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Disqus Launches – The Ratings/Comments/Forums Space is Hot (Again)
I don’t think I have gone 24 hours in the past month without hearing something about content ratings, comment ratings, widgets for content based on ratings, comment optimization and general forum tools. We have written about Outbrain who takes ratings and personalizes content based on them, JS-Kit who takes ratings and creates widgets to help find new content on a site and today Disqus launches. Each of these services provide some functionality that is the same and each has their own spin.
I had the chance to speak with Disqus co-founder Daniel Ha. Disqus comes out of the Y Combinator startup incubator and the team is based in Silicon Valley. The team is two people including Daniel and they aren’t speaking about funding ouside of the Y Combinator investment.
Disqus’ main functionality is centered around comments and creating forum threads from those comments. Their tagline is "powering better discussion" and they are centered around the discussion not the blog itself. You can check out a working version on Fred Wilson’s blog.
Disqus is creating visibility for content outside the site itself by creating forums on their destination site that drive visitors back to the blogs that generate the content. When a user comments on a Disqus-enabled blog, that comment can be rated and those ratings drive the user’s overall score. Also, the comment feeds back to that user’s Disqus profile page which Hu calls a "microblogging page" which will house all of a user’s comments across all Disqus-enabled blogs.
One of the things I like about what they offer is the spam protection. If you switch to their comment system, they have two spam filters which protect bad comments from appearing. My concern with Disqus (as with the other systems as well) is being able to take the data with you and what it takes to re-import it back into your blog should you desire to terminate the relationship. Frankly on Drupal (which powers CN) I believe it would be a difficult task. So if you decide to move to one of these offsite comment systems, make sure you consider this piece before making your decision.
Integration is offered for WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, MoveableType and an API for any other platform. I have embedded an example below.