Disqus, the webwide comments system I’m proud to say we were one of the first to cover last year, has undoubtedly come afar. They’ve been widely accepted amongst the blogosphere as the comments system which is a must add on, and about 30,000 websites have integrated it (including us).
Today, they’re launching Disqus 2.0, the successor to their previous version. The new version includes, in a nutshell, a revamped website, a much-improved WordPress plugin, and the idea of comment-blogs — that is, having comments from every Disqus commenter/member posted across the Disqus universe stored in a blog format.
The first and most obvious thing about version 2 is their reorganized, restructured, and redesigned website. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always found their interface to be border-line clunky, and I’m glad to say that none of those words apply to this version. They’ve obviously re-considered most parts of it, simplified it by a thousand times (putting focus on its more important elements and hiding the rest), and if you were one to use the interface to moderate comments on your site or your comments posted elsewhere, you’re going to find it a much better experience.
Something I love about the new dashboard is that the whole concept of Disqus is integrated into it as opposed to a section for your own comments and a section for setting up your website (two distinctly different purposes). There’s “My Comments”, which shows your comments across Disqus, and there’s “My Websites”, which, if you have multiple websites integrated into it like I do, you’re going to find helpful. The moderation side of Disqus is nicely tucked away in the Admin section, where you can also edit settings, setup integration, etc.
Improved WordPress Plugin
I would estimate a high majority of Disqus users integrate it to their sites with WordPress, and they’ve obviously taken the step to put a focus on this audience for the release. The new plugin includes SEO friendly comments, automatic comments syncing between the WordPress database and Disqus (yay!), a seamless import/export of new comments, and a way to moderate your comments from right within WordPress. As a WordPress user, you’ve no idea how much I appreciate this. It’s always been a task to remind myself to check Disqus once in a while, and now I can do it within WordPress.
Something I love, as a general Disqus commenter around the Internet is their new profiles function and the slightly Twitter-like aspect to it. As a comment, you automatically have a public profile (here’s mine), which shows your latest comments and your Twitter status. You can add friends and people can fan you, and all their comments are visible in the “Friends” tab, much like Twitter, but a way to ensure only the discussion-worthy, thoughtful stuff comes through.
Overall, I love it. Disqus is a great example of how you can start in one place and end up in another. Just yesterday, I remember Disqus CEO Daniel Ha explaining the half-baked idea to me over Google Talk, back when each Disqus-integrated blog used to be “forum” and each post a “topic.” The use has obviously gone in a different direction they intended, and they’ve evolved the product likewise. I’ll be honest I wasn’t really sure if it was just going to end up as “another one of those” WordPress plugins, but today, I see a complete product and vision. Keep it up, Disqusians!