Disqus 2012 and Disqus Labs

Our portfolio company Disqus has been building its next generation commenting system which they are calling Disqus 2012. They are getting ready to release it into beta and they are looking for bloggers who want to be beta testers for it.

Daniel wrote this on the Disqus blog yesterday:

Disqus 2012 is a fresh take on the Disqus system — both a bit of rearchitecting and a bit of reimagining. We think we can build a version of Disqus that fully resonates with our original purpose: build delightful discussion experiences for the participants.

If you are a blogger and would like to be a beta tester of Disqus 2012, then you should sign up to be a beta tester at Disqus Labs. You'll be asked to take a very short survey in order to join. I just did it. It took me less than three minutes.

Also, at Disqus labs, you'll see a cool real-time comments map that you can filter by domain and a forums like web app that was built on the Disqus API.

I have seen Disqus 2012 in action and it will be running here on AVC as soon as Daniel will let me have it. I am confident it will lead to a lot more engagement and activity. Which is saying something since we aren't lacking for any of that right now!


Comments (Archived):

  1. Brad

    We have two newspapers here in town, one uses disqus and the other does not. By far and away the disqus enabled comment paper has ten times the interaction of the other. Great Product. 

    1. fredwilson

      that’s great validation!

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Correlation does not imply causation.. It could just be the one using Disqus makes better decisions. 🙂 Still good.

        1. Mat Mullen

          Now that would make for a good case study.  

          1. Matt A. Myers

            I was thinking the same thing; Get other newspaper to switch over and see what happens. Their whole layout could be horrible though too – potentially too many variables to control for.

    2. Mat Mullen

      Hi Brad – what are two newspapers? You’ve inspired an idea!





      1. Rohan

        Agree Grimster. I had a similar reaction when I started answering their questions. I found myself asking – How do they know who I am??

        1. fredwilson

          i like that when trusted services do thati don’t like it when services i don’t trust do that

          1. Rohan

            I don’t have a problem with it but I still reacted to it with surprise. What would have helped is to have something on the top right hand corner saying ‘logged in a Rohan. Not you?’ or something that removes the ‘surprise’.

          2. andyswan

            Agree…I kept waiting for them to ask me who I was.  Then at the end I was like….ohhhh, ya.

          3. obscurelyfamous

            Very good point. We missed this in the page and should have indicated who you were logged in as.

          4. ShanaC

            How do you know when to trust?

          5. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            Trust whenever you want … but “who” is the actual question.

          6. ShanaC

            it might also be when – i trust you with x, but not under y situation

        2. Cam MacRae

          They tell you that you have to be logged in to Disqus before clicking the “Join our labs” button. I took that at face value :)Oh, and that map is super cool!

          1. Rohan

            I clicked in just a moment ago and saw what you were referring to.Tell you what, it’s not built for all those on the attention deficit side of the spectrum. There’s no way I would have read those instructions, Cam!And.. what map??

      2. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Yes, and some of us exclaim, “Wow, isn’t this AWESOME!  They know me!”  🙂

      3. ShanaC

        Why do you find that creepy

    2. Bubble Baths

      sign me up too

    3. fredwilson

      i tried that a few weeks ago. didn’t work for me.

      1. Techman

        I signed up earlier this morning and haven’t gotten an email yet.P.S. Nice custom CSS. Check out my site. I have nice Custom CSS for the comments.

  3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    “a bit of reimagining” -nice

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      another sentence from Daniel’s blog….”We’ve been feeling a bit innovative lately.  ”  – double nice.

  4. awaldstein

    I signed up yesterday.Disqus is the thread to community. Been saying this for years now.I’ve seen some sneak previews of D12. Excited to try it out.Disqus has been dancing around discovery for a while and sitting on the keys to a new web of implicit recommendations. I will keep pushing them until they get out on the dance floor and show their stuff.

    1. fredwilson

      i think discovery has to be conversations that are happening on other blogs, not the same blog

      1. testtest

        network effects

      2. awaldstein

        i couldn’t agree more. That’s my point. Disqus is the connector and has the chutzpah to make discovery cross site.

      3. andyswan

        I’d like if I could discover conversations that people are having offline as well.  “Check-in” to a TOPIC with friends IRL, so that others might discover 1) what I’m interested in and 2) who is discussing TOPIC I am interested in.

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          DISCOVER…. the most funniest word …. 

        2. Dave Pinsen

           How would that work in practice? You’d record a conversation you’re having at the bar or coffee shop on your phone and upload it to Soundcloud or something?

          1. andyswan

            No, it’s not recorded or transcribed. It’s just “tagging” a real-life convo. The purpose would be to show people what you talk about, and allow people to search for people (probably within network) that are having conversations about “tags” that interest them as well.”Hey Dave I saw you and Mark met last week and talked about #Voomly … anything good?”I can imagine my IRL tag cloud…can you? 🙂

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Gotchya. I could also see an app built on this data, weighting discussions based on who the participants are.

          3. Mark Essel

            Tagging is part of the challenge. Automated systems are limited by machine NLP (semantic magic, taxonomies), and human systems are limited by subjective meaning as well as inclination. Need a game mechanic that rewards folks for tagging their stuff, ideally bringing structure to my conversations in various social web spots will aid myself (greedy Mark).@TylerGillies and I tried working this with a project in early 2010 called OpenGard.in. 

      4. William Mougayar

        Easier said than done. Finding signal from noise is the trick

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          I worked on SNR for years.Noise is also a signal … only difference is … whether I (we) want it or no.

          1. William Mougayar

            Noise in the noise?

      5. hypermark

        It would sure seem that with all that data about what sites you comment on, what posts you comment on, and the context of your comments, that you can build a reasonably rich folksonomy of: A) “People who engaged in this thread, also would be interested in that thread”; and B) “These individuals have similar interests to you.”‘Like content’ meets ‘like minds’ as an amplifier mechanism.  I would add that to their detriment, the profile model in Disqus feels way to silo’d on a site by site basis vs. content and context, IMHO.

        1. laurie kalmanson

          amazon style product recommendations for topicslike

      6. Pete Griffiths

        There is a deep point here.  Right now a lot of activity follows what I call the ‘nest’ model of social interaction.  Users go off into the wilds of the internet, find interesting ‘twigs’ and bring them back to their nest.  Their nest feed alerts their friends who then come and admire the new twig, which may or may not result in them going to the source of the nugget brought home to the nest.  In other words, the social activity is centered around the nest – the website.  By way of contrast Disqus is an example of what I (and others) call ‘ambient’ social networking.  The networking goes on out in the wild.  You interact around the content in its native habitat. A very common model that is not integrated with the content but which serves this purpose is kids messaging each other as they watch youtube videos together.Very different models.  There is room for both.  But for historical reasons the former is much more mature.  Disqus is just scratching the surface of what is possible. Watch this space.  🙂

      7. Aaron Klein

        I’m sure this will get a lot richer, but Disqus has already done that to some extent.I remember discovering @msuster:twitter ‘s blog by clicking on someone’s profile here at AVC, and being intrigued by the title of the “Both Sides of the Table” blog they also were a frequent commenter on.I ran into a buddy of mine who works at Disqus tonight at an event and got a briefing on what’s coming – incredibly exciting!

    2. JLM

      “I will keep pushing them until they get out on the dance floor and show their stuff.”Nice turn of a phrase.

      1. awaldstein

        Thnx JLM. 

  5. kidmercury

    looks great. there’s a comment over on disqus observing that their forums thing is reminiscent of google wave — i agree. promising stuff.

  6. Aaron Klein

    Signed up yesterday as soon as Daniel tweeted it. Really looking forward to what’s next from this talented team.

  7. Gary Chou

    I got a preview of this the last time I was in SF.  I’m really excited to see it out in the wild.

  8. panterosa,

    The map is super cool but I wish it could zoom in better.

  9. William Mougayar

    I’ll admit I was given a preview of Disqus 2.0 a couple of weeks ago, and I really liked what I saw. It’s very much where Commenting & Online Discussion Communities are going.Congratulations!

    1. John Revay

      Does D2012 compete w/ Engagio

      1. William Mougayar

        Not at all. We’re in sync.

  10. andyswan

    Disqus makes me want to write.

    1. David Fleck

      Wow.  That’s inspiring and what we strive for here at Disqus.  I view every commenter on Disqus as their own blogger, whether or not they have their own discrete blog.  The amalgamation of one’s thoughts across the internet is in fact a blog and a picture of that person.  

  11. Rohan

    I signed up for it this morning. I think all businesses need to learn from Disqus. – They have a blog I choose to follow – Their posts almost always have me click through from my Reader and engage..- They a product I love and endorse – I have atleast 10 friends who installed Disqus thanks to me pushing them!- They don’t spam me with 5 emails every day and land themselves on my Outlook black list. (Are you listening, Linkedin?) – AND they manage to keep me in anticipation for a very long time. I’ve been waiting for Disqus Ranks for all users ever since you blogged about it.. I’m still waiting albeit more impatiently..(Nice thesis for a blog post! Coming soon..)

    1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

      Rohan,Lets change, ” I think all businesses need to learn from Disqus. ” to “I think all businesses need to learn.!”I am taking today off to build a quillotine:  Its time to get rid of the obstacles in my way!Can’t wait to hook it up to the back of my car and pull up to my meeting next week….

  12. Dan Thornton

    Looking forward to seeing what it actually is – and reassured slightly by the fact it’s something rolling out here. I would really love to see better tools which can be used for communities coming together around blogs, but the way it’s described about not being about blogs makes me worry it could end up being yet anothe social network comment aggregator. And while none of them are perfect, there’s already a lot of them around…

  13. PrasannaKrishnamoorthy

    How is the search indexing, I sure hope all comments get google indexed. It’s a real pity that all the rich content in AVC and other Disqus comments are not indexed by Google now.

  14. Andrew

    On the subject of discovering conversations on other blogs.There is a newspaper chain up here in British Columbia’s north that powers a whole ton of community papers. And their web architecture was all linked, with Disqus powering the comment.This meant that over on the sidebar, there was a “popular conversations” widget showing Disqus conversations across all the newspapers. As someone whose job it is to find out what people are talking about in different communities (regional radio show) this was a great resource.I was not happy when they replaced Disqus with Facebook comments. And the comments have dropped off- a lot.

  15. Luke Chamberlin

    I like Disqus better than any other comment system out there, but I feel like they need to spend more time on their infrastructure.The system here and on other blogs I visit is frequently buggy, doesn’t update properly, threads comments incorrectly, sends me duplicate notifications for comments that are months old, and displays general weirdness on a regular basis.Maybe they’re avoiding these issues because the new version will fix them all anyway. I hope this is the case.

    1. kidmercury

      the one worlders (meaning all the soc nets that indiscriminately try to get all internet users on their platform, and have a “more users = better” mentality) run into this problem. i think it’s a huge issue and one that will keep coming up until bubble 2.0 pops. 

  16. Mark Birch

    Thanks, just signed up and a big fan of Disqus.

  17. Druce

    good to hear they’re doing a revamp. love the idea and it works OK but…Need to be able to reskin / up the density to deal with heavily commented blogs like AVC, so you can quickly scan comment thread and find stuff you want to readWould like to be able to skin/customize but API flexibility is limited, API docs make it sound a bit not quite ready for prime timeInline attachments – images/video (optionally for sites/users who want it)Customized filtering so people you like are at the topGamify/incentive comment rating, so the more you rate people well, the higher your own comments rateNeed to support personal/corporate/throwaway identities. Despite their own research showing the best commenters use pseudonyms, they aren’t supported properly. (edit: eg TweetDeck, single sign-on lets you use all your handles)Notifications should work better, when I see the red icon, half the time there’s nothing new, Case in point. Right now I have a red ‘1’. I go click on it and it says, no new messages. Then sometimes I miss replies, not sure if it’s because no notification or I filtered it Disqus is far better than most newspaper systems but that’s kind of like saying your wife’s cooking tastes much better than garbage LOL.Also don’t love the pricing for advanced features, little sites should be able to try it out so users get used to them and demand it, should kick in at volume.would study reddit closely, it’s incredible how good stuff goes to the top, no spam, engaged community self-moderatesEdit: I always seem to have to go back and edit for spacingall this aside, great service/concept. But if someone took the reddit codebase and got the same features working as a comment system they could blow it out of the water.

    1. fredwilson

      great feedback Druce. thanks for sharing it.

      1. Druce

        will try the beta on my microscopic blog, hope I can give some feedback. I love Disqus and it’s changed the Internet, it’s done a lot more than prove the concept, but you got to keep raising the bar, and I think it’s got a lot more potential.

  18. Ela Madej

    I just intuitively like all services that run “labs” (and preferably public) as a structural part of their product development efforts. It’s an extra step in addition to having a read/write API. I like Disqus for other reasons, now I have yet another 😉

  19. jkrums

    Very cool, just signed up for the private beta. Look forward to checking out the features on my blog. Thanks for the heads up. 

  20. Rohit Mishra

    I just hope disqus allows people to see threads of people they follow on facebook and Twitter distinctly. If Fred comments on any blog using disqus, I want to see his comment on the top. Otherwise, it is a great product. Something that you will get your friends to use.

    1. RichardF

       that would be a great filter to be able to add

    2. William Mougayar

      You can do that with Engagio

      1. ShanaC

        Behold, the power of engaging.

  21. William Carleton

    Thank you for this heads up!

  22. Jan Schultink

    What I would like to see: a solution to show deeper threadsAutomatically group discussions that are about the same thing:1) When reading2) Warning you before posting something that has already been saidThe second will be a lot harder….

    1. jonathan hegranes

      Re #1 – I think you’ll be happy.Re #2 – I think you’ll be blown away…

      1. Jan Schultink

        looking forward to it!does it integrate into blogger already? I am locked into a blogspot, 1000+ posts…

      2. Rohan

        Jon, please tell me we (i.e. all users!) are going to see Disqus ranks.. 🙂

    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      1) boring … same sh*t again.2) happy to get introduced to similar nuts.

  23. ShanaC

    The only thing I really want is a better spam control engine.  Not a better one in terms of filtering – but I want a better history of what is being filtered so I can adding more spam more efficiently…That and a disqus app that works really well 🙂

  24. Pete Griffiths

    The real time map is pretty cool 🙂

  25. Joshua Sortino

    I’m so psyched to be one of the designers working on this project. I’ve had the opportunity to get an early peek at where the next version is headed, and let me tell you, it’s GAME CHANGING!

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for your work on this. i’m dying to see it running on AVC

  26. kidmercury

    congress passed the crowdfunding bill! miracles do happen! now all we need is covestor for startup investing…..oh man, this is going to be out of control how awesome this is going to be.  

  27. David Fleck

    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful commentary.  Trust us, our team has been monitoring this conversation.  Much of what you’ve mentioned that you would like Disqus to change has been implemented in Disqus 2012 (which you’ll see soon), but you’ve also highlighted other things that we need to consider, too.  The AVC community can always be counted on for direct, open, honest feedback, and we thank you for that.  

    1. awaldstein

      DavidCan you comment whether and how much has been done to rectify the SEO issues in this release.This community of bloggers loves Disqus in spite of this as you know. Fixing this would be a great nod of understanding towards a community that cares about getting found. 

      1. David Fleck

        Sure thing.  I am a xoogler so seo is top of mind.  Comments will be crawlable, indexable, discoverable in Disqus 2012, pleasing both our community and our publisher partners.  

        1. awaldstein

          So….This means that all content in the comments on a Disqus site will be crawled and indexed with the same speed as let’s say a Quora comment (which is really fast)? A G+ comment (not a fair question really) ;)I’m excited.Can and when will you put out a blog post on this with some detail? Many of my clients and friends that I have convinced to use Disqus will be very interested.And…If I may suggest, a dedicated outreach to SEO agencies and consultants to bring them uptodate is effort well worth it. 

          1. Ro Gupta

            Yup / thanks, Arnold. We’ll be talking about this more too.

          2. awaldstein

            Hi Ro.Please take these comments as a vote of confidence. D12 looks great and with SEO support you have the huge opportunity to take a base that uses you and bring them closer into understanding why. Will put some chuzpah on the bones of the brand IMO.I would roll D12 out city by city, meet up by meet up, party (at wine bar) by party. Disqus is all about community. You now have an opportunity to get to know your community in the flesh.Well done to you and Daniel and the team!

          3. David Fleck

            I hear you on the need to communicate this important point.  What we’re building has a new architecture that’s getting us to the sweet spot with SEO.  We will work to make sure our users and their partners – e.g. seo agencies et al – understand how to optimize for this.  

          4. awaldstein

            Think hard and creatively about how to touch your community is what I suggest.D12 is cool and shows that you’ve listened. It’s all upside if marketed correctly.

  28. Howiecamp

    @Fred – I love the VoiceBunny stuff, but the podcast feed no longer updates – it’s probably been 10 days or so.  The podcast xml at http://avc.fm/podcast looks generally ok but it doesn’t include all recordings and no longer updates in multiple podcast clients I’ve tried.  Also, is there a way to download an individual recording?  The VoiceBunny controls don’t have download links on them (at least not the blog post recordings – some of your other recordings do).  Possible to add a download link?

    1. fredwilson

      i will find out what is wrong. thanks for letting me know

  29. Richard

    Structure the comment data: headline (25 characters max), body of reply, #hashtags

  30. laurie kalmanson

    disqus is the best blog commenting / discussion thread i’ve seen; signed up for the labmore community, if disqus wanted to go that way:– my profileo places where i’ve commented> most recent comments in each place i comment> who replies… so that some of the dashboard strenghts are shared; “who replied to you” is powerful and sharing that would be powerful with the option to share or not

  31. David S

    I hope the new system works better on the iPhone. Right now the text area only works some of the time and is very laggy.

  32. Reykjavik

    It’s sad when sites like NYT simply turn off commenting because too many people respond. If they had a system that better organized comments, made sense of conversations semantically — perhaps with some tagging and cross-linking — and helped their readers to connect with each other based on shared ideas, it would be a much richer ecosystem. Even since I was a CTO at a major consumer media property many moons ago, I’ve thought that commenting was an underutilized opportunity, but we didn’t have the resources to do it right. Perhaps this next rev of Disqus will fix that.

    1. fredwilson

      i totally agree

  33. Roshan

    just signed up. looking forward to the changes.

  34. Tom Labus

    Your profile needs to be “live” and changing all the time.

  35. sfopeter

    they should instead build delightful discussion experiences for the PUBLISHERS aka the people that would pay them. 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      publishers do pay them via their VIP programbut anyone can use disqus for free

      1. sfopeter

        We are doing a large deal with LiveFyre because they are focused on solving our problem, not on building out their own network. The LiveFyre guys are knocking down a long list of publishers and moving them off of Disqus and JS-Kit/Echo. It’s all about focus on the customer and their problem. But perhaps Disqus has a different monetization strategy than getting publishers to pay them for a premium product? 🙂

        1. Ro Gupta

          We don’t think building great experiences for users and publishers are mutually exclusive. But would love to hear more about the problem you face, and how you think it should be addressed.

        2. fredwilson

          i am not seeing that in the marketplace. livefyre is a disqus clone. i hope that works out well for you.

  36. Jim Gray

    I’ve been using Disqus for almost 2 years. For me it’s still the cleanest and most manageable commenting system for blogs. 

  37. Pooja

    Yeah I am with Blogger right now which cost me nothing and I am very passionate bout new gadget. and thanks to disqus who always with me.

  38. Shalu Sharma

    I have heard that a new version will be coming out. Disqus is undoubtedly very good method for comments. Hope it gets better.