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More Criticisms of Disqus

Further to my post explaining why I don’t like centralised comments systems such as Disqus, this blog post by Jacob Barkdull echoes some of my opinions on the service — both from a technical point of view and from the ideological standpoint that for something as critical as comments, if it’s on your website, it should be under your control.

Disqus is one central controlling entity, if Disqus decides to do “maintenance” or they begin to have server problems, everyone using Disqus comments now has not only no way visitors may leave comments, but also no way to display previously posted comments. And if worst comes to worst and Disqus disappears (as is possible with companies) everyone is left without comments, unlike if the comments are controlled by each “webmaster”.

I find issue with the added near 4 second pause on every page just to display Disqus comments, Disqus handles this well, but not well enough in my opinion. Because when pages load with Disqus comments there appears a little “Loading…” message, that eventually gets replaced by the comments and the form to post comments, the problem with the way they do this is when you refresh the page it jolts, kicking the scroll down the length of the comments until Disqus has loaded where it then kicks the scroll back up the length of the comments.

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  1. linkmoko wrote:

    I never thought about it that way. And of course, I do care about your comments. You do bring up an interesting topic of returning to the website to view a reply. Now I do wonder if Disqus and IntenseDebate are helping in bringing back commenters to follow up. What’s your take on that? Do you return back to follow up on your comments if they were responded to?

    Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 19:01 | Permalink |
  2. I don’t like these comment-controlling-entities, but at least IntenseDebate has one good point: it keeps the comments on your blog too. Anytime you want to disable it, just do it, without losing any comments. And it has some good plugins too.

    But done with the devil’s advocate. The whole idea of another site – entity – having “my” comments is wrong. You are legally responsible for what is shown in your site/blog, including the comments! If you approve a racist comment, you’re responsible too. Now, imagine if you do not approve the comment, but for some reason it is not deleted from Disqus/IntenseDebate? Worse: and if one of these tools approve something like that? Who’s gonna pay for it?

    No no no, if you’re responsible for something, well, you should control that.

    Friday, September 10, 2010 at 06:36 | Permalink |
  3. Peter wrote:


    These services probably do help commenters be aware of replies to their comments, but… there are plenty of other services and plugins that can help with that (for example, Comment Subscribe for WordPress). That issue alone doesn’t really justify handing over control over my comments for me.

    Bruno Pedrassani,

    The keeping of your comments on your blog is perhaps a positive point for IntenseDebate, and one I wasn’t previously aware of. I’d be much more comfortable handing over some control, if I can always get my data back out of a service if I later decide I no longer like them (unlike the situation with Facebook!)

    I agree with your opinion on having control — it’s certainly something I want to keep. I run this server myself, run this blog myself — using something like Disqus or IntenseDebate would be contrary to what my aim for this server and website would be — to do it myself!

    Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 20:10 | Permalink |

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