It looks as if Intense Debate (which is owned by WordPress) may have to rethink its commenting approach after Disqus (its chief rival) announced its new default commenting box whose focus seems to emphasize upon the reader.
This change makes posting comments much more appealing to your community by allowing them to think only about commenting and not logging in. [...]
You may have noticed that the login buttons (for Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, etc.) are no longer showing on your site. This doesn’t mean that your community can’t log into these services anymore. They still can, but they’ll only need to do so after they’ve decided to post a comment. (Official Disqus Blog)
While at first glance this new layout looks confusing, this subtle change could help bloggers everywhere increase the number of comments per post and help convert lurkers into participants.
Truth be told however Disqus is not the first company to adopt the “keep comments simple” approach, as it looks like Blogger may have been one of the first (if not the most prominent) to engineer this for their own BlogSpot fans.
Time will tell whether or not Intense Debate will mimic Disqus’s approach, but either way it looks like nimble startup may have just edged out its larger rival, as well as distinguishing itself from the rest of the commenting services online.