August 12, 2008

Disqus Takes Commenting to the Next Level

Over the last few months, no blogging comments engine has received as much attention, or gained as much perceived blogger momentum as has Disqus. While alternatives exist, Disqus' clean interface, tracking capabilities and the team's aggressive approach to customer support have begun to make them the alternative to standard blogging comment engines from Blogger, Wordpress and TypePad. As I previously documented, moving to Disqus has greatly improved the interactivity between me and my readers over the last few months, and I remain extremely optimistic about the company's ability to gain market share.

As many other sites have now reported, Disqus rolled out version 2 of their software today, addressing some concerns held by holdouts who believed implementing the engine would hurt their SEO rankings, while also delivering strong platform integration with Wordpress, a new developer API, and a significant reorganization of to deliver immediate access to an individual's comments to track and manage.

On Sunday, prior to today's announcement, I spoke with the company's CEO, Daniel Ha, who said much of today's rollout was targeting those people concerned with their comment data being externally hosted on "the cloud". The service's new API enables full synchronization between Disqus and your local comments database (for Wordpress and Moveable Type only today), which has a side benefit of working well with search engines, such as Google.

Most interesting to me in today's announcement are the changes at As I've discussed before, comments are often made, and as Disqus comments can flow to e-mail, to FriendFeed, or other lifestreaming services, context becomes crucial. Now, each registered Disqus user has a personal "comment blog", which can show previous comments, as well as replies, to provide context. For example, you can see mine here:

Disqus is now installed at more than 30,000 Web sites. When I asked Ha about the service's penetration in markets outside the typically insular tech blogging community, he said, "We have a very great presence in the tech blogger segment, but the most prolific discussions come on political and finance blogs. There is a lot of heavy usage back and forth."

Disqus, which held a party this most recent Saturday at their new office, employs three people full time, with an intern, who will be leaving the company at the end of the summer, much to Daniel's dismay.

The blog comments space is not one where Disqus has a monopoly yet, by any means. SezWho and Intense Debate have a good following, as does WordPress, of course, but today's developments raise the bar yet again for competition as Disqus becomes more entrenched as the standard.