What do you think of Disqus?

Patheos has now installed Disqus commenting onto the Jesus Creed blog, we’ve had a full day using it, and so I’m wondering what you think of the Disqus commenting system:

What do you like?

What do you dislike?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Larry Barber

    Love being able to go back and fix typo’s and spelling mistakes. Makes me look smatrer

  • Steve Johnson

    I guess I have to test it first, but it seem good to me.

  • RJS4DQ

    Like and Dislike (You decide)

    1. Fixing typos

    2. Being able to look at all the comments an individual has ever made in the Disqus system over years and years across multiple sites all at once simply by clicking the hotlink on their names. This way I can determine what kind of person they really are. (Or at least the image they present online.)

    3. Four Newfound Reasons You Should Have Sex More Often! (i.e. that marvelous list of educational links from around the web).

    4. Slow response time.

    5. Reply to comment. (You can decide if this is a like or dislike or both – I find that the feature tends to degrade conversations and turn them into back and forth or question answer sessions rather than the roundtable type discussions we sometimes have on this site.)

    5b (added using the cool edit feature) The vote up vote down rating system so we can make commenting a competition.

    6. Adding Images

  • april marratto

    I see what you did there.

  • http://about.me/amandanudelman Amanda Nudelman

    @RJS4DQ:disqus Just wanted to note that you can disable Promoted Discovery (the links you mentioned #3) as outlined here: http://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/articles/666278#discovery-settings

    We hope you stick with Disqus! :)

  • Guest

    Looks good to me

  • http://thepoorinspirit.tumblr.com/ Alvin (ThePoorInSpirit)

    I like it! I use it on my websites and it’s a lot sharper and more organized.

  • Guest

    Test of anonymization

  • AHH

    Seems to be a good system in design, but so far it’s too buggy. My success rate in actually being able to see the comments when I go to a post is about 50% (on MSIE or Firefox, doesn’t seem to matter, though the problems don’t seem to manifest on IPhone). The other 50% all you get where the comments should be is those 3 gears spinning forever. I wanted to leave this comment 2 hours ago, but whatever I tried for 10 minutes I couldn’t get any comment field to allow me to do so.

    Since the “Recent Comments” on the side does not seem to be functional, can you replace it with a list of the 5 most recent posts (on this blog)? That would make navigation easier.

  • RJS4DQ

    6. Adding Images. (This is in the list in my other comment as well – but hidden by “see more” from the view of all but the select few who will click on “see more” – you can decide if “see more” is a like or dislike.)

  • scotmcknight

    What is #3?

  • RJS4DQ

    Don’t you see the “Around the Web” ads below the comments? The headline I list has been there often the last two days.

    Right now I am tempted by “Secret to a Gorgeous Face: It’s the Eyebrows”

  • scotmcknight

    Test of avatar.

  • Adam O

    To RJS’ point #5 (and to destroy my current point by not doing it), I like the “reply” streams. Sometimes the discussions are (no offense) equally as compelling as the posts and this makes them much easier to trace because there are not 3-4 random comments between people that are in conversation.
    Also, I do appreciate the up-down feature as it lets me affirm without just posting, “amen.”

  • danaames

    Like the reply streams. Do not like starting the conversation from the bottom. Don’t really know how to take the best advantage of it otherwise.

  • http://azspot.net naum

    Disqus is cool but there are a number of drawbacks — the primary one being the loss of “Google juice” — comments no longer “belong” to your domain and are just dynamically displayed from Disqus via third-party Javascript. Also, the reliance on Javascript might mean problems for some readers and I haven’t gauged it but might too be an issue for older computers / mobile devices.

  • http://scilla.org.uk/ Chris

    I love Disqus and have been using it on my own blog for a long time. The ‘Disqus’ tab lets me follow the discussions on multiple sites.

    Very manageable and effective – gets my vote.

  • http://scilla.org.uk/ Chris

    One of the advantages of Disqus is you can change the order they appear. Use the dropdown right below the ‘Leave a message…’ box, choose from Best, Newest, or Oldest first.

  • http://scilla.org.uk/ Chris

    Test of reply :-)

  • RJS4DQ

    Chris,

    Sure – Disqus can be useful. But there are serious privacy concerns. The comments belong to Disqus. They do not belong to Jesus Creed or Patheos. You can make your comments anonymous, at least for now, but that will remove all identification and it is possible that Disqus retains the connections. In addition the comments show up, as Naum notes, from a kind of clunky application. I didn’t realize it was Java. This leaves another security loophole.

    The fact that Disqus links across sites and within a site means that everyone should treat it like a social networking system. It can be easily accessible to a potential employer or search committee for example. This may not matter to most – but should matter to some at least. My rather sarcastic #2 was designed to just point this out. The link can be useful and also a real issue on occasion. I, for one, will remain more impersonal and more careful in any comment I make under this system. You can decide whether that is good or bad.

  • RJS4DQ

    Adam O,

    On occasion reply is useful – and at least Disqus doesn’t seem to let the columns get as narrow as the WordPress system gets. (I’ll probably use it, but only when seems especially appropriate.)

    In other instances a linear “roundtable” discussion is better.

  • RJS4DQ

    Chris,

    Is it possible to see new replies? Those don’t seem to be effected by the Best, Newest, or Oldest option. I don’t like reply in part because I have to search for the new material.

  • http://scilla.org.uk/ Chris

    If you have a free Disqus account and are signed in, new comments are notified in the ‘My Disqus’ tab and can be optionally emailed if you prefer that as a way to stay up-to-date.

  • http://scilla.org.uk/ Chris

    True, RJS, there’s always a tradeoff between convenience and privacy. Personally I’m content to have all my comments in one place and don’t care who reads them. I have few secrets!

    Disqus is not like a chat in someone’s office, it’s more like a chat on the pavement (er.. sidewalk for the non-Brits). Anyone can listen in.

    Technically there’s some JavaScript involved (runs in your web browser) but not Java (which runs as a local app on your device) – so less potential for security issues. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong about that.

  • RJS4DQ

    It is a long lasting and easily found record of a sidewalk conversation. Fine, but something to be aware of.

  • RJS4DQ

    The reply featureis annoying on my phone.this comment showsone short word per line.

  • Guest

    RJS, perhaps you could simply continue to comment “anonymously” without logging in.

  • http://caveat1ector.wordpress.com/ Hydroxonium

    Agreed. Such social networking systems incorporate all sorts of insidious “features” that people are usually not aware of!

  • RJS4DQ

    I may do that sometimes.

  • AHH

    What’s the mechanism for doing so?
    I couldn’t find any way to do it in a little bit of trying earlier this week.

  • Guest

    AHH,

    I think you have to be signed in. But then you can make a comment anonymous by hovering over the comment, clicking on the triangle in the upper right hand corner and deleting. This changes it to guest.

    If there is another method – perhaps someone else knows.

    RJS

  • RJS4DQ

    Chris,

    There are advantages to the cross links – and disadvantages.

    The conversation here has been likened on occasion to a chat among friends over a cup of coffee. This allows one to test out views, give opinions, and explore ideas.

    Some of the things we discuss are controversial in some circles. Evolution, homosexuality, politics, and more. I hope on occasion my discussions of science and faith have been helpful, and the back and forth in conversation has been useful. I know that some commenters have worried about the reaction of family and friends to some of the ideas presented about Genesis and evolution and creation.

    The change to Disqus removes a level of safety from the discussion unless people are careful. Instead of a conversation in a coffee shop off on a side street in a quiet part of town, this becomes more like a conversation at a sidewalk cafe on main street. Still useful – but often more guarded for good and ill.

  • http://scilla.org.uk/ Chris

    I understand the caution you and others feel. Personally I’m not troubled at all, but I do respect views other than my own.

    If it’s an issue for you or your readers, RJS, it might be better to revert to the old comment system (if it’s still available).

    The only other thing you could do is include a brief note in each post alerting readers to the traceable, public nature of any comments they choose to leave.

    PS – Your posts on science have been awesome. Muchly appreciated by at least one reader!

  • http://www.beingfilled.com/ Chuck McKnight

    This is excellent news!

  • Adam

    Perhaps a post about hell or something should be made soon so the Disqus system can be truly tested.

  • amwolfe

    (5b) feels cynical to me. I have often wished for a “like” button here on Jesus Creed. Otherwise sometimes I feel it’s likely no one has actually read or appreciated my comment, whereas in reality perhaps (or perhaps not) they agreed or appreciated it but simply didn’t feel it merited a verbal reply. Either way, making a “hear, hear” easier by this means enhances, I feel, the community spirit of round table discussion you cite in (5).

  • RJS4DQ

    amwolfe,

    I think you have a good point on vote up. It is vote down that I have a bigger problem with.

  • MatthewS

    I totally get that point number 2. I see it as having both positives and negatives but it is certainly changing the shape of commenting for me.


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