Three Reasons To Use Disqus

First, I’d like to be perfectly clear that our firm, Union Square Ventures, is an investor in Disqus. So I am clearly biased about what I am about to say. Second, I’d like to point out that the reason we made the investment is largely based on my experience as a Disqus user for the past 10 months and the result it has had on my blog/community. Sometimes seeing is believing and it certainly was in this case.

So, with that disclosure out of the way, here are three reasons I think every blogger, certainly every serious blogger, should consider switching to Disqus.

1) Threaded discussions – When you want to leave a comment that is actually a reply to someone else’s comment, you click on the reply link and the comment/reply is indented right under the original comment. On any comment thread/discussion with a lot of action, this is absolutely necessary to make sense of the discussion. I am shocked that a popular blog like Techcrunch doesn’t have this feature in its comments. Certainly it’s possible for commenters to use an @sign to signify a comment that is actually a reply, but threaded discussion is so much better.

2a) Email Replies – Disqus emails every comment to the blogger. If the blogger wants to reply to the comment, he/she simply replies to the email and it is posted as a reply (with the indent described above). This feature, which I requested the day I met/saw Disqus for the first time, is the single best thing about Disqus and has transformed my blog comments because I can now participate in them in real time throughout the day as the conversation develops. This is a BIG DEAL.

2b) Email Replies for Commenters – It works the same way for commenters. If you leave a comment in Disqus and have given Disqus your email address, you will get an email when anyone replies to your comment. You can reply to that just like the blogger can. This is also a big deal and leads to much more active commenting and replying – ie discussion.

3) Shared profiles. As more and more blogs add Disqus (over 10,000 at this point), the profiles that commenters create in Disqus are shared across blogs. This is an important network effect that benefits the blogger and his/her community. For example, if you have a blog that is read by a similar audience as my blog, and you add Disqus to your blog, most of my commenters will already be recognized by Disqus the first time they show up in your comments. They don’t need to set up a new profile. They”ll have the same avatar/icon and identity.

There are literally a dozen more reasons why Disqus is great (this guy lists 25 of them), and maybe you all will add them in the comments, but these are the big three.

Since I converted from TypePad comments to Disqus last August, the number of comments I regularly get have gone up by a factor of at least five and maybe ten. It seems that each week I have a post that gets over 100 comments (not this past week though). That never used to happen. And the discussions in the comments have improved dramatically.

If you want to give Disqus a try, go here.

Update: Here’s a fourth reason, courtesy of flipbrad. There’s a greasmonkey script that brings disqus comments and commenting right into Google Reader. You can get it here.