Disqus Is Growing and Hiring

Our portfolio company Disqus, which provides the comment system on this blog, has been growing like a weed for the past year and a half and has now reached the point that it needs to hire some additional tech resources. It is amazing what the small team of the two founders, Daniel and Jason, and a couple of additional developers has been able to do. But everything needs to scale at some point, including the team.

Disqus is looking for three technical hires in the bay area:

– A front end developer who can work in javascript
– A senior back end developer who can work in Python/Django
– A systems/server engineer to keep it all running smoothly

The detailed job descriptions are here. If you are interested or know someone good they should go after please email me or [email protected].

Daniel and I appreciate everyone's help with this. Disqus is a great company which is starting to break out and it is a great place to work with nice upside.

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#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Mark Essel

    Awesome to witness their expansion, love the DISQUS system. Please pass along my hearty thanks to the team and founders! They have greatly increased the value of comments on my site, especially pulling in comments made on twitter, reddit, hackernews (since I’m active in a few social communities).Side note Fred, this should be right up your alley: The Democracy of Attention, an Economy of Minds http://www.victusspiritus.c…I think the Netflix prize is an example of this new economy/massive social collaboration (even though I didn’t site it specificially). What’s interesting about this form of collaboration is that it comes in the form of multi perspective search. I had hoped for more social collaboration/design/refinement articles from the guys at Harvard (the big shift).

    1. fredwilson

      Cool. I’ll check it out

  2. mattkaufman

    I never thought i’d be using Disqus considering that they are a third party…. But I am technically actually ok with this service right now and I *do* love using it to post comments on anybody elses blog. If it weren’t for Disqus, there’s no way I’d waste most of my time bothering to post in reply to anything.Disqus makes me want to comment on a blog because it’s directly tied to my … growing in concern …. online identity handle. So yeah, I like this platform.And I’m interested in this position if they are looking for the right thing. Anyway, I will be majorly going out in company search/employment matching very very soon. I am not looking for anything or anybody unless they are looking for me, etc. 🙂 I think.but yes, Disqus I thought you were based in NY with Tumblr. Maybe you moved out West like I want to.

  3. kevin

    Just curious- how does Disqus make money?

    1. obscurelyfamous

      We have a premium service that has been operating since the beginning of this year. It will be unveiled in a more public fashion in about a month.

  4. paramendra

    I am a huge Disqus fan. Google gave me Blogger, Disqus gave me my comments sections. That fundamental. I think Disqus should be mandatory practice upon all bloggers. Ah, all those wonderful blog posts I have read over the years and wanted to comment on but could not because they asked to register first.

  5. MarinaMartin

    Perhaps one of these new hires can fix the bug that Disqus doesn’t let you turn off comments on particular pages/posts? It’s two lines of PHP to fix, they’ve known about the issue for forever, and they haven’t fixed it. It’s the reason I took Disqus off all of my 12 blogs; I could (and did) fix the code myself, but ignoring it for this long really makes me wonder what they’re doing all day.http://disqus.disqus.com/tu…Nice idea, ultimately not worth giving up control of my own commenting system.

    1. obscurelyfamous

      Sorry Marina, there’s no excuse for this. I have known about this — it’s not exactly a bug, but we could have made the behavior better. I will make sure this is addressed in the next update to the plugin.

  6. RacerRick

    Those guys are ridiculously efficient.

    1. fredwilson

      Yes they are. Its the Y Combinator way and I love it

  7. Andrew Warner

    I love this service. My comments jumped after installing it on my site.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s the disqus brand promise right there. It takes a lot to make that happen and they are working hard every day to make it better and better. But at its core, its about stimulating conversations. Like liquor

      1. obscurelyfamous

        > Like liquorThis concept needs to be worked into a new tagline.

        1. rod_edwards

          “Pour your blog a shot of Disqus”

          1. fredwilson

            Maybe ‘pour your blog a shot of disqus and liven up the conversation’

          2. rod_edwards

            I had been thinking “…and let the conversation flow” but left it off as I thought the tag line should be (a) short and consumeable, (b) interest provoking, and (c) a call to action…. leaving the explanation of “why” to a subpoint that can state the value proposition more clearly.IN any event: imagine bringing a bunch of Disqus labelled bottles to industry events and walking around pouring literal shots of Disqus – that’s a conversation starter and a story to tell.

          3. fredwilson

            Are you a marketer? If not, you should be!

          4. rod_edwards

            I am indeed! What gave it away – the obfuscatory jargon? Or the long-windedness?

  8. karen_e

    Great service, for sure. I evangelize about Disqus when speaking about social media, which I have started to do for my industry over the last six months. By the way, I received an industry award this month, and part of the reason is that I have been a resource for my community on social media. Crazy, but true. A lot of my talk’s content comes from the posts and comments on this blog. I love interpreting what I read here (and on a few other sites) for my industry. So thanks Fred and everyone here, especially the frequent commenters who add so much to the dialogue. Even the cantakerous ones – you know who you are!

    1. fredwilson

      I love hearing stuff like this. It fires me up. Thanks karen

  9. ShanaC

    Congrats Guys. (I always love to hear good news).

  10. Prokofy

    Here’s what worries me about Disqus. First, it was just your blog, and then another blog I watch, Mixed Realities that would show responses to my posts coming to me in email. Then Scobleizer, then another blog, another blog, another blog, and pretty soon blogs that used to be broken up among just the regular comments system of WordPress or Typepad or somebody’s own-hosted Drupal and WordPress and whatever were now all using Disqus. Great! you say because it’s your investment.But I worry, because all it takes is one of them to ban me, and they might at any minute because I’m not a conformist and I often write things that people find controversial. Then like the Ban-Link system of Second Life, where people pool ban lists, the system starts to pick up this ban and pretty soon it replicates. Then even if there is your blog or somebody else’s blog that hasn’t decided to ban me, Disqus could ban me. Or it could recommend I be banned — even though it says nothing in its TOS about such a possibility. It in fact has a TOS that expresses its limitation of liability for any content on its service, but it’s not clear, given all its invocation of “Swiss law,” that it hews to a First Amendment test to free speech or what its capacity *might* be for blanket banning across systems using it.I just don’t like comments all controlled under one roof like that.Then there is the copyright issue — the TOS isn’t quite as enlightened as the Facebook TOS became after this faux-democracy experiment — which isn’t saying much, but I think all user-generated social media sites should move in the direction of language that says “we only copy your content in order to serve it up to others to view; making it viewable is not owning it or disposing it and your inherent copyright to it is recognized”.There is so much twisted lingo in that TOS that’s on there now about “license this or that” and licenses appended and blah blah — that it’s clear that they do not conceive of Bern convention inherent copyright, they are thinking of Creative Commons type of “licenses” — which I personally do not recognize, and are merely a club’s tag for a game of free content exchange, not a recognition of inherent copyright, or a preservation of the link between IP and commerce need for artists to make a living on the Internet.I think it might be worthwhile to have the lawyer who drafted that TOS read the Facebook TOS and the blogger.com TOS and the Second Life TOS and see if they can’t make a more clear TOS that does the following:o absolutely, clearly, unequivocally acknowledges that all copyright belongs to the user, full stop, end of story.o that the copy of your content that Disqus to make is a technical issue involving only its serving of that content to the view of others using the service, and a backup copy and that’s it — this is said, but not quite as clear as it could beo that it is not liable for the content of any material deemed hateful, injurious, libelous, racist, sexist, etc. — there is standard language about this, i.e. it is not liable for the “speech offenses”o that it does not moderate for the users and users are responsible for their own moderation, i.e. it will not engage in mass bans or ban linksUsually what Internet sites do is put that line in to tell you what you cannot do, but it has little meaning until you look at their jurisprudence. For example, Facebook has language about “you shall not upload hateful, etc.” content — yet they allow the Holocaust deniers to express themselves hatefully. So their claims of First Amendment adherence on that score are false, because of their TOS which they then wield as they wish, say, against pro-Prop 8 agitators.Then as to privacy, they have lots of language on that like all sites, and yet just like all social media sites, they are deliberately vague on post/IM/comments content as distinct from information you might give like a name, geographical location, etc. So while they say “we never share your private information with anyone,” which means “we don’t give your name and email to somebody to spam you” what they *do* do is scrape all the content from your comments coming through the service — not just your identifying personal information, but your comments. They can, because they say this:”Personal Information may also include information you supply concerning your preferences and interests expressed in the course of use of our Site and/or Partner Sites.”That information comes in you saying something like “Fred, I like Blackberry, not i-Phone” or “What’s a good movie I should see today?” etc. — and they scrape, grab, and punch that up to give to their clients. That’s how they make money — or will make money.I wish services would be more straightforward about explaining that what they do is basically monitor all your conversations in order to scrape out anything of commercial benefit or topic benefit they can use to sell stuff. It’s a bit creepy, but of course, if you don’t like it you can just stay off the Internet. Disqus makes it easier then for firms not to have to hunt all over scraping and googling, they can just get it all in one neatly tied package from Disqus.

    1. fredwilson

      Great points. I’ve taken them all down and am processing them. I don’t think disqus has a ‘ban coop’ system or would even think of creating one

      1. Prokofy

        What a company has the power to do, with all our comments in their hands increasingly, has to be restrained by law ahead of time, not after the fact.One update — While it’s useful to study the Second Life TOS/CS on the UGC issue, just this last few days it got revised and went a bit south as far as moving backwards to overbroad language, i.e. referring not just to “explicit public content” for what has to be sequestered to the adult section of the grid, but speaking more vaguely of “communications” — which of course can be anything they scrape, public or not, within a 96 m radius or not, etc.It’s rather like the way Craigslist has had to parcel off the escort services and police their more violent/explicit ads because of the states attorney general requests, and like Squidoo made a decision to dump all the X-rated adult material as just too much bother too parse and filter and manager. Fred, your video the other day about the problems of customer service/governance being so huge in these services is absolutely on point, because they are huge staff/time sucks — it is very hard being “the customer service state” and some services solve this by simply taking draconian measures (like Squidoo) or making bad judgements calls (as Facebook has, in my view, with the decision to leave up Holocaust deniers, despite having a TOS that bars “hateful” uploads – -either they should have a restrictive TOS and follow their own TOS, or they should say the First Amendment is their guide, but they’ve taken the worst of both worlds).I like the old blogger.com TOS before Google took it over and tweaked it to this politically-correct standard sort of blog platform TOS that says “thou shalt not upoload anything hateful, libelous” blah blah — all overbroad terms with no Constitutional interpretation. The old blogger, like The Atlantic online, said “Unless you come to us with a court order asking us to remove material that a judge has already ruled as libelous, we can’t help you”. So they originally tried to solve the problem of “hate speech” and “libel” by saying “well, argue among yourselves on your different blogs”.Disqus takes a few giant steps backward to remove responsibility from itself for content, and yet…it just isn’t clear that really, unless someone comes with a judge’s order, they will not do anything.I think it’s really important for all social media to come under the rule of law of real democratic governments with the best features of those governments (First Amendment, Art. 19, due process, etc.) before they are regulated by the worst features of those governments (movie-like content rating, FCC regulation, etc.).

        1. ShanaC

          Greenbaum V Google(Blogger)/Orthomom would be of interest to you then.It may have gotten thrown out of court- but it is one of the few cases that dealt with in its discovery phase anonymity on the Internet and defamation.