Using Discourse as Comments

It’s been 7 months or so since I’ve turned off comments on this blog and 3 months ago I shared some of my thoughts on how that’s been. I have not regretted this decision for a single moment and I am loving not having to deal with them.

Instead I casually engage with people via Twitter (although I’m going to leave that channel too soon) and I can actively converse when I want and totally ignore the trolls without feeling responsible. Ahh, that’s been very, very nice.

But, not all of the blogs that I write for have had comments turned off. For instance, the development blog that I update at least 5 times a week had been running WordPress native comments for sometime and then I switched over to Disqus, which I’ve had a very good experience with, historically.

Things are changing though and Disqus is moving to capitalize on commenters and even going as far as inserting advertisements in the comment stream layer that look like legitimate comments from real users. In other words, they are advertisements posing as user-generated comments (and then you’re typical CPC or click-campaigns come into play for the money money train).

I think that’s bullshit.

I don’t have a problem with a business trying to make money; that’s legit. I do mind moving into the sacred space of the comment layer and trying to look like you actually give a shit about the conversation while instead you’re trying to get more click-throughs to an advertisement.

Consequently, I’ve moved away from Disqus entirely, which has incidentally been really good timing because I’ve always wanted to experiment with Jeff Atwood‘s Discourse forum software that has the ability to connect to WordPress.

So, my implementation is quite simple: When I publish a blog post it automagically creates a new forum post where the community can respond, just like a comment. I haven’t styled it via CSS quite yet (because it can show comments back on the WordPress-layer) but I’ll get to that when I find some time.

I’m digging my implementation of Discourse on The Desk App blog and I’m having a lot of fun with the building and connection piece. Too bad for Disqus though… they could have done it better.