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Disqus Helps Bloggers; Also Takes Some Blog Traffic For Themselves
Disqus is a blog comment replacement application which is all the rage these days. Everywhere a person goes in silicon valley, someone is talking about Disqus. We’ve written about Disqus a number of times including my detailed thoughts on Disqus last month. Some very large blogs including VentureBeat have switched their commenting over to Disqus (no idea if there was money involved there).
One thing I noticed is that Disqus allows you to subscribe so that you receive email notifications when someone replies to your comment. I always love this for two reasons. For the commenter, it helps them to know when someone has replied so they can reply if needed. For the blog, it helps to get users to come back to the site where they might not have otherwise. When the user comes back to comment, they might also interact with new content. It’s a win-win. Except in the case of Disqus.
Disqus hacks the URL of the blog entry and instead of pointing the user back to the originating source (i.e. VentureBeat, etc.), it sends the user to a page on Disqus. There’s no reason for this and in fact, should Disqus obtain mainstream acceptance, could pose a number of usability issues. The user receives an email from the source but then is sent to some page on another site. Will the average Internet user understand what’s going on when they click the link and end up somewhere else in cyberspace?
Disqus should be transparent to the user. Disqus co-founder Daniel Ha agreed with me that the URL should point back to the source a month ago. My hope is that this post will move the change up in the development cycle.
Here’s a screenshot of an email message I received when commenting on Louis Gray’s blog. Note the URL for me to view the comments.