There’s More to Disqus

 Disqus Login

Our blog commenting section has gotten longer.

By Kevin RR Williams

SOCIAL MEDIA Have you noticed that our Disqus (pronounced "discuss") commenting section has lengthened? Among many new features, learn how the Discovery Box located below the comment section benefits you.

Along with over 4.2 million other sites like CNN.com, we have enabled Disqus 2012 for the benefit of a rapidly growing crowd of 800 million Disqus users, including our loyal blog readers. Sites may either be using the legacy Disqus or the enhanced 2012 version. We haven't always used this commenting service but it's beginning to grow on us — figuratively and literally.

The impressive Disqus feature list is long. Whatever is mentioned here barely scratches the surface, as updates are pushed out every few weeks of late. There are always some distractors of change but I applaud the direction. Users can enter comments on desktop or mobile platforms. Various degrees of moderation are available via email, desktop or mobile device along with basic analytics. Readers are able to rate an article, separately upvote comments, follow other commenters' posts across the Web, subscribe to a thread, and when enabled by an administrator, tweet posts or attach images.

You’re Just A Bunch of Talk

 Disqus Stars

Loquacious as I am, I often have some reaction when visiting sites and reading blogs but am stifled by retyping my name, email address and website each time. And those human readable tests are particularly frustrating. Though it's nice to see the occasional login fields auto-populated and OpenID helps quite a bit, it seems no matter how many sites I register on, there's always another login method waiting. Fortunately, more blogs and news sites are enabling one-click social media login, thank you.

Facebook integration joined Twitter on iOS 6 mobile devices. This provides one-click login for supporting mobile and desktop platforms. And you guessed it, Disqus supports popular Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Disqus username and password logins. Apparently, ClinicalPosters.com site visitors, which currently average over 16,000+ monthly page views, are embracing the Disqus commenting system.

Disqus Discovery

The overall length of the comments has grown, and not just from what's posted by readers. The newest Disqus feature called Discovery Box is located below the comment section. Divided into left and right sections, it dynamically helps you find other interesting discussions that are happening on the same site and elsewhere on the Web with Promoted Discovery (when enabled by administrator). Here are some preliminary discoveries about this exciting new feature.

  1. As you browse different pages on the same site, Discovery list may change.
  2. People who post often are added to a short list of site-wide Top Commenters under the Community tab.

The algorithm for displaying related articles is evolving. Recent posts and quantity of comments seem to have a bearing. Disqus is experimenting with suppressing avatars and comments in favor of unified titles. Appearance is subject to change but I think you'll like what you see.

Rewarding Good Behavior

Any visitor can view both the Discussion and Community tabs. Discussion is where you type your blog response together with all the comments for the current page. Discovery displays comments to various blog posts alongside the list of Top Commenters. Still being monitored and subject to working out details with Amy, the site-wide Top Commenters section opens up a possibility for perks.

Companies are always exploring new ways to reward frequent visitors. Perks may include guest blogging, online store discounts, promotion to moderator or other things dreamed up. This may be calculated based on comment frequency or those who receive the most upvotes. Stay involved and build up your online presence so when the time comes you'll qualify for rewards.

 Disqus User

Do you have an active blog or social media account? If so you can benefit in another way from sharing your comments below articles. Clicking your name can reveal your social media account. This means if someone likes what you write, they can follow you (or request to do so with private accounts). You thereby have the potential to extend your reach, gain new customers and interact with great contacts.

A New Community

Though you may continue to login with social media accounts, creating a Disqus account makes you a friend with fringe benefits. Get you mind out of the gutter and into the sidebar if you would like to try Disqus on your personal blog. It can be disabled if you wish, so you can return to your prior system after your trial run.

Becoming a Disqus member, activates child tabs in a section called My Disqus. This features Network activity and Notifications. The Notifications tab is an inbox of activity related to you. So if anyone responds to any of your Disqus posts anywhere on the Web, you can instantly jump to it. You can also see recent comments of anyone you decide to follow on Disqus.

I’m Talking To You

Another BIG change on this site with only a tertiary relation to Disqus involves the style of writing. Have you noticed? Up until earlier this year, the majority of articles were primarily written with the medical professional in mind — third-person articles with no "me" and no "you." Without alienating doctors, nurses and clinicians, much of the recent content — including recipes, restaurant reviews, nutrition and health — embraces a broader audience in a more conversational first-person manner. Please use Disqus to share reactions to any of the site enhancements you enjoy in the comment section below. Yes, I'm talking to you!

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