Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Disqussion Stymied

Lately, I’ve been feeling unwanted.
Don’t worry, this is not another, “My query isn’t getting anywhere” post. And it’s not to complain about how no one is reading this blog, because a lot of you are—or at least you’re stopping here. I have no idea how many of you are really reading anything, but at least you’re dropping in. No, what’s making me feel lonely and unwanted is the growing number of blogs that use Disqus as a portal for interaction. I’m being frozen out.
Several times now, I’ve wanted to comment on a post, only to find myself stymied by the Disqus login. It’s the same sort of login you see on any number of blog pages, whether they’re powered by Blogger or WordPress or it’s some fancy, custom-built site using who-knows-what platform: screen name, e-mail, password. It even has little buttons along that sign-in that indicate you can sign in using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts. However, if you try to sign in using one of those non-Disqus identities, it either asks you to register, or it asks permission to gain access to your Facebook or Twitter.
Now, the registration for Disqus looks pretty innocuous. My info—screen name and e-mail—is already filled in. All I have to do is fill in a password and click the ‘register’ button, but I hesitate. Why? Because I know nothing about Disqus, and I’m not going to sign up for one of these third-party things without knowing what they’re all about, or what they’re going to do with my info. On the registration form is a link title ‘benefits of Disqus’, but to be honest, it’s a very short list. As far as I can tell, Disqus is some sort of comment management system, like a HootSuite for comments, that allows you to check on and participate in blog commentary without having to leave the comfort of the Disqus program (and most of this was learned from googling the name; about the only thing I learned from the Disqus website is that it’s staffed by a bunch of kids who get to play foosball in the office, at least on photo day).
You’re not going to mess with him, are you?
Maybe this is a ‘Get off my lawn’ reaction, but I’m just not seeing how this program benefits the people who install Disqus on their blogs, how it would benefit me (except that, apparently a lot of people are using it, and if I want to be heard in those places, I’m going to have to do it), and, finally, I don’t see the benefit to those foosball playing kids in the Disqus home office in San Francisco. They must be getting something out of it, but since there’s nothing on their site that tells me what it is, they ain’t getting anything from me.
Disqus is supposed to facilitate discussion. For me, right now, it’s keeping me out of the loop.
Do you use Disqus? Does it help? And what are we signing up for? Have a great weekend!
Oh, by the way, the Phytophotodermatitis looks a LOT better.

10 Responses

  1. I signed up so I could start commenting on blogs. I figured, from what little info they wanted, it was fairly harmless. *shrugs* I was unaware of the ability to comment without going to the blog. I did notice the emails I get with a copy of my comment(s) and the reply. I kinda like that.

    Jami Gold wrote a great post on commenting systems and why bloggers might want them. Maybe this will help…

  2. I haven't run into Discus yet. What I hate is bloggers who only take Google+. It's a blogger account (it says blogspot in their url). I have a blogger account. Yet I can't comment, because they only take Google+ members. Really???

    I say if a blogger wants comments, they should be open to anyone. If not, well, I don't need to waste my time with them. I have too many accounts now to try and keep track of.

  3. I say set up your blog how you want but be prepared that the less options you have, the less likely people will comment. Which I think is just fine since each person has the right to choose how their blog runs. JeffO you can decide to comment however you like, if Disqus isn't for you feel free to turn in the opposite direction.

  4. Disqus doesn't bother me – but Google+ …WTF is that rubbish. Get sucked in there and you never escape the blog you wanted to comment on.

  5. Oops – typo in the last one. I agree with you – those requirement often turn me off too. I've found myself not leaving comments on those blogs because I don't want to sign up or register

  6. Before Nancy talked me into coming over to Blogger, I had a blog only on my website and I had to use Disqus in order to allow people to comment. It was a nightmare. I didn't even bother reinstalling it when I changed over to my new website. And yeah, Google+ is a complete waste of virtual space.

  7. I stop trying to comment if it becomes difficult. What I'd like to do is always comment with my email address & a website address. I maintain several blogs and may wish to link to a different one depending on where I'm commenting. For instance, I came over to your blog from, where you left a comment for me… but my only options here are to "comment as" and so I'm selecting what I'm already logged into, which is WordPress… which will show me as Curiosity Cat instead of Writer for Life. Didn't stop me though. 😉

  8. You know, it occurred to me at some point while I was writing this that I was making a big assumption, namely that Blogger was a 'welcome all' sort of platform when it comes to comments. This gives me a reason to go back in and check all my settings and make sure I've got things the way I want them. Thanks for stopping and commenting!

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