In an effort to create a better user experience for our readers and offer a more engaging commenting format, we’ve switched to Disqus. As with any change, there are always questions that come up. I’d like to take a few moments and go over some questions commenters have raised.
“It is a royal pain to have to enter one’s handle and e-mail address every time. Why do attempts to ‘improve’ nearly always end up being a step backward? And don’t tell us to ‘register’ because that will make it ‘easier’, Bob. That will only make it easier for people to data mine and track our communications—-the number of cookies that my security software has had to deal with is in the thousands and I don’t need more.”
The new system may seem more intrusive and demanding by offering you the option to register, but in reality it’s more transparent. In the previous commenting system, your username could be remembered by the system without having to register. However, a cookie was still set in your browser to accomplish this. Without a cookie, we don’t know who you are and we can’t automatically sign you in. Registration is easy to do with Disqus, and you won’t see any email advertisements from them.
“Why are posts with links being deleted??? I just made a comment with a link in it and it disappeared. Another post disappeared yesterday. I hate this new forum! … OK. It’s here. Just way down below. I still hate this!”
The answer here lies in the way the comments can be sorted. By default, the sort order is “Best.” This ranking is achieved by the number of votes it receives through clicks on the “up” arrow as opposed to the number of votes it receives through clicks on the “down” arrow. Comments with many “up” votes will generally appear at the top when this method of sorting is selected. As you can see in the image below, you can also sort by “Newest” or “Oldest” comments first.
You also have the option of viewing statistics on the site’s comment activity. By clicking on “Community,” you can view a section similar to the image below.
“My Disqus,” as illustrated by the next image, will display information specifically relating your account. This information includes notifications of replies made to your comments.
Disqus also has a sharing feature built in to each comment. Next to the “Reply” button, you’ll notice the text “Share.” Click the link to share it on your favorite social network. (Facebook and Twitter are currently supported.)
If you happen to like a particular comment a reader has made, you can cast an “up” vote for it by clicking the up arrow at the bottom-left corner of the comment. Conversely, if you disagree or dislike the comment, you can cast a “down” vote against it by clicking the down arrow. The number next to these arrows represents the number of votes the comment has received.
If you’re still in the dark about something related to the new comment system, feel free to ask a question or make a comment below. I’ll do my best to answer all inquiries and help make this transition as painless as possible.
Documentation on commenting with Disqus can be found here.