Two Posts - One Comment Thread

One of the many great things about using a third party comment system is you can hang a single comment thread off of as many posts as you want. That’s what’s going on right now on this blog and Alley Insider.

I have an understanding with a number of blogs that they can pick up anything I write on this blog and republish it on their blog, but it must be in its entirety and attributed to me and link back to here. Alley Insider is one of them and they picked up my post this morning about a better slate of directors for the Yahoo board. But they went one step further and replaced their usual comment system with disqus for that one post. Go check it out.

So now, if you comment on that post on either this blog or Alley Insider, you get into one single discussion. Which is as it should be.

I can think of a bunch of reasons to do this. A repost/reblog like Alley Insider is doing. Or when I point to a post on the Union Square Ventures weblog, which I do often. It would be best if the comments to both are in the same thread. Or I could imagine that a group of bloggers agree to all blog about the same issue at the same time and agree to share one single comment thread. And there are probably a bunch of other reasons you might want to do this.

I’ve always thought that there is no reason that comments need to be tightly linked to the blogging service and this is yet another example of why that is so.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Sylvain Carle

    It’s a good first step. By serving your comments from a central location you can attach them to several decentralized blog posts. Now we just need to make sure comments threads are standardized and decentralized and we can start to see this as the real atomization of conversation. But it’s a tougher nut to crack, it will take a while before the “comment providers” finally agree on a format to share comment as specific atoms, but if the webblog tool market is any indicator, we should get there, somehow.

    1. Graham Siener

      Agreed. Would love to see what sites like digg/reddit/etc. think of this sort of aggregation. If I see this thread on reddit and leave a comment there, knowing that it will be part of the collective conversation will be great.But what if I can’t stand the people that frequent Digg and don’t want to deal with the noise of their comments? It seems like the moderation would take care of those, but who is the ultimate moderator in that situation? Will this be more effective as an opt-in or opt-out model?

  2. CyndyA

    That is the first truly compelling thing I’ve seen that would get me to switch. The REALLY compelling thing would be hearing their business plan so that I knew they’d be around for the long term. 😉

    1. fredwilson

      aniel has said that the basic functionality will remain free for everyone so if you switch you should be comfortable that they won’t start charging you. you can also export the comments in disqus if you decide you want to leave.

  3. Geoff

    Don’t google get upset about duplicate content?but cool for comments to be amalgamated.

    1. fredwilson

      google is already upset about the javascript. we have to get google to get their heads around where all of this is going. if anyone can help, let me know

  4. vruz

    I think I’d prefer the users to be in control of their posts. (instead of the blogger having absolute control)The personal voice of a certain blogger is not the same as his friend’s voice, and people should be aware where their comments are going to be published. If I post something here at A VC, I expect it to stay here, not at your friends’.However I there’s ways to eat the cake too.For example: cross-postingInstead of having a single Disqus ‘Post’ button, you could select from a list of friends’ blogs you can post to simultaneously.Comments need context to exist, otherwise what are you commenting about ?Just imagine, if related posts from different blogs are discussing a certain topic from 2 diverging points of view, it’s easy to see how a cross-posted comment reading “I totally agree” can be a source of confusion.4 years ago I was working on something like this, but I didn’t find it too interesting/rewarding at the time, I may revisit my notes.It’s possible Disqus is not the right tool to do this, or we have to re-frame Disqus’ idea so that you don’t only associate comments to posts in a one-to-many basis (one post, for many comments) , but in other complex arrangements as well.(Think one comment to many posts, one comment to one certain paragraph of a certain post)How to display this ? Well, comments would become more like “notes” in a wordprocessor, anottating any part of a blog post., not limited to the comments area.It’s not difficult to see how things can get messed up, but I think there’s a lot of potential and –in any case– it’d probably be a lot of fun to see how it works

    1. gregory

      agree – we speak differently to everyone in our lives, same with writing for a particular audience …. so this ability of disqus to shift conversations into different arenas is rather coarse-grained at the moment(off topic, the effing side- bar here , recent visitors, captures my mouse pointer and won’t lose the popup for a measurable time… i hate it)

    2. fredwilson

      all good points, but in the case of what’s going on right now at this blog and alley insider, it’s the exact same post and the exact same comment thread

  5. Siminoff

    Well you know where I stand on this one, I can’t wait for this.

  6. Don Jones

    Don Jones – VentureDeal. Video comment about posts on multiple blogs but sharing the same comment thread.

  7. howardlindzon


  8. Randy

    thanks for the amazing insights over the yars (!), and this past week, not only keeping up the high marks, but also setting a new bar for song picks (the web wisdom, with backing vocals by the ‘mats and westerberg — reminds me of 25 years and a head of hair ago).

    1. fredwilson

      i am almost finished with All Shook Down, the Jim Walsh book about the ‘Mats. when i am done the music may resume it’s normalcy. if you are a ‘Mats fan, get the book. it’s really good.

      1. Randy

        On my AMZN wishlist, sir. Saw my first show long before I could drink, and saw their last 2 shows (Detroit and Chicago), long after they couldn’t hold theirs [at least together] anymore.

      2. largehearted boy

        I was a bit let down with the Walsh book as a reader but loved it as a fan of the band.

        1. fredwilson

          It wasn’t really a story, it was a collection of quotes that told the storyI enjoyed it myself but I can see why you might have been let down

  9. Raj

    In my opinion, this is the single most interesting aspect of what Disqus has done.I have learned that simply aggregating network effect based upon user behavior isn’t enough — you have to own it.Owing this network effect opens up all sorts of opportunities. It’s one of the reasons that FeedBurner was so successful IMO (besides having one incredibly funny CEO).

  10. p_air

    This Disqus capability really needs to enter the fabric of the social mediasphere (blogosphere +) and should play a pivotal standards role. As I continue to hear about services like Friend Feed, and see syndicated content receiving comments at various sites, it always feels like the conversation is fragmented. Frequently the conversation is unable to benefit from the critical mass of responses/comments at any single site, though in the aggregate it would certainly reach this level. More importantly however, is that the true value of these conversations comes from how they build on each other in such ways that we all gain from the experience, in terms of new ideas or the creation of a meme that wasn’t there before. People put up links to posts or articles all over the place, be it in Twitter, in Facebook’s news feed, in services like NewsVine or Digg. Users read blog posts on newsreaders and off of RSS modules on start pages like Netvibes or Pageflakes. It would be great if the discussion, regardless of where people are accessing it, could be contributed back to a central location or the blog itself. Somewhere we can benefit fm the ideas generated by the dissemination of the original post.I believe Disqus’ creation is much too important to not see a deep integration into the fabric of the social mediasphere. Note, I’m not an investor nor had I heard about Disqus until I read this, but ever since my days at a popular social network service we felt this was a necessary service, and it’s nice to see a company take this on. I thought CoComment was pretty close down this path, but Disqus seems to have gone that extra game changing step.

  11. Brad Penny

    Fred,Wasn’t RSS really intended to address this? I do think RSS/ATOM technologies enable this kind of syndication very effectively. I see no need to bloggers to give up their content to a walled garden like Disqus and suffer –ive SEO ramifications.You know walled gardens can be pretty as long as you don’t want to get out.-B

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t know how to use rss or atom to hang one comment thread off of multiple postsFred

  12. stil danışmanlığı

    very good article 😉