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.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Don Jones

    Fred, I agree that a major blog like Techcrunch should have a full featured comment system like Disqus. VentureBeat has it. It’s the best blog comment system I’ve seen. Mike just added the Seesmic video comment feature, so he’s clearly thinking about that area. I’m getting ready to put it on my blog.Another reason to use Disqus is that you can mouse over a person’s name and see the networks/blogs/sites they belong to. It’s a fast and easy way to see who the person is.

    1. fredwilson

      the “mouse over” thing is great. that’s in the list of “a dozen other reasons” thanks for bringing it up

      1. Mahesh

        This is cool feature

      2. Mahesh

        Fred,I really love to comment/reply through IM for eg: from GTalk. Its better if Disqus integrates with GTalk and other im.Suppose if someone reply to my comment, i should immediately get IM window displaying reply comment, and i will type my reply to that comment and Disqus should post it accordingly.I will become fun to comment.

        1. fredwilson

          that’s a great idea, i’ll make sure daniel and jason see that suggestion

          1. Mahesh

            Thanks a lot Fred. Glad u liked it.I shared that idea to others thru IM, but none excited. So i posted it here.

  2. StevenHodson

    As a Disqus user and fan I agree with your points and I have seen an increase in comments being left as well. As a side note there is a lot of moaning about comment fragmentation but I have found that since FriendFeed added support for Disqus comments have increased as well. If the Disqus and FriendFeed teams do manage to get the write in FriendFeed to post in a Disqus comment stream this will again increase comments.

    1. fredwilson

      i really want people to comment on my blog via friendfeed and google reader.disqus integration with both would be killer

      1. Philippe Bradley

        the gReader extension started off as a greasemonkey extension but is now a standalone extension for Firefox, btw. No need for greasemonkey to be installed.interesting how killer apps for software can come from a source completely external to a company. it’s the power of APIs. An API early on could mean life or death for a startup – but I wonder if, long term, an API might *cause* death for a startup trying to develop revenue streams or new features to drive eyeballs to their site, but finding that all the added value creation for its service has already been done by other people, i.e. they run out of value to add (and to charge for) and die?

        1. mrclark411

          Sounds like Twitter’s issue. Though you are right, I still think the owner of the service still has a distinct advantage over API services in creating value. Let’s see if Twitter proves me right or wrong.

    1. ontarioemperor

      And those 25 didn’t even include the ability to create new threads, which I consider a feature.

    2. fredwilson

      andy c – thanks for that link. i added it to my post.

  3. ontarioemperor

    I haven’t really explored item 2, but the biggest benefit that’s occurring to me about Disqus is that when you combine Disqus with a blog, you get the best features of a blog and a message board. It took me a while to realize that Disqus isn’t just a comment engine; in reality, it’s a message board in which the threads are usually attached to specific blog posts. I say “usually” because they don’t have to be; you can start up your own threads on the fly, unattached to any blog post. I’m considering possible applications for this; for example, if your blog (and therefore your Disqus community) is focused on topic A, then your community can launch threads of interest to topic A, allowing them to participate in the conversation more, and allowing you to benefit from this interaction.

  4. MikeSansone

    Okay, Fred. We’ll give it a shot. Andy C’s comment helped spur me on.

  5. vruz

    Robert Scoble said he’s considering switching to Disqus comments for his new blog. (Daniel Ha has already talked to him about this.)If it’s good for Scoble –in my view, the prototype of tech blogging– chances are it’s good for the rest of us too.I’ve been using it at my Tumblr tumblelog and I find it extremely useful, even when I don’t have a lot of traffic, I can easily imagine how Disqus can be even more useful for high traffic blogs.I would like to see Twitter working with Disqus to enable for Twitter themes for their web interface (just like those of Tumblr) so that Disqus can be embedded in the Twitter context.There was a great discussion about this the other day in Dave Winer’s blog. (who by the way, uses Disqus too)http://www.scripting.com/st…Kudos to Daniel for his great work.

  6. howardlindzon

    Herer are my reasons from a post ladst week and the following discussion.http://howardlindzon.com/?p…It’s the best new way to discover bloggers

  7. dsheise

    The e-mail feature is great. It makes conversations happen faster and gives mobility to them.

  8. Hutch Carpenter

    Disqus comments get nice play over on FriendFeed. I’ve seen new disqus comments come through as a feed, and I click them. Suddenly, I’m immersed in a good conversation occurring on the blog. Another way for the blog, and disqus, to spread virally.Alas – no wordpress.com support for disqus. Maybe Scoble can make that happen.

    1. fredwilson

      i have been pushing for wordpress.com support too

  9. aripap

    I switched over a couple of weeks ago and have been very happy. It just blows away the MovableType stuff.

  10. Franklin

    I totally agree. Disqus for comments is great. The email replies are awesome. I am big, big, fan.

  11. mrclark411

    Disqus is great. The emails are great. The next feature I would like to see from Disqus is the ability to quickly blog my comment (to my site). It would give me more incentive to invest my time in commenting on someone else’s site, but also allows me to retain ownership of the comment. Of course, the comment would link back to the discussion for context – which can only help the original discussion/author.

    1. fredwilson

      adam, you are not the only one who has asked for thatwhen commenters start getting front page placement, it will change the entire dynamic of the blog.right now, too many people blow off the comments and there missing outfred

      1. mrclark411

        I hadn’t thought of that – but you’re absolutely right. Many people (including your readers/commenters) have fantastic insights.Often I find myself more informed from the comment than the article/post that prompted the comment. As the author of a post, how would you “bump” a fantastic comment from the comment thread into a more prominent position (at the same level as the article)?

        1. fredwilson

          I’ve been wanting this ability (one click comment reblog) since the first month I started blogging

          1. mrclark411

            Funny how we’re both talking about the same functionality (one click comment reblog), but I only saw value in reposting my own comment. You’re right, the same functionality would give not only the owner of the thread, but anyone, the ability to reblog any comment.What I love about that is that the value of a single comment becomes as great as any blog post. It could take on a life of its own.Very tumblr.

      2. tweetip

        @danielha, remember to provide the option “allow reblog”

  12. Jevon

    I am about to switch startupnorth.ca to discus,. I think the biggest thing about threads is that it makes it a lot easier for the blogger to connect with the readers,. which encourages more people to comment,.. A thesis you are proving out here on AVC.ps> I can’t believe your Subscriber numbers,. really incredible.

    1. fredwilson

      if you are talking about my rss/feedburner subs, ignore that number. it includes everyone who has subscribed over the past four and a half years. many are long gone. the number to focus on with feedburner/rss is daily reach and mine is about 4k to 5k every day. it’s probably about 15k to 30k per month.

  13. constantskeptic

    Has anyone checked out intensedebate? I use it on my site. I have problems with load times, but the startup admins tell me that they will have these issues resolved. I may switch to Disqus depending on whether these issues persist.

    1. mrclark411

      I saw intense debate. I remember liking what I saw. Any big difference between the two systems?

  14. simondodson

    disqus has bought life back into my blog …

  15. berkay

    Is there a way to put the trackbacks into the disqus comments? I couldn’t figure that one out yet, and I could not see them here either.

    1. fredwilson

      trackbacks and comment portability are the two big feature requests and they are coming soon

  16. hadar

    I agree with all of the above, and have been happy since switching to Disqus (after discovering it on this blog). That said, there have been a few “glitches” along the way that are frustrating to recover from.While I love the threaded comments (perhaps my favorite feature), it’s still a tradeoff. While the @ replies look horrible, and can cause you to scramble upwards looking for the right comment, ultimately, the threading often causes you to have to re-read (or really re-scan) all of the comments to get a sense of time line and what has been said recently.With a flat comment structure, it’s pretty easy to pick up where you last left off.Of course, if you get emails (or RSS) for the comments, this isn’t a problem at all. πŸ™‚

  17. bijan

    email feature is the best. i think you fred have responded to comments more now because of email which makes your readers engage even more.

  18. qwang

    Recently switched to Disqus also…I was thinking about whether Disqus should include trackbacks, and I realized: if Disqus “indexed” trackbacks, shouldn’t it index the original post as well? The posts are just as much a part of the conversation as the comments are. Often times the decision whether to post or comment merely depends on length.

  19. Abe Murray

    I love Disqus as well, as a blogger and as a commenter. However there are still some missing features and concerns.1. Trackbacks. a huge deal, and totally missing.2. Seamless data portability. Grab all wordpress / blogger comments on setup and create the Disqus comments for these. If I want to leave Disqus, create wordpress / blogger comments so my blog is still complete.You should win users by being the best, not by being sticky. This is keeping me from converting my personal blog over, though I am experimenting with Disqus on my professional blog.

    1. Ξ‘nilikos

      I strongly agree on your 2nd point. Although it didn’t keep me from integrating Disqus on my blog. Hopefully in a near future, it will be amended.

  20. vruz

    Forgot to say something in my previous post.. and it’s more praise for Disqus…Somehow Disqus has managed to become relevant without people visiting their main website directly.Disqus users rarely ever see the main Disqus website.However and despite the opposing view of conventional wisdom Disqus has managed to develop a brand.This is no small achievement in my view.Of the thousands of Facebook apps available how many do you remember by brand name ?Excercise left to the reader: track embeddable app brand names on Twitter (not limited to FB apps) or analyse public interest in Google Trends, despite many of them being succesful in monetisation and other variables, most lack *brand value*.Disqus is not without competitors (for example Intense Debate has been mentioned in this thread elsewhere) and even if they have comparable technology, I argue Disqus shines not only because of its intrinsic value, but also its brand value.Further reading: “The Brand Gap”http://www.amazon.com/Brand…

  21. Brandon Wirtz

    I posted 3 reason’s not to use Disqus, but playing with leaving you a comment I discovered a fourth …. I can’t seem to easily ad a “pretty” link.http://www.takingthebridge….And fifth… Because I got my password wrong I had to cancel the login, becase it decided I had left my name blank, which it wasn’t when I started. Likely because I clear cookies and am not “always logged in” so i’m posting unverified cause I got frustrated while logging in.I’m not saying disqus isn’t a great start, just not where it needs to be for me to make the leap.

  22. Jay Cuthrell

    DISQUS has to prove their export and import capabilities before I can really commit to it. If they focused on overlay I would have a greater comfort with it. I also flirted with SezWho.

  23. joe commenter

    Three reasons not to use disqus:1. your comments are stored on the disqus serverdon’t you want to retain,control your own comments? don’t you want the SEO benefits of having your comments on your site? do you want to loose access to your comments when the disqus servers go down? do you want disqus mining your comments?2. you are limited to the functionality provided by disquswhat if you want to utilize new functionality provided by other plugins, e.g.. trackbacks, most recent comments? do you want to be at the mercy of disqus to provide these features?3. import / export, older comments disappearing (mentioned above)do you want to “loose” your older comments? if you decide to leave disqus in the future are you sure you’ll be able to return successfully, easily?there needs to be alternatives which provide the desired functionality without replacing your comment system.

    1. Myrne Stol

      Since blog comments on most common blog systems can’t be editted, it would be quite easy to make a sort of double-post: Disqus could post it into your own blog commenting script, or the blog commenting script could post it to Disqus. You could provide search engines access to your comments while allowing advanced Disqus functionality by <script> and <noscript> tags.

      1. joe commenter

        you should look into google’s policy on copying data and it’s implication on search rank –

        1. Myrne Stol

          To prevent duplicate content, disqus should set al pages generated for his account on disqus.com to noindex. Not really hard to do.

          1. joe commenter

            true, but disqus do that? I don’t think so.

    2. Nate

      All valid points. I’d add:4. iFrames suck. They don’t print correctly and they cause bad double scrollbar problems when resizing the (way too tiny) textarea.5. Disqus doesn’t supply very good default styles.I guess I like Disqus on other people’s blogs but not on my own. Giving control of my comments to Disqus without a clear migration path both to and from is a deal breaker. If Disqus could explicitly address that it would be helpful. It’s possible that the answers are buried somewhere in a forum, but that’s the kind of thing that needs to be front and center.

    3. vruz

      reason #1:quick… where is your mail stored ?do you still run your own email server ?does Disqus mine anything ? (they’re trying to cope with the current load they have, let alone mining your valuable data, Joe)reason #2:you are limited by Gmail’s functionality in email, you are limited by Firefox’s functionality on the web, you are limited by the number of operating brain cells in your brain.every complex system has limitationsreason #3you can keep your old blog and Disqus won’t touch it ! but you weren’t going to import them into Disqus anyway, right ?you have to think hard to come up with BS like this.

  24. Myrne Stol

    I’d say by far the most important reason to use disqus is that discussion on your blog will turn up on friendfeed. This gives exposure to a really influential group of people.And a comment by a friend on a blog unknown to you, can feel like a recommendation or endorsement. It’s better than advertising your blog directly to them, if you could.

    1. aac74

      It would be nice if friendfeed comments on disqus comments appeared back in disqus. If that makes any sense πŸ™‚

      1. Myrne Stol

        I totally agree. They already have a twitter “post-back” feature, so I think they could do it with disqus. I don’t know if disqus has an API for that though.Someone else in this thread mentioned gtalk integration.I think I can say with confidence that commenting technology will go through a huge shift the coming year.Likes on friendfeed could also be translated to vote-ups on disqus. Endless possibilities.

        1. mrclark411

          You’re spot on with “commenting technology will go through a huge shift the coming year”.A tech guru should name 2008 the year of the comment (or something like that, to include creations such as Twitter, FriendFeed, Disqus, etc). =)Just hope it doesn’t doom it like Jobs’ naming 2005 the year of HD.

  25. Nico Lumma

    I switched to disqus recently for two of my blogs and I really like it. One of the coolest things is probably the integration with google reader, I really like that a lot. Also, not having to worry about spam, getting to comment on a lot of blogs with just one login, and threaded discussions are probably the biggest pros of disqus.

  26. daveevans

    I’ve tried CoComment, SezWho and several other blog comment-related systems. Disqus is the most useful so far but the lack of an import/export feature is a no go for blogs that have been around awhile.I’ll move my main blog over when they figure out import/export. I have thousands of comments dating from from 2002, and there is no way I’m not going to do a clean start.

    1. fredwilson

      davei totally respect your point of view on the old comments issuehowever, when i cut over to disqus, i left my old comments in typepad.it hasn’t been a big deal for me or my readers.when they visit an old post, they get the comments in one formatwhen they visit a new post, they get the comments in a new formatnobody has even mentioned it to mei am not sure anyone has even noticedfred

  27. Offbeatmammal

    I first encountered Disqus here and on Dave Winers blog. I really love it for the reasons outlined (I’ve added it to my blog) but see the real value is that it takes a very passive commenting paradigm and allows you to engage in an ongoing conversation freed from having to re-check posts .. it also makes you think a little bit more than the typical random drive-by rantingNow of course someone has to build a bridge between Disqus and IntenseDebate etc so the flow doesn’t get broken

  28. BillKosMD

    Fred, I upgraded my TypePad account to Pro so that I could convert my blog’s templates into customizable advanced templates and create the custom template modules needed to load Disqus. Now, this also gives me the flexibility I’ve always wanted in coding my blog.At first it didn’t seem to work, because I was selecting “open” for the comments option in the post form. By letting it remain closed, this triggers the Disqus comment box.Seems like a winner, so far.

  29. ampressman

    You’ve convinced me and I added it to my blog! Given the debate of the pluses and minuses, the pluses for a small site like mine potentially benefiting from the network effects far outweigh the loss of search engine juice of un-indexed comments.

  30. tspeirs

    I definitely agree with all that is said. I use it on my blog. I love the layout and the fact that people can register once and comment anywhere that uses disqus comments

  31. Jon Knight

    Fred, I decided yo try Disqus right after AdaptiveBlue switched, headed right over there that day and signed up. Since I wanted all the features, I used my “real” email address during the signup. Prior to that, I literally NEVER received any spam in that email account.Since that moment, I now receive 2-10 spams a day in that email account.Until yesterday, I would not use Disqus, even when offered on sites I visit. I still have never installed it on my blog because of this. What happened yesterday? I just got tired of filling in the forms and figured wtf, I’m getting spammed already so what does it hurt now. But you’ll notice, it’s still not on my blog.On the brighter side, all those spams led me to create the “Fake EMail” series of posts which has more than doubled my search traffic.I’m hoping that, as an investor, this will pique your interest and lead you to investigate. Maybe it was a coincidence.

    1. obscurelyfamous

      Jon,Your email address on Disqus is never shared with anyone, except (obviously) the admins of the blogs you comment on.It must have been a coincidence.

      1. Jon Knight

        Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that.I guess the best way to say it, is that from a purely subjective perspective (mine), I am worried about security. I am certain that you would never knowingly allow my address to be sold, etc., but the coincidence is remarkable, again, from my perspective. I’ve used that address for years, and it isn’t private, so there’s a fair chance it was “just my turn”.Then again, the address isn’t private, and has been used for 4 or 5 years and had a literal spam count of zero each day. Disqus was the 1st web service I’ve used that address for in about 6 months at that time. I’m concerned with a “man-in-the-middle” problem.You can see my quandary. I love the service, but by installing it on my blog, I am in fact recommending it to my readers. I shiver at the thought of my readers experiencing a similar coincidence.This isn’t an attack at Disqus. It’s a great idea whose time is overdue already, and the service as it evolves will continue to be great. I wonder if anyone else here who uses Discus can allay my security fears?(EDIT) SEVERAL HOURS LATERI owe you an apology, Disqus! I started digging deeper into these blasted scam emails and after hours of checking many many of them, I’ve come to the conclusion that this MUST HAVE BEEN a coincidence.In backtracking the email source files I find “chatika-ads” mentioned in lots of them. I’m familiar with those guys, but I don’t recall ever setting that up. It’s not the type of advertising I would want to use. Currently @ Wordout, advertising is definitely not a high priority. All I ever use is a pair of Google ads, for decoration more than anything else.But I digress. I apologize sincerely for my lack of diligence prior to making the initial comment here. It was unprofessional and I have no excuse for it. I hope that refuting my earlier position and including the info above makes it clear to everyone that I was wrong in thinking Disqus was in any way responsible.To make it clear: Disqus is definitely NOT the source or in any way connected to the reasons why I suddenly experienced the scam email surge.I will most likely start using Disqus at Wordout in the near future.

        1. Jon Knight

          edited

        2. obscurelyfamous

          I appreciate that Jon. Happy to help in any way I can.

  32. Scott (すこっと)

    There are not enough threaded comment systems available for the various blogging platforms, so by virtue of disqus having that single feature makes the service stand out far and above anything else. Beyond that, as some folks have outlined, unless there is a clear path for importing and exporting of comments, or potentially the capability for a comment to be posted both to the blog *and* disqus simultaneously, then I will not install it on my blog.I want to be able to retain my comments and moderate them as I see fit; part of the allure of running a CMS is the control factor, and using a service like disqus ends up limiting that control. It’s like the difference between using WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. One you have no control over, the other you have all the control.I think these guys are on to something. Disqus is a great system for conversations, and it is *almost* there.

  33. mike-s

    Three reasons NOT to use it:1) Comments are loaded using Javascript which means that you cannot view them if JS is disabled. That’s an issue since on my site, we see about 15% of people who disable Javascript. Javascript is being using for some malicious things these days so some people disable it.2) You do NOT own the comments left on YOUR site! Let me repeat that again… comments left on YOUR site are owned by Disqus and not you which means that any SEO traffic from these comments is going to Disqus, NOT you! That’s a dealbraker for me since some comments left on my site bring about ~20% of the traffic. I have few comments so this is huge. I’m sure Fred is losing a TON of traffic due to his switch over to Disqus.3) You have no say in spam filtering, IP blocking etc. All of this is outsourced to Disqus and you lose the fine grained control.Bonus:1) Disqus floating profiles are annoying! As annoying as that Snap widget.2) No upgrade path for existing comments. Do you really wanna lose them and lose the SEO???And you want to lose all of that for having threaded comments??? No thanks!

    1. David Gonzales

      1. If users disable JS while viewing your site, that’s your problem, not Disqus’s. JS makes the Web great, and simple common sense should help you fend off and avoid malicious uses of it aimed at you.2. Disqus only gets SOME of the traffic. And at the very top of the every Disqus comments page there’s ALWAYS a link back to the post in your site, and it’s the first thing that users always see. That way you still benefit from the traffic it attracts.3. Perhaps you haven’t yet explored the Dashboard and Settings pane in Disqus, because with these, you are in ABSOLUTE control of your comments. You have a say in spam filtering, IP blocking, etc. So what was your question again?Moderating comments from a different web page from your blog also helps tone down the heaviness, especially if your page has like hundreds of comments. Disqus comments pages are plain and very minimalist, which makes them easier and faster to load than having to manage comments directly from your blog.

      1. mike-s

        1) Huh? No, it’s not MY problem since my site works just fine without JS. You can’t pass that buck to me, dude.2) Some? You mean ALL of the comment traffic. We all know that click-through rates to 2nd 3rd etc pages are dismal.In the end, don’t fix what ain’t broken. Disqus won’t bring you more traffic in but it will take a LOT of it away!I’ve NEVER heard anyone say: “I like to read this site because the comment system has threads.”In good old silicon valley/digerati delusion, this sort of comment system makes sense to only to those that are deluded or/and have interest in it (like Fred does).

        1. felix

          1) It’s a tradeoff you take – I haven’t seen much turning off of javascript on my site – nor would I expect it as more and more sites are web2.0ified, surfing without javascript becomes kind of web breaking.2) comment ownership is a specific thing to say, since you can export those comments at will I’d say you are co-owners of the comments.The real issue is the fact that you will lose all the comment text that crawlers will normally see and index. This could potentially have real long term SEO impact.On the flip side, what you gain is the ability to reply to comments and replies via email. This is a significant benefit since it makes it very easy for people to continue a conversation. This helps increase the engagement with your site and can increase traffic. I’m not really clear how it’s taking traffic, especially a *lot* of traffic away.It’s also nice to be able to see all your comments across discus enabled sites in one place (as well as to see it feed into things like FriendFeed).All in all, it’s not an unambiguous win, but the tradeoffs are good enough that a lot of people go for it.

    2. bobcorrigan

      Comments are a good thing. Making the process of capturing them, responding to them and displaying them over-complicated is a bad thing. Just because a technology can be built does not mean it should be – especially if doing so opens my content to a third-party to monetize without delivering real value to me.All that said, my friend and PM co-conspirator Adam Bullied uses Disqus – a strong endorsement – so I could be wrong.

      1. fredwilson

        Disqus provides real value to meThat’s why we invested in the company

  34. Sam Jackson

    Did not know about 2b! Compelling. I am worried still about technical and SEO issues, though.

  35. Scabr

    Disqus…My favorite comment service! Thanks and congrats,Daniel Ha.:)

  36. shareme

    Reason 4: It has better features than CoComments

  37. Phil Wolff

    my concern is trust. i’ve outsourced comments before, only to have the service shut down, losing all the comments. what does disqus do to assure survival of comments, profiles, and threading post-disqus?

    1. Jay Cuthrell

      My past reflections on this topic of the life cycle of content and the medium have made me question if copier outsourcing struggled with the same concerns.Gosh Bill, I’d really like to try out this new copier service thing called Kinkos I’ve heard so much about…Dangit Bob, we print the old fashioned way! One hand cranked page at a time from the purple monster!My point is, if I have one, each new outsource possibility has to have portable input and output. Proprietary and/or lack of the both ends for input and output make me skittish.

  38. Ouriel

    I Would love to use disqus on Typepad but it requires too much of a headache to implement it: it should be as simple as a widget with a 2 click installIntenseDebate has a good installation process. Disqus however seem more reliable

  39. Oleg

    Isnt Disqus just glorified forum add-on for bloggers?From technical point of view Disqus has nothing new to offer. Profiles? Email Comments? Communities? Blog hubs like livejournal have had those from long time ago. N.B. Just clicked “Post” and discovered that it doesn’t have OpenID support so you have to register there.

  40. David Gonzales

    About time somebody pointed out the greatness in Disqus! The simple truth is that Disqus pwns HaloScan, coComments, and any other sissy “made for Blogger” or “made for TypePad” commenting systems out there.And one more reason: Steve Jobs uses Disqus (see http://fakesteve.blogspot.com)

  41. jason Goldberg

    An open source universal commenting platform would be awesome.The problem with Disqus is that they extract a lot of value in exchange for providing the platform. For a blogger it is an ok bargain to give up some control to Disqus in exchange for the functionality. But no way for a community operator. There’s no way a socialnetwork in its right mind is going to cede to discuss control of comments AND the profile. On socialmedian, for instance, we’d love to have the benefits of Disqus (cross platform comments), but don’t want to introduce a 2nd user profile on our site in order to get those benefits — that would be too confusing for the user to have to have both a socialmedian profile and a Disqus profile. We also wouldn’t want to have our comments hosted by Disqus.I think Disqus has some good momentum behind it and could build some solid network effects with individual blogs. Get to a couple hundred thousand blogs and you’re in a good position. Not sure how you monetize it, but would be nice acquisition bait. Sorta like Yahoo buying MyBlogLog.A bigger play would be to figure out how to get embraced by socialnetworks like Ning in a way that isn’t threatening.There has to be an open-social play here.

  42. Guest

    I’m the minority… I use Disqus on my Tumblr blog because the comment feature is one that they don’t have but I can’t imagine that I’d go through the effort if I were on Vox, Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, etc. All of the features mentioned in the chain are good and interesting but I do worry about how fragmented the web has become. Photos go to site “a”, videos to site “b”, blog on site “c”, linking to site “d” microblogging site “e”, social networking at site “f”, “g” and “h”, music at site “i”, “j” and “k” and now comments on another site – seems so fragmented. I have people complain regularly about how difficult it is to chase down my content. Not sure if we’re better off or not with all of these focused capabilities; would be really happy if my content could just sit in one place…

  43. aac74

    I’d love to see disqus support some html in comments so that youtube videos and flickr images could be added.

    1. Myrne Stol

      I’d hate that. I really like the text-only nature of most communication. Let’s keep the multimedia to the blogs themselves.I think seesmic video comments are also totally stupid. I simply don’t have time to watch video’s.

      1. mikaelf

        I wouldn’t like that either. The video comment feature is cool though – but I don’t think I’ll enable it on my site.

  44. Douglas Karr

    Until someone writes a plugin so the comments are loaded server-side, I’m steering clear. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many of my posts that gather the most search engine attention are posts with a huge comment following. I’m simply not prepared to toss that aside. User generated content is a huge aspect of blogging that Disqus needs to take advantage of. I look forward to when they do, though!

  45. Philip Baddeley

    Perhaps Disqus should up date their website and celebrate the VC team arriving and blog users increasing from the number shown on their front page, 4,000, to your number of 10,000.

  46. Dave Z

    Nope, can’t give up my comments to a third party. Leave the comments on my server and charge me a monthly fee, instead.

  47. daveevans

    Enjoying the in-depth conversation about the merits of Discuq. Funny how some people complain without understanding the whole service, myself included. If I keep my physical blog comments in WordPress, I would use Disqus on my main blog, only remaining issue is ownership of comments, which seems to be a non-issue at this point.It would be great to see a Discus FAQ address the issues brought up in this thread.Comment thread summarizing would be a great feature.

  48. Gary Denness

    I’ve had Disqus installed for a while, and the Greasemonkey script. Although this is the first time I’ve tried it out. And I’m doing so just to see if it shows up on your blog, or whether it takes the comment away from the blog and out of the bloggers domain……and here it is on the blog. I do like the Disqus inline comment editing as well.

  49. Loic Le Meur

    Hi Fred, congrats, loving Disqus on my two blogs too.

  50. Alister Cameron

    Fred,Mate… it’s time to get real about Disqus. It’s integration is WordPress is terrible. It’s can’t import existing comments and the plugin is apparently out-of-date.How small is this company? Where is their focus if it is not on these WordPress issues?!I’m sorry but I just don’t get it. I would have been keen to use/test it but no way am I interested unless I can see mature WordPress support and consistent efforts to please the VAST WordPress blogging community.-AlisterAlister Cameron // Blogologistwww.alistercameron.com

    1. fredwilson

      They would love to have some support from wordpress but none has been forthcoming yetWe’ll keep pushing and one thing for sure to focus on is the wordpress pluginFred

    2. Nathan Lanier

      I implemented it on my WordPress blog and it has been absolutely brilliant.Nate

      1. fredwilson

        With the plugin on wp.org?

        1. Nathan Lanier

          Nope, by following the simple set up on disqus.com.All I had to do was select that I have a wordpress blog and they generated the script.

  51. Philippe Bradley

    the main horizon for this, which everyone needs to be considering but nobody seems to have mentioned yet, is conversations as social magnets. Three possibilities:- people coming to your blog for the conversations you start, not for the insight your initial post delivers. (implications for blog strategy+marketing+design, blog post quality vs. inflammatory content, building a social standing/identity by participating in conversations not as a blog writer, …)- social networks based around conversations- people using disqus.com and not your blog to a) participate in your conversations b) find new conversations c) start new conversations (i.e. abandoning their own blog entirely)

  52. robertjohned

    Hmm… just tried to use on my WordPress blog, but it’s stated that it can’t be used on WordPress hosted because no individual plugins? I’m not very well versed in this sort of thing but would like to give it a shot. Anyone use WordPress and successfully implement? What am I doing wront?

    1. fredwilson

      Are you trying to use it on wordpress.org or wordpress.com?

      1. robertjohned

        .comGot to an explanation page with a path, but couldn’t really figure out where to implement in WordPress. Did a search on “Disqus” came up with a page where many people stated individual plugins couldn’t be used with wordpress for blogs they host. Not sure if I’m misunderstanding the situation or it just isn’t feasible.

        1. fredwilson

          WordPress.com doesn’t support disqus yet.If they hear from enough of their users, I hope they willSo please let them know of your interestfred

          1. robertjohned

            Das ist un bummer. Thanks though.

  53. bernard lunn

    I agree DISQUS is great. There is only 1 thing I don’t like about DISQUS. Maybe I am just missing the link, but when somebody comments on my Blog I like to see who they are by clicking to their Blog. This has become harder to do with DISQUS

  54. Thomm Quackenbush

    I’ve been using Disqus for a few weeks on my site at http://www.xenex.org While I like it there, I find it irritating that my ranking goes down every time I post a comment because anonymous critics thumb down my post not because I am being inflammatory or ineloquent, but because they feel a different political candidate should be in the White House or that someone deserved to be fire that I supported. It dissuades me from being an active user on other site because my ranking will decrease for an arbitrary reason. Some form of weighting needs to be put to that system.

    1. obscurelyfamous

      There is weighting. We’re still tweaking it though.

  55. AC

    You should also check for commentag (www.commentag.com) which offers a tool to summarize the discussion. That way you don’t have to read that whole never-ending discussion to get the main ideas.The advantage over other disqus is that commentag doesn’t replace your commenting system.

  56. MikeSchinkel

    One reason NOT to use Discuss…Actually, this is more of a feature request for Disqus and for your blog. When I find blog posts with lots of comments such as this one I often print them for reading off-line (I use FinePrint and print 4 up per sheet, so I don’t kill *that* many trees.)Unfortunately when I tried to print this page it showed up in print preview as 50 pages when it could probably be easily represented in 8 page! So I didn’t print it and won’t be reading the comments (too many for online reading, at least for me)So please considering fixing your theme so it prints better, and please consider fixing Disqus so that I at least have the option of printing this page in a format that is highly optimized for printing. If you do that, for me, Disqus would be a killer service!

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve sent this feature request to the disqus guysThanksfred

      1. MikeSchinkel

        Cool!

  57. Josh Young

    From google reader:Let me underline a sentiment expressed by others: Disqus promotes conversations, and conversations promote community.Disqus promotes conversations…(1) by making it easier to comment at all (via email and, as admirably suggested above, IM),(2) by making it easier to target your reply (via threading, which shifts a blog’s comments from a linear structure to a tree and gets a step closer to the graph-structure of the blogosphere’s and real life’s conversations), and(3) by making it easier to trust the judgment of a commenter (via shared profiles that expose identity and past behavior).My suggestion echoes Jason Goldberg’s. What about social networks? How can we use your platform for our conversations while not having to trust you to play nice (you are great, I’m sure, but what about your acquirer?).

  58. Antman

    I like disqus, I agree it does create a more dynamic energy to a blog and to comments. Much more interactive.However, I don’t understand the business model. How does it make money?

    1. fredwilson

      We’ll figure that out in good time but for sure the blogger won’t be asked to pay for the current feature setFred

  59. Antman

    oh yeah, in your opinion, how does it compare with Intense debate?

    1. fredwilson

      Aa far as I know intense debate doesn’t do the email reply thingThat’s a BIG DEALFred

  60. Mogilny

    I guess no one is going to read this because this post is one day old. It is possible that Techcrunch doesn’t use Disqus because it supports Seesmic video commenting (Seesmic is funded by Mr. Arrington).

  61. bambi100

    I think Disqus is a useful service for the audience, but I’m a little hesitant to give up ownership of my comments, particularly for my news site Vator.tv. Maybe I’m not seeing the trade-off. That said, my personal Bambi.blogs site has Disqus. I like the “mouse over” thing, but it doesn’t seem to be working yet on my blog. My blog is hosted by TypePad – apparently, TypePad doesn’t make it very easy to install Disqus.

  62. Ezra Roizen

    Bambi asked me to post a comment so she could see how Disqus works.

  63. Nathan Lanier

    I just began using this service and I honestly don’t know why every blog doesn’t use it. It’s absolutely brilliant for both the blogger and blog reader.

  64. andrewbadera

    Is it just me, or did Blogger roll out email subscription (this weekend?) as well?

  65. Phil Butler

    Fred,I applaud your candor and transparency in as far as your association with Disqus. I suppose I should start my little comment in a similar way and disclose that JS-Kit is a client of mine. This being said, it should also be noted that Daniel’s innovation was much supported by me as one of the initial testers and reviewers. I liked the initial platform and still do – but here is where to “love affair” gets rocky.Though Disqus reveals some great features like those you mentioned, there are three main issues (with one corollary one) that everyone should be concerned about. Perhaps the biggest of these (and in comparison with JS-Kit’s monetization model – even scary) is; “What if we use Disqus and they decide to start charging for the service?”This question would be easy to answer save the proprietary issue of data ownership and utility. A user of JS-Kit’s services, and a few others, can “opt out” without penalty at any time. Disqus does not allow for escaping with one’s SEO and content in tact. This is very problematic even if you just started your cookie baking blog on Blogger.Besides the aggravation of having your users use multiple signins (not so with Kit as it uses OpenID), Disqus essentially “robs” all benefit via SEO and data portability by storing and indexing a blogs comment data offsite. I feel that (know) this is by design as it is a very effective method of “stealing” content for search engine placement for Disqus the site -errr server…errr data dormitory.I wish that Dan had consulted with me before embarking on this problematic course. Even if the mechanism is not designed to “bait and switch” potential “Mommy Bloggers” out of their search placement, the implications or even appearance of impropriety is beyond my comprehension for a startup or VC firm these days. JS-Kit, and its CEO Khris Loux, have done some amazing work (yes I am biased, but then I am for most startups if you look). People are freaking over Disqus being used on 4000 blogs, when Khris’ work has permeated every corner of the Web and will soon approach over 20 million users. These widget masters are not creating rocket science Fred. If Scoble wants to use Disqus, given the current situation with data, he is an idiot or has some other interest. TechCrunch is not using it for this very reason I will bet (actually I fairly know as KIT is talking with them also):So there you have it, transparency upon transparency upon a nebulous plan for making money. Would anyone like to bet on what the final plan for getting dollars for Disqus might involve? I hate being negative, but let’s not hype things so much before they prove their worth. Sorry to be so adamant but I tested nearly everything Fred and beyond the testing and innovation – there is the user value – period.Always,Phil Butler

    1. obscurelyfamous

      Phil -Yeah, I’m going to need to respond to this immediately.I kindly remember your enthusiasm and support in our earlier days. And I do appreciate your disclosures today. But you are not correct in much of your assessment. Believe it or not, the service has evolved since you last looked at it in 2007.Above all else, JS-Kit isn’t really a competitor to Disqus. They create widgets for websites, one of which is comments. That simply isn’t the same thing as what we’ve been doing.1. You can “opt-out” of Disqus at any time by exporting your data.2. No. Using JavaScript is not a method to “steal content” for SEO purposes. It’s an implementation decided by technical limitations. JS-Kit, and many other services, have the same issue. Self hosted blogs can use our API integration, making this a moot point for those who care about the issue.3. Disqus uses OpenID.4. We were at 4,000 blogs about 2 months ago. This is no longer an accurate count.If you simply presented this as a case of “Disqus is a young service that has a way to grow,” I would agree. But the arbitrary (and many times invalid) comparisons to other services (or one in particular) is, at worst, tenuous.Thanks for the thoughts anyway, Phil.

    1. fredwilson

      Do you like it?

      1. timmillwood

        Well so far so good, I like the idea of making my blog posts more of a community discussion. Also video comments via seesmic is pretty cool.

        1. fredwilson

          This email discussion between you and me is being powered by disqus and being displayed in context on my blogThat’s a big deal and it a big part of why we invested in disqus

  66. Fahad

    i think i wil try Disqus too

  67. Empire Strikes Back

    I am impressed with Discuss so far πŸ™‚

  68. rulezman

    im install discus at wordpress and remove it =)

  69. jer979

    Disqus is a phenomenal tool. I love it. Just wish there was a way to resolve the issue described here: http://disqus.disqus.com/di…I love disqus and WLW, but they don’t work well together. May be an adoption issue…

    1. fredwilson

      I’ll make sure Disqus sees this comment

      1. jer979

        Final review with my biggest investor of previous year’s performanceand hammering out the expectations and benchmarks for next year.Thursday is the Day of Atonement.Pardon me for my transgressions against you.Back in action on Thursday night.– “Turning Customers Into Marketers”Blog: http://www.ignitingtherevolution.comTel: 202 370 1431please consider the environment before printing this email

  70. Randy

    thanks for you 3 reasons. Makes me think to try DISQUS now.

  71. Harsh Agrawal

    nice…will try it for sure

  72. LN

    First time that I met Disqus comment platform, I decided to place it on my site. I like it a lot and I think that the Disqus will become more and more popular over time.

  73. glasswool

    I am convinced, but integration has not been easy for me, I’ve been trying to integrate disqus on my site using the general code and I’ve not had success yet…

    1. obscurelyfamous

      Sorry to hear you’re having issues with the general code. Happy to help; shoot me an email and I’ll see what the issue is: [email protected]

      1. glasswool

        Thanks Daniel, General code is working now, and Rob helped me with the Drupal setup.

  74. fake id's

    It’s the threading of comments that makes DisQus a winner for me………… πŸ™‚

  75. SEO

    I have been using it for a long and have found so many reasons of staying there in Disqus.. The one and most important for me is their instant replies on your posted blogs that encourages you to post as many blogs as possible…

  76. canada mystery author

    Disqus rocks ! I think that disqus is great option for us…………………………… : )

  77. F Aloy

    As an interested user od Disqus I have a few observations:a) The setup of Disqus is not user friendlyb) There should be a more visual way of describing the benefitsc) What in the world keeps the Discus staff from better explaining their system to the less tech savvy?

    1. fredwilson

      They don’t control the deployment environments so it’s never going to be oneclick install until the blog platforms decide that its in their interest toprovide thatBut I agree that disqus needs to get easier to install and easier tounderstand

  78. jaampool

    test comment

    1. fredwilson

      Comment receivedTest successful!!

  79. Troy Steele

    I am just doing some research before starting up my own blog and this post has been really helpful. Have others had similar increase in comments?

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve seen the data on this and it’s clearly going to get you more comments, largely because its so much easier for your readers to leave a comment and so much easier for you to reply to them

  80. Dorian Benkoil

    It’s alsoa) a great way to see a person’s comments across all platforms — get a sense of what s/he espouses, etc.b) a way to get a sense of the “cloud” of thought. Kind of like Twitter. One comment is not too instructive, but looking at comments across a range of posts, etc., can give a great indication of zeitgeist.

  81. Thomas

    Great Tipps, thank you!

  82. Quizuri Online

    yes. disqus it’s a great tool

  83. Guest

    I started testing Disqus today. We’ll see how this goes…

  84. Carolyn Chan

    It would be great if there’s a Disqus could pick up comments from Facebook which is where most of the conversations are taking place for me.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve passed your request to the founder/CEO of disqus

  85. Henry M. Lopez

    I’m editor of a newspaper Web site looking for a better platform for reader comments. We had for years done an in-house system that eventually started to become dated and worse than that, it slowed our load times dramatically. About a year ago we transitioned on to Topix for our commenting. But there were drawbacks to that as well – off site forums, troll patrols galore and a loss of community. So, now we’re moving back to having on-site commenting and am go back and forth between IntenseDebate and Discus. Thanks for the post.

  86. mrclark411

    Good point. That would work.Now I have the opposite problem. What to do with my worthless comments? =)

  87. mrclark411

    svartling – I’m afraid you’ve hit on my concern.Also, with all of this threading, doesn’t anyone miss the @user reply addressing so prevalent on flat commenting sites (ie: TechCrunch)? Threading may not be nerdy enough for some people.

  88. fredwilson

    An ironic example of a product being used to debate the merits of itself

  89. fredwilson

    ExactlyI don’t really see the value of importing old comments into disqusI find the number of comments on old posts is pretty minimalThey are like archives more than anything