

There are also comment ratings, and the ability to email into a thread, the ability to backup posts (in case the service, you know, goes away), and an API. They also make it clear that they claim no ownership of your comments, which I find kinda important. *grin*

PLUS…it supposedly runs on Django, and they use Firefly characters in their features tour. I mean…geek bonus juice aplenty right there.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure it’s not perfect. But I’ve been giving this your sites as loosely coupled components scattered across the cloud model a lot of thought lately, and Disqus fits in well as training wheels for a trial run (how’s THAT for tentative? LOL). So I think if I can get this wired up pretty easily, I’m going to give it a whirl. Let’s see where we end up! Comments welcome (and appreciated). What do you think? Have you used Disqus? Do you like the idea?

PS: It certainly isn’t live yet…as of now, these are still my old-school comments. I’ll make it clear when I’ve switched over (though it should be pretty obvious). I’m just making the decision now…

UPDATE: An important note. I want to make clear that the persistent identity benefits I’m so enthusiastic about above are optional. I will NOT be requiring any commenter to register with me, or with Disqus. I think it’s of value, obviously…for both me and you. But I understand anyone who doesn’t wish to do so. I will still have the ability to post anonymous (well, unnamed; I have your IP address) comments, and I always will, barring some unforeseen Internet calamity that makes it impossible. So don’t worry about that.

2 thoughts on “Pondering comment switch to Disqus

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