Let the Disqussion Begin

Disqus is a comment system that has gained more and more popularity in the last few years, and now I've decided to start using it here on Peter's Publisher. I hope you don't mind the change, but if you do, leave a comment! Now let me explain why I made the switch.

I stated in my last post that I suspected the blog used to receive a lot more comments, particularly during its first year. Now I've actually counted, and I have the evidence. These are the numbers of comments from other people (not me) I've received each calendar year: 110 in 2008, 48 in 2009, 12 in 2010, 24 in 2011, and 15 so far in 2012. I even made a graphic!

In some ways this is correlated with my own frequency of posting, since 2008 saw my most prolific writing by far (116 posts over only 8 months) while 2010 was pitifully low (only 36 posts during the entire year). However, while it does appear this year is on track to beat the last one, you can see that 15 comments over the last four months is horrible compared to the 110 comments the blog received in its first eight months of existence.

Using Disqus obviously won't magically increase the number of comments I receive and the number of good discussions that are started on my posts. I believe, however, that Disqus will make it more appealing for people to leave comments here, and most importantly, it will greatly increase people's likelihood to return.

How does that work? Well, up till now using Blogger's default comment system, it was pretty easy to leave a comment. You could be anonymous or you could log in with a few different kinds of platform, like a Google account. However, there really wasn't much of a follow-up system; that is, people wouldn't really know if I or anyone else replied to their comment. Also, that person would never really be connected to their old comment; even if they had signed in with an account, I don't think any of those platforms kept track of peoples old comments and let them look back on what they'd said.

Disqus totally changes this. First of all, it's still very easy to leave a comment. You don't have to have a Disqus account, and you can use Google, Facebook, Twitter or other options instead. Remaining anonymous and unlinked to any account is still an option, but you just have to provide an email address. This provides the option of being notified about follow-up comments, and the options like Facebook and Twitter also provide the option of other people posting about my blog. I do strongly recommend getting a Disqus account, though. For a long time I resisted, unwilling to sign up for some new service that I felt I didn't need. Once I joined, however, all my comments that I've left on a bunch of different sites are now all connected to one place for me, and I use my Disqus account to link to this blog as well.

So, if you happen to be a frequent or infrequent browser of the blog, or a random visitor, please leave a comment on any post and test the new system out. I hope you not only don't mind, but appreciate the change. I certainly hope it'll improve and invite future discussions.