Friday, April 11, 2008


Last week I read a post in Andy C's blog about the service called Disqus. It is a service to keep track of comments in blogs. Later he made another post about it.

I have been looking for a solution to keep track of blog comments, both mine and other people's. Not all blogs have the option to subscribe to the comments, when you comment on a post you need to check later if someone commented further. I want a central repository where I can see all my comments on a post, all comments made by others on the same post and all comments made on my own blog.

I tried Cocomment before but I was not satisfied with it. So I decided to give Disqus a try and enabled it on this blog. Laurent Schneider decided to try it too.

Then Andy made another post about the concerns of some people about Disqus (one being Tim Hall). Their concerns make sense. Who owns the comments one makes, the commenter or the blog owner? Is it sensible to store the comments to your blog not in your blog database, but elsewhere? What if Disqus is not there next year, what if Disqus is inaccessible for some time? Is it possible to export the comments from Disqus and import them back to the blog?

Some of these may be irrelevant if you are using a public blogging service, like Blogger, because it means you are already storing your posts and comments somewhere else. The question "What if Blogger is not there next year?" comes to mind for example.

A solution suggested by Tim Hall is to dual post the comments. The comments will be in the blog and on Disqus also, this need the blogging service to provide a way to do it.

Another solution can be a strong export-import utility in Disqus. That way you can export the comments and put them back to the blog whenever you want. Disqus currently has an export utility but as far as I have read it is not reliable for now.

While I agree with these concerns I liked what Disqus provides. The one-stop page for all comments, the threading of comments, being able to follow other users are primary features I like. So, I will stick with it, at least for now.