I suppose I blog a lot about Disqus because we’ve been using it here for a while. I’ve gone back and forth about whether we should keep it, especially after WordPress introduced threaded comments.
Although I’m not in love with the idea of a) not owning the comments and b) taking a performance hit on every post, Disqus has made a lot of changes suggested by its users and allowances to concerns like comment portability.
Plus, they have been moving toward aggregating comments across services, which makes a lot of sense, and today, they publicly released Social Media Reactions, which had been in limited testing over at Mashable for about a month.
The goal of the new feature is simple: collect and aggregate any chatter about your blog posts from a laundry list of services, including FriendFeed, Twitter, Digg, and a bunch more. It looks like Disqus partnered with uberVU on the plugin, which I have set up and enabled. I also upgraded our comment plugin, which was a few versions out of date.
If you use a Disqus login to see, you’ll see a few new features in there. Update: One new feature is video commenting. Rich already left a test comment, apparently the post left him speechless. You’ll need yet another account to leave one, with Seesmic. Enjoy.
It’s not clear whether the reactions will be retroactively collected for old posts (unlikely), or how they’ll display. If you look at Mashable’s posts, their comments widget adds a section called “Social Media Comments”. Apparently, that will be renamed to “Reactions”.
The plugin does not seem to support any replying either via Disqus or the service of choice. However, since several of the services provide APIs, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to send replies to FriendFeed or Twitter.
Anyway, we don’t have a huge problem with fragmentation here, but even so, it will be nice to see other services included for each post. I’d like to catch the occasional Digg for a giggle. Incidentally, why isn’t Delicious on that list? There is a checkbox for “Other services”, but damn, how the mighty have fallen.
So, nice work Disqus. Next, please extend your plugin to support OpenID.
Beyond the newsy piece here, this type of aggregation is a hat-tip to the blog (and blogger) as a content source. It’s been debated that Twitter and FriendFeed (possibly Facebook) have taken the power out of personal blogging (I know, assuming it ever had any). I tend to agree that other services and communities dilute the overall influence of a blog.
Whatever your blogging forte, the widget is a way for you to serve your readers better by providing an unobtrusive introduction to websites you’ve mentioned. The best part is, if you or your readers have ideas for improving this info, editing the AboutUs page updates the widget automatically.
I don’t write about companies very often, so I’m not sure how much value it would add. But still, it would aggregate content.
What do you think of comment systems, aggregation, any of this crap?
Sound off in the comments.