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September 24, 2013

Six Reasons to Upgrade Your Commenting System

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Commenting System

Your average commenting system has evolved quite a bit over the years, but sadly many blogs are still stuck in the dark ages. While blog comments aren’t a measure of success, that doesn’t mean you should not encourage them. Platforms like WordPress come with commenting ready to rock, and you are probably very familiar with the setup. Someone enters their name, email, website address and then says whatever they want to say. Depending on your theme, the comment form can be designed differently, but the functionality still remains the same.

Using the built-in commenting system is totally fine, and tends to get the job done. However, I feel you can do better with a more advanced setup like Livefyre or Disqus, and here’s why:

Good Lookin’

This can be chopped up to a matter of personal opinion, but the reality is that many basic comment forms are not lookers. Functionality is of utmost importance, but design should also be considered. To be honest, I am not a fan of the commenting system currently in place here on Blog Herald, but hey, that’s not my call. Setups from Livefyre or Disqus are very clean and simple, and they automatically adjust to the fonts or colors of your blog. read more

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December 16, 2010

Inspired By Twitter, Disqus Rolls Out Follow Feature

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Taking a cue from Twitter, Disqus is finally rolling out a feature to the masses which may not only help increase user engagement, but help the startup edge out rivals like IntenseDebate.

We’ve come across so many comments in Disqus that are hilarious, insightful, or just fascinating to read. Now you can follow the comedians, experts, and storytellers on Disqus. After you choose to follow someone, his or her activity will show up in your dashboard activity stream. (Use the “Context” button to get the full conversation!)

Like many people, we enjoy following people on Twitter. Twitter lets you stay current with the thoughts and actions of people you find interesting. Similarly, following people on Disqus means that you’re subscribed to their conversations and recommendations as they read and discuss topics online. (Official Disqus Blog)

Truth be told IntenseDebate (a service by Automattic, the company behind WP.com) already had the “follow feature” months (if not years) ago, although as far as I can tell it does not seem to be a heavily utilized feature.

Disqus on the other hand seems to have a far more active community who may use Disqus’s follow feature as a way to gage which individuals have the most influence within the Disqus universe.

The startup is also planning on rolling out a recommended users list which is based off of your Twitter friends, and plans on rolling out support for Facebook as well (provided the social networking giant is cool with it that is).

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November 17, 2010

Disqus Goes Pro, Gives Me Another Reason To Switch

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Known mostly for their dead simple commenting system, Disqus has announced that they are launching premium services for their 1/2 million plus strong community.

Today, as part of the new Disqus, we’re introducing Add-ons. Add-ons are optional, premium tools and features that augment the core Disqus platform. They’re designed for growing communities that need the best tools and integration available from Disqus.

What are some add-ons? Analytics gives you a unique insight into your community and its growth. Single sign-on lets you seamlessly integrate Disqus with your existing authentication system. An advanced theme editor lets you craft your own custom theme for use with the Disqus platform. Moderation logging and reporting are tools that are invaluable for websites with multiple moderators or admins. (Official Disqus Blog)

Note: Emphasis theirs. read more

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September 30, 2010

Disqus Embraces 3 Smartphones. Guess Who Got Left Out?

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After declaring their intentions to release official apps upon the iPhone and Android devices, Disqus has announced that the apps are ready for prime time (provided they survive the tribunal processes save one OS).

About month ago, we announced “Disqus Mobile”. Since then, we’ve had a tremendous amount of traffic on with mobile theme, and received several of requests for a way to moderate and keep up with your communities whilst on the go. Being very keen to listen to our community, we’ve been secretly working on something deep within the Disqus laboratories.

Today we’re announcing a set of mobile apps on Android, iPhone (iOS), and webOS to help you achieve this. These apps are simple to use, lightweight, and battery efficient. We wanted to be sure you had enough battery life to call Grandma. (Official Disqus Blog) read more

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August 31, 2010

Disqus Seeking Out A Few Brave Bloggers?

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With more blogs embracing Disqus dead simple comment service, the engineers behind the company have decided to roll out a new tool to help publishers gain more insight about their commentors.

Unfortunately the new feature is not yet ready for prime time, although Disqus is asking for a few brave blog volunteers to help them work out the bugs in the system.

If Disqus is working well for you, we’d like Analytics to show you in what way. If your site’s community is lackluster, we’d like Analytics to help discover why. We’re able to see an incredible amount of data from the half a million communities powered by Disqus; we can see what works and what doesn’t on a broad level. […]

Want to help us test and improve Disqus Analytics? We’re now looking for alpha testers. No, not just early-adopting beta testers — we’re looking for people willing to bang on an early product and give us regular feedback. (Official Disqus Blog)

As seen in the video below, Disqus Analytics would help bloggers understand who exactly is commenting, as well as highlight which social network (or site) is sending them the most traffic. read more

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August 19, 2010

Disqus Goes Mobile, Launching iPhone And Android Apps

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Disqus, a company who is known by some for perfecting the art of blog comments has updated their commenting interface in order to make it friendlier for mobile devices.

While the new interface makes commenting through a smartphone almost as easy as through a notebook, Disqus has announced grander plans for users with iPhone or Android OS devices.

The new improved Disqus neocortex has the ability to identify whether you’re browsing on a desktop or mobile device. For our publishers with mobile sites, this activates a new attractive, clutter free, optimized theme for mobility.

This new theme is made possible with a new theming architecture behind the scenes. It’s a hint to some of the very cool things we’re going to be doing with new themes on Disqus. […]

For you website-runners, we’re getting ready to roll out mobile tools to help maintain your community on the go. Think iPhone and Android apps. More on that soon! (Official Disqus Blog)

While the company has not hinted on whether they will create an iPad app (or even an app for Blackberry and Palm Pre fans), this news probably means the end of DisqusPro, who offered users a way to moderate their threads via iPhone.

Previously Disqus has been heavily courting Blogspot users, as well as challenging WordPress’s Intense Debate by launching a Gravatar like button (which mimics WP.com’s version).

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August 5, 2010

Disqus Helps Bloggers Embrace The “Like” Revolution

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With Automattic rolling out the like button across all WordPress.com blogs, many bloggers have been searching for a similar solution without having to embrace Facebook.

Fortunately it looks like Disqus has now officially rolled out their like feature to the masses which also fully supports Gravatars (a service by Automattic).

About a month ago, we (pre) announced a feature called Community Likes. Since then, there’s been a couple hundred early adopting communities testing this feature out (thank you!) and a few hundred thousand likes given. Today, this feature is going live on all sites using Disqus. […]

Liking comments has been a core piece of Disqus since the beginning, and we’re now extending this feedback mechanism to the top-level page or article itself. Community Likes is an easy, quick way for your visitors to give feedback and make their presence known on your site, all without having to post an actual comment. (Official Disqus Blog) read more

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July 26, 2010

Installing Disqus On Blogger Is Now Idiot Proof

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Despite the fact that Disqus has one of the best commenting layouts in the blogosphere, installing the commenting platform upon Blogger (aka BlogSpot) was extremely cumbersome (at least when compared to rivals like Intense Debate).

Today Disqus has announced that they are adopting a new method to install their commenting system upon Blogger, which should please users who have no desire to dig through the code.

We’ve made it much easier to integrate Disqus with your Blogger layout. Using the Gadget functionality we’ve been able to improve the time of integration, and now require no patching of your template. Simply authorize Disqus, add a Gadget with your sites Disqus code, and you’re good to go. (Official Disqus Blog)

This should help increase Disqus’s popularity with BlogSpot fans, especially those who loathe all things CAPTCHA (which not only doesn’t work, but marginalizes the visually impaired).

Currently Disqus is available for all major blogging platforms (except for not surprisingly WordPress.com), as well as upon the  iPhone (via an unofficial app), the latter which may help users moderate their comments while they are on the go.

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July 19, 2010

Need A Reason To Switch Blog Comments To Disqus? There’s An App For That

Known for spicing up blogs with their dead simple commenting system, Disqus has emerged as one of the leading commenting systems online (the other being Intense Debate).

Despite the fact that Disqus comments are mobile friendly (at least upon the iPhone), the company provided a mobile app to help users moderate comments while on the go.

Fortunately for Disqus lovers, a Peer Assembly has created an iPhone app by the name of DisqusPro that allows users to moderate comments without having to resort to email commands.

Priced at $2.99 USD, DisqusPro offers disciples of Disqus an elegant way to moderate comment threads, a feature rivaled only by the official WordPress app.

For blogging pros wondering whether DisqusPro is worth every penny (or whatever currency you prefer), here are some of the highlights, as well as setbacks that may help you decide if DisqusPro is worth the price of a small sandwich. read more

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June 11, 2010

Did Disqus Just Launch The Greatest Commenting System Ever?

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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) read more

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