ā‰” Menu

Your feedback on the commenting and some more discussion about Disqus

No captions :-((

Some of you may remember that in the post from last Sunday I asked for your views on Disqus and commenting. I just wanted to feedback on/provide a summary of what you told me in case it is of any use to anyone else. Sorry its taken me a while to do this!

So lets just jump right in:

Checking back for comments
* Lots of you said you never check back for replies or subscribe to comments.
* Several people said that they will only check back if they think a discussion will develop or they have said something that they would like a reaction from, or expect a reply to, and not if they are only going to get a ‘thank you’ response.
* One person said that she will only check back for a reply on those blogs where they know that the blogger will reply.

Need for individual replies
* Several people shared my view that individual replies are a must for ‘proper’ comments of questions, but that a ‘thank you’ aimed at several people is fine.
* A couple of people said that they don’t see the point in thank you comments at all.
* Some people liked the individual replies option on Disqus, and thought that if its there you might as well use it.
* Some said they would prefer a reciprocal blog visit to a ‘thank you’ comment.
* Some thought that you should both reply and visit the person’s blog. (I guess that was never up for discussion for me, of course I’m going to visit back!).
* Overall, it doesn’t seem like not replying to each and every comment and relying on blanket ‘thank you all’ messages will people stop visiting your blog, particularly as so many people don’t check back anyway.

Emails vs. replying on the blog
* It was mentioned that if the comment contains a question, it’s probably better to email so that the recipient definitely gets it.
* However, it was recognised that way blogger notifies you of comments isn’t exactly amenable to that, because you can’t just hit reply, you have to manually track down the persons email.
* Vahni of Grit and Glamour, who has obviously had loads of success with her individual comment policy, also pointed out that if you email, only the recipient knows that you’ve replied, and other readers may think you don’t care.
* There’s a related point too (this wasn’t raised in the thread) that if the reply is public, a discussion with other people might develop on the back of it, which wouldn’t be the case for email.
* There was much love for the fact that Disqus is meant to (and I say meant to, as I’ll get to below) email you if the person replies to your comment, so that the reply is both on the blog and the person knows for sure that you’ve replied.

Pros for Disqus
* Individual replies, which after a week I really love!
* You can reply directly from your email.
* As a commenter, disqus remembers you.
* The replies get emailed to you, or as I say the are meant to!

Cons for Disqus (most of this isn’t from the thread, but my own experience and what I’ve heard on twitter)
* It takes some time to load
* For some people it never loads at all (Really hope that sorts itself out, Leia!)
* On Friday, the whole system went down for several hours, and you couldn’t comment at all. Don’t know if this is a regular occurence.
* It’s meant to sync with blogger, but it doesn’t. It turns out loads of the comments that are meant to sync with blogger ended up in spam and therefore weren’t published. I was able to recover those, but its a pain having to go through all the spam. but still about a quarter of the comments that never made it to blogger in the first place!
* However, there were also comments which only come through on blogger, and therefore don’t appear on the blog at all. I’ve manually gone and posted these as myself.
* I tried to fix this by using the export function, but all you get is a huge long text file that you presumably are meant to do something with, but there is ZERO support on what to do. Any advice gratefully received!
* I have yet to get a single email with someone else’s reply, so I’m assuming people aren’t getting the replies I have posted either. Would somebody who has commented recently mind telling me whether they got the reply or not?

I am a little tempted to uninstall Disqus before any more comments get lost in the ether. At least now I could theoretically copy the comments that never made it over individually. But I am actually really liking the individual replies thing after I was originally sceptical about it. It’s nice for a conversation to develop. What do you think?

On another topic, I have taken to twitter surprisingly well! There must be loads of my regular bloggy pals that are on twitter that I haven’t found yet. If you want to let me know your twitter name in the comment, I’ll follow you. Or you can find me – I’m @apple_franca. Cheers!

Also to remind you that I would love to see your pictures of your workspaces! Pretty please!

photo via here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • shallowmallow 12 January 2011, 4:09 pm

    Thanks for posting this. Very interesting round up. Too much choice out there. Lazily I am still usng the default šŸ˜€

    If you hit reply I'll let you know if it comes through šŸ™‚

  • shallowmallow 12 January 2011, 4:10 pm

    And just in case you haven't seen it before: I get an error message when I try to comment as a "guest" (I eventually logged in via open ID) telling me that

  • shallowmallow 12 January 2011, 4:14 pm

    darn I am good at this (not). telling me that I needed to enter valid text?

  • No Guilt Fashion 12 January 2011, 4:55 pm

    I have gotten emailed replies from disqus. I think it has to do with how the commenter signs in. Great article. I started using disqus, so I could reply to comments individually. I do try to visit the blogs of those who comment on my blog, but with three jobs and a toddler my time is very limited.

  • Elle 12 January 2011, 5:50 pm

    I only get emails some of the time from Disqus and often times it doesn't load. It also takes 5-10 minutes for me to see my comment appear! I've also gotten an error message after hitting reply… the one good this is that you can edit your comment, which you can't do in blogger even when signed in… I haven't taken the plunge yet though because of so many bugs in the system. I tend to go back to blogs and thank the person there while checking out and responding to their blog, since I don't have Disqus.

  • Sacramento 12 January 2011, 6:05 pm

    Excelent work you have done Franca, I belong to those who never go back for reply to the blog. It is time cosuming for the one who commet and the one who has to reply to each one.

  • Courtney 12 January 2011, 6:13 pm

    Very interesting and thought out entry! I personally reply to every comment I get and, about once a week, go back and read at least 1-3 entries from every blogger that comments. I like the idea of a blog being a community. I also have had a LiveJournal for over ten years and just got into the good habit of replying to everyone who left me something because I viewed people as my friends. I feel the same way about my public blog, too.

  • La Historiadora de Moda 12 January 2011, 9:17 pm

    Well, I am still "beta testing" Disqus comments on Historiadora on the Run, but I don't think we'll switch FA over at any point soon. Some comments are still only showing up sporadically, and the load time is often ridiculous. I know I'm in the minority with my reservations about Disqus, but, while I love replying to individual comments, I am still not a fan for those other reasons.

  • madam0wl 12 January 2011, 9:28 pm

    Hey there, good overview. Can tell you are a scholarly sort.

    I still haven't gotten a reply email any of the times you've replied to my comments. Fortunately, your blog is one of the ones I have on my "check back" rotation. šŸ™‚ Except I do stop checking back after a day or so, naturally. I'm wondering if I don't get emails because I don't have a DISQUS account yet. Maybe I'll try doing that this time.

  • Clare 13 January 2011, 10:47 am

    This was such a great post and summary of Disqus. I briefly used it and then swapped back, mostly because it took so long to load which was incredibly frustrating – plus, I kept getting error messages. I've gone back to plain old blogger comments. I always struggle with the email directly/visit blog/comment on post. After reading your post I've decided that I might start commenting on my posts now.

  • madam0wl a.k.a Sandra 13 January 2011, 2:16 pm

    FYI – didn't get that as an email, and I even have a DISQUS account now. Yes, I'd say it is very quirky/buggy… but true, even if it doesn't send the emails like it should, the indented reply format is nicer than blogger. I wonder why blogger can't do that…

  • Shallowmallow 14 January 2011, 8:36 pm

    I got it to work without signing in – must have been a momentary blip. I guess you get those whichever tool you use šŸ™‚ Haven't been getting any reply notifications though.

  • Grit and Glamour 15 January 2011, 3:17 pm

    Great post! Interesting feedback. And thanks for the mention.

    I know people are sick of me saying this but comments are another reason why I love my self-hosted WordPress blog (and Thesis theme). The base comment and spam systems are very robust and have absolutely no issues. I can reply to individuals or reply via email. And the only reason a comment might not show initially is because I have set some pretty strict terms on my spam filters, but I rescue any comments that might have accidentally marked as spam with the click of a button.

    As for Disqus, I do like it better than Blogger and Intense Debate for comments. It seems to work…most of the time. I have experienced loss of comments as a commenter, and if I lose my text, I'll often just abandon the comment rather than type if all again. I don't know of another solution outside of moving to WordPress.


  • Emma Clark 15 January 2011, 10:20 pm

    Thanks for the information, especially the pros and cons of Disqus. I'm pondering installing it myself as I love the direct reply functions but I know some people have issues with it. I wish Blogger would allow you to do threaded replies – it's so overdue.

  • Marissa 17 January 2011, 2:25 am

    Ugh… that's too bad about blogger and disqus. I was really hoping disqus would be my new comment solution.

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    Yeah, I am planning on moving to wordpress eventually, but at the moment I'm
    sticking with blogger. Like you say, Disqus does seem to be better than the
    other available options.

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:14 am

    I know, that would be my preferred thing, if blogger just made their
    commenting system good!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:14 am

    Hehe, yeah, I'm well practiced in summarising views without giving away

    That is annoying that you're not getting replies, but i guess no worse than
    if I switched back to blogger comments.

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:14 am

    well, I'm going to reply to you anyway, hehe!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:14 am

    Thank you! For once, this post took not time at all! it's probably because I
    write a lot of this kind of stuff for work.

    I am definitely sold on the individual replies now – but I still don't think
    anyone needs to feel bad if they don't have the time to do it. I think you
    can totally have a community without individual replies!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:14 am

    Oh pants, that's not good! So I am once again stopping people without blogs
    from commenting? aaargh.

    No actally, I've been getting comments from people that I'm pretty sure must
    have been logged in as guests, so it must work sometimes. that's the thing,
    it's just so unreliable!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:14 am

    you know, if I didn't already have it installed I wouldn't get it, it's just
    now that it's there I want to give it more of a shot. i don't have the
    loading problem, but it is so buggy! I hope they sort it out!

  • Wholesale Flowers 25 June 2011, 12:26 pm

    Interesting stats on comments. I haven't had any issues posting comments on your site, just in case.