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Earlier this month Yahoo announced that they would be selling, no closing, no sun-setting, no selling the bookmarking service Delicious. Many tech bloggers were very upset at the non-announcement by Yahoo. I believe that Yahoo made developers angry by closing (now they are selling) Delicious.
I immediately thought that the best possible acquirer for Delicious was Disqus. I still believe commenting service Disqus is well positioned to acquire Delicious.
AOL Techcrunch blogger Michael Arrington noted yesterday that Yahoo turned down a Delicious sale in 2009 with an acquisition price of $15 million. He also noted that his base of contacts would be interested in an acquisition with a sub-$5 million dollar pricetag.
Let me explain why Disqus + Delicious makes sense and would help increase Disqus’ visibility and stickyness. More and more sites that I use on a daily basis are using Disqus for their commenting engine (I use Disqus on my transit resource InsideTransit). Disqus provides a page (which I doubt many people ever visit) where you can view all of your comments – or anyone else’s comments left using the Disqus service across any blog.
Have you ever been stuck wondering what to post on your blog? Can’t seem to find a topic that suits the current situation? Well a new feature called "Reblogging" launched today by comment replacement service Disqus could help quench your thirst for a great post!
The Disqus reblogging feature allows you to easily click a button on any comment left on a blog using the Disqus service and post it as a full post on your blog. You can basically lift a comment from X blog and place it on your blog! So when you are stuck for a topic, just go to a popular blog that receives a lot of comments, click "Reblog" and bam… instant post.
While the concept of Reblogging works on a service like Tumblr, I just don’t see it as a value-add here. Who benefits from the Reblog process?
- The blog publishing the comment gets a juicy bit of content (that’s not in a script code)
- The source blog receives a seo-rich link back to the source – this is a great way to up inbound counts
- Disqus benefits as a seo-rich link back to Disqus travels with the Reblogged content
- Disqus also adds a link back to the commenter’s profile on Disqus
- The original commenter who spent time formulating the comment gets nothing
Just like I called out Disqus for "borrowing" traffic earlier this year, I am again calling them out (and understand I like Daniel and think he is a very bright guy!). Add a link back to the comment author’s blog instead of his/her Disqus profile. Then the service becomes more of a value to everyone and might be more beneficial to the community at large. I’d also wonder if Disqus users need to opt-in to this program – when I comment on X blog, do I automatically grant any blog or source with the ability to lift my comment and do as they please? What happens to context – it could easily be meaningless outside of the source discussion. We already see this happening when Disqus comments are posted on FriendFeed – the context is completely missing. This Reblogging feature could lead to some great discussions around comment portability and usage. Maybe we need a licensing model for comments.
In a perfect situation, the only links that would be listed are to the source blog where the comment was posted and a link to the commenter’s blog.
This new Disqus Reblog feature currently works on the WordPress, Movable Type, TypePad, and Tumblr platforms.
Here’s Disqus founder Daniel Ha’s screencast of how the reblog process works. I hope there’s an opt-out button – I have no desire to participate with regards to this new feature.
Less than a day after Disqus announced the launch of their updated Wordpress plugin, blog comment replacement service IntenseDebate is out with their own. The IntenseDebate update will ship in private beta mode this weekend with a public release shortly thereafter says ID.
The updated IntenseDebate WordPress plugin features a better admin control panel along with full data synchronization. This means that comments entered in IntenseDebate will also be sent to the core WordPress install. This means that you can test IntenseDebate without the fear of losing comments should you decide to leave at a later point.
They have also updated the main IntenseDebate site with a "Swedish" look and feel they say. And there’s also updated Akismet spam protection.
I’ve written about the three leading comment replacement services (Disqus, JS-Kit and IntenseDebate) a good number of times. Today Disqus is launching the second version of their blog comment replacement service. Disqus launched last October and since then has won over 30,000 content creators who use the service on their blogs and Web sites.
I spoke with Disqus CEO Daniel Ha last weekend to learn more about the second release of the Disqus platform. We began by speaking about my last post about Disqus where I noted that they were taking some of the traffic that should have been directed to the content creator for themselves. On the post Daniel said that the issue would be fixed that day but it wasn’t. However Daniel does say that the v2 release today fixes the issue and traffic should no longer route to Disqus but directly to the content creator.
The major updates in Disqus v2 are a new WordPress plugin and a new developer API. The WordPress plugin makes comments SEO friendly – meaning that any comments will have associated Google juice. Similar to what JS-Kit launched last month, all comments will be syndicated back to the original source WordPress comment system – this allows you to leave Disqus at any time and not lose the associated comment data. There’s a new import process which makes it easy to import and export comments into Disqus. Lastly you can moderate Disqus comments directly from the WordPress admin – no need to go to the Disqus site. My hope is that a similar plugin will be available for other content platforms soon.
Daniel also walked me through the updated Disqus Web site which now features a page for each member that is public. What this means is that if I signup for a Disqus account, my friends can easily track all of my comments on any Disqus-enabled blog. Daniel calls this a "comment blog". Here’s a sample of my comment blog on Disqus:
One of the interesting bits Daniel noted during our discussion is that he believes that he is a heavier commenter than the CEOs of his competition. He believes they went into the comment replacement business because, "it’s what’s hot".
There’s no doubt that the comment space is hot. From the message board application FriendFeed to all of the new comment replacement and reputation services, this space is one to watch.
Yesterday I spoke with JS-Kit CEO Khris Loux who briefed me on several major updates for JS-Kit and their product roadmap. The first update is that JS-Kit has acquired comment replacement service HaloScan for an undisclosed sum. Loux says that HaloScan was actually the first comment replacement system and has over 500,000 active blog installations. He says while the new crop of comment replacement services including Intense Debate and Disqus are getting some press lately, HaloScan is "magnitudes larger". This size was the reason that JS-Kit has acquired HaloScan. Loux believes that these comment replacement services must have very large scale to be successful – and that HaloScan gives JS-Kit that size.
The acquisition is an IP-only acquisition and JS-Kit bought the distribution and customer base. They are currently swapping out the widgets in place that are branded HaloScan to use the JS-Kit widget and it should be transparent to the blog owners. They are 20% done with the swap so far and currently are replicating all comment data into both systems to make certain that nothing is lost. The new JS-Kit is adding sites at 300/day and will have over 8 million users.
As for the new features, they include a portable comment profile, comment synchronization and search engine accessibility. The portable comment profile screenshot is listed below. Loux noted that unlike Disqus, JS-Kit isn’t redirecting users back to their site – everything goes back to the content creator.
The synchronization feature which is called "sync" is game changing I believe for comment replacement systems. If you’ve read my previous posts around this technology, one of my concerns is what happens if the company goes out of business. Your site’s comments are gone forever as well. JS-Kit believes they have the answer using Sync. What Sync does is pull in comments from your current platform and then back updates live to the blog software you use. So let’s assume you put JS-Kit on your blog, tomorrow a person makes a commment. That comment is sent behind the scenes back to your blog commenting system along with the JS-Kit powered comment. This means that you can turn off JS-Kit anytime and still maintain your complete comment base. Sync currently works with WordPress and Blogger blogs and Loux says more platforms are coming.
The other update is that now there’s SEO (search engine optimization) support for your comment data – everything will be indexed properly.
Loux concluded by saying that they don’t compete on lock-in like the other comment replacement services do. He believes they must keep innovating to keep your business.
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.
Today was the “Day Of Outages” with Amazon down, Twitter down, and even comment replacement system Disqus had some outages. I was able to find the video below from the “cash money playas” which describes how to make money when your service is down. I am not endorsing these tactics, just sharing for educational purposes only.