When I started this blog I was not going to have any comments system at all. "Agree or disagree... I don't care" didn't really make sense if I let you comment but I was convinced otherwise.
The problem was, that I had never really found a joomla comment system that I liked. (Note I have never looked at closed source systems, or would I, so don't start telling me that product xxx does the job)
After running this blog now for 10 months I'm really happy with the choice I made and it would appear that many of you are if I go by the number of emails each week asking what I am using.
There are two parts to the comments system on this blog.
- The comments themselves which are powered by Disqus using the plugin from joomlaworks.gr
- The latest comments module which is the default joomla newsfeed module pointing at the disqus rss feed
So why did I chose disqus over a native joomla system
I really didn't want to have people registering on this site and creating accounts before they had to comment. With disqus you can authenticate using twitter, facebook, openid or a disqus account. This way you don't need another login, with associated security issues, and I don't need to enable registration on the site. The less hoops you have to jump through in order to comment the more likely you are to comment.
Spam comments are an issue for everyone.
I hate captcha systems, they are not fool proof, and they just get in the way.
Disqus offers me several spam defense mechanisms. They have their own internal system to test if a comment is spam and block it before I even see it and so far that's worked pretty well.
When spam does get through or a comment is posted that I wanted to delete, usually because it is something like "just testing", disqus offers me the quickest method I've yet seen to remove it. All comments are emailed to me and if I reply to the email with "spam" or "delete" then disqus handles the rest. So I don't have to get to a PC, login to joomla, and remove the comment, I can do it directly from any email enabled device.
If I wanted to disqus also supports akismet but I haven't found the need for that yet.
Centralised Spam protection
One benefit of using a centralised system that I had not really considered before I started with Disqus is that if a comments on several disqus powered sites and they are marked as Spam by either Disqus or the site owner then Disqus will from then on mark "any" of that users comments as spam automaticaly.
Although no one has used it yet on this blog Disqus also offers you the ability to comment in video. (Hint click on the media button).
Trackbacks and Social Media reactions
I have enabled trackbacks "Display links that refer to your posts" but I chose not to enable "Social Media Reactions" which find and display mentions and comments about your post from other services around the web (e.g. Twitter, FriendFeed, Digg, YouTube).
One thing you may have noticed is that if you have commented, and authenticated using your twitter id, then your comment and a link back to the blog is automaticaly tweeted. This has proven to be a great way of increasing the reach of the blog especially over time.