Disqus your Comments

Back story of a dial up geek

Dial Up GeekI consider myself to be what I refer to as a “dial-up geek“. Meaning, I’m not a broadband geek that gets everything very fast. This is especially true when it comes to life in the technology fast lane.

For example, I wasn’t on Twitter till recently. I didn’t see the reason or use for it. Now I realize in the RE Blogosphere if you aren’t on twitter you are only capturing half (or less) of what is going on. Now reading blog posts and comments make more sense since I’ve been on twitter and catching some of “the rest of the conversation.”

Twitter, Tweets and Twits How I discovered I don’t have a life

My sum total use of Twitter seems to be as a lurker of conversations and the occasional exciting contribution myself of “Off to breakfast at McD’s” This is sad in summing up my life outside of the office and computer. I didn’t realize this until Twitter pointed out that other people in the RE world actually have lives. But I digress.

twitter tweetOne of the “tweets” from a “twit” was about trying out Disqus commenting services for his blog. I clicked the tiny url (something else I’ve discovered since joining Twitter). It was this post on The Phoenix Real Estate Guy that got me to thinking this might be a good thing to research for the Lab.

Disqus Commenting Service

I went to the Disqus website and created an account and set up two blogs and installed the WordPress plugin here at the lab. Then I got to thinking before I clicked remove all comments, just what does that mean remove all comments? Therefore I made a strategic decision, this Lab experiment would be done on one of my lab rats and not on the lab itself.

For No REal Reason

It is a little blog where I put random stuff that comes to mind from time to time. Nothing there is RE related thus the for no REal reason. It only has a few posts and 4 comments. Worth the risk.

I installed the the plugin and configured it. Here is what I found:

  • If you select the first option all existing comments disappear from your blog
  • If you select the second option the comment stay and all new comments will be on the Disqus system
  • All your comments are now stored on a disqus subdomain.
  • If you un-install the plugin all your comments using the disqus system are gone.
  • If you author multiple sites and comment for each depending on the blog you are visiting that option isn’t yours if disqus comments are active on that blog.
  • Jay pointed out “Subscribe to Comments” feature is non-functional. The only way someone could subscribe would be to join Disqus.
  • For now the service is free, but if they changed their model and went to a fee structure you would either pay, or see all your comments GONE!
  • If for some reason Disqus should cease to exist, all your comments would be GONE!

While some are teaching that having comments off site is a good thing for SEO purposes (not diminishing keyword density) I think it is such a minor issue for the overall scope of your RE blog I would want to maintain control over things like “do-follow”, subscribe to comments and having the comment content on my blog.

I removed the plugin from both blogs and won’t be using the Disqus commenting service in the future.

It does look good on your blog. There are several options for configuring the look. It has built in option of video commenting (which you can set up on your own with a plugin without using Disqus). I believe the issues mentioned above are reason enough to leave Disqus to hobby and personal blogs that don’t care if comments are removed in the future since the life of the blog itself could be relatively short. For your RE business blog I wouldn’t recommend it.

Thanks to Jay for bringing this service to my attention. As a dial-up geek I would never have found it on my own.

Holy Cape and Spandex I just found Skype!

I just got a flip phone and now I find out there’s something called flip video too! I’m getting dizzy, is the world moving too fast, or am I just standing still?

Comments

  1. Thanks for checking Disqus out and sharing your thoughts. I had all intentions of installing the plugin this afternoon. We’ve all had the experience of signing up with a service only to later discover they are no longer in business.

  2. Kathy,

    You are welcome. It isn’t to day Disqus is bad or dishonest, it simply isn’t a good plugin to use for RE bloggers in my opinion.

  3. Thanks for the analysis Dave.

    I like the idea of managing all comments from a common place like Disqus offers.

    But to loose all control, and have an integral portion of my blog hosted somewhere else just doesn’t make sense to me.

  4. Jay,

    It does seem to be a perfect Catch 22.

  5. Dave and Jay;

    Thanks to both of you for testing it out. I have been extremely busy lately and missed out on the Disqus fun..likely didn’t miss much, from the sounds of it.

    On the other hand, for $100, flip video cameras sure SOUND like something to dig into a bit further.

  6. Eric,

    Got a flip video this morning, $149. Haven’t done anything with it yet. Still reading about flip video and editing.

    But of course that is what you would expect from a dial-up geek : )

  7. Jay hit it on the head “…to loose all control, and have an integral portion of my blog hosted somewhere else just doesn’t make sense to me.”
    I couldn’t agree more. I just want to have my cake and eat it too and it’s just not realistic at this point.

  8. The world is moving too fast.

  9. Steve Belt says:

    Dave,

    With you and Jay using Disqus it’s clear I need to get on board. Will get on it asap.

  10. Steve Belt says:

    Egads…I’m not liking the finer details of the disqus system either. Dave, seriously thanks for sending me the direct tweet in twitter, getting me back here to double-check the system…that’s what’s great about this wider web we are creating.

    I don’t have a flip, as my Canon SD870is seems to do good enough video for my blogging needs (which are extremely rare). Setting up Plurk today was interesting, even if I have yet to find the true value (or possibly any value, other than the timeline view).

  11. Steve,

    I’m finding Plurkdom more rapid fire than Twitter, I’m using Twhirl for the interface and find quite a lag time.

    Still don’t get much about Plurk, but for some reason love the name. Hope it keeps RE bloggers busy and not writing quality content on their own blogs. Goofing off is always more fun (in the moment) : )

  12. I’m right there with you, Dave regarding being a dial up person. Theres only so much time that I have to try and get everything done business-wise, and still have a life with friends, & family. I’ve heard of several persons mention Twitter – but as of yet, I’ve not yet had the time to take a look at it. There are just SO MANY social networking sites out there (activerain, digg, propeller, mybloglog, linkedin, myspace, etc, etc, etc, etc) – that its really hard to devote the time to all of them.

    How would you rank Twitter in the priority schedule relative to other social networking sites? [Actually, that might be a good follow up article for you to write – about what social networking sites you think are worth while. :)]

  13. Malok,

    Twitter is hard for me to get used to, it is like only getting in on one side of a conversation.

    I’ve been hitting the social networking as therapy. I’m socially retarded (hard to admit) but that is part of the therapy.

    Learning to participate and not lurk is huge for me.

    However, if you are a social butterfly social networks are like alcohol to to an alcoholic you have to stay away. You can waste time like crazy in a social network.

    The one I’m really enjoying the most is Plurk.
    I joined that recently and find it much more interesting to navigate and enjoy the interface once you click around. It is also much easier follow conversations.

    Here is a link to my Plurk page and you can join by signing up at the top of the page. This I like much better than Twitter.

  14. I think as a general rule I try to avoid things that are free but kind of have you under the gun if they decide to ask for money. Certainly keeping all your comments in their system would qualify as that.

  15. I’m still having mixed feelings about integrating this on my blog. I just removed the comment feature on my wordpress for the same worries. This one loaded a lot faster than your other blog.

  16. Julia,

    Not quite sure what you mean by this comment. I’ve not used Disqus on any of the blogs. Not sure what “This one loaded faster than your other blog” is referring to.

    That said, I would stay away from Disque. My feelings about is haven’t changed since writing this post. It might be fine for just a personal blog and social networking but I would never have it on a business blog.

  17. I was looking at Disqus just now as a possible replacement for my blog’s commenting system and, when looking at the source code, saw what you pointed out above — the comments are hosted elsewhere! Good on you for pointing out the scary implications (your comments are gone forever if you choose to stop using Disqus or if it goes out of business). No thank you.

    A big thanks for writing this post; I;m VERY glad I read it.

    Andy Fulton
    Community Manager
    http://www.realestate.com/

  18. I just started using Disqus for comments. I didn’t realize that the comments were hosted else where until I read your article. Thanks for updating us on this sneaky little factor. I am defiantly reconsidering using them now. No way am I am going to take a chance like this.