If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know that Games Thirst users love to engage in heated discussions, with the likes of Nick, Foxton, Ghost, Wolf, Alex and the rest getting into it on a regular basis. We wanted to elevate the engagement even further as part of the site’s redesign by adding features that would foster more interaction. First, I personally looked at the options available from WordPress, the platform on which Games Thirst is built, however I couldn’t find a single formula that works just right.
I was a bit frustrated by this, as I would have liked to stick with WordPress, being that we’ve been using it from the site’s inception. But the more I looked within WordPress, the farther away things got from decent, and I decided I’d search elsewhere.
I’ve known about Disqus for a while. In fact I’ve had the plugin tied into Games Thirst for over a year, but I didn’t want to use it yet because more research needed to be done on my part, and I needed to see more reputable sites using it before I took the dive. Since then, big names like IGN, D’toid and others have made the switch, and in turn have seen their comments section activity skyrocket. So finally, after much thought, I decided I should board the plane, too.
So from today, Games Thirst comments will break away from the old format, now using Disqus. Here are a few benefits of the new comments system. Go ahead, sign up and continue the discussion. Let us know what you think.
If you’re already a Games Thirst user, simply insert your email address and same username – and it’ll be like nothing ever changed! Choose your avatar pic and voila!
Remember to keep your regular Games Thirst account intact, and by this I mean don’t forget your password because there’s a premium feature on Disqus that allows for seamless integration with our login system and registered userbase. However it’s premium, costing a decent investment – an investment we’re not prepared to make currently, but will definitely do so in the future.
Focusing on Simplicity
User Registration If you want to comment on a Disqus enabled blog, you need to register an account first. (At least with default settings). This looks like a certain disadvantage to start our discussion. But don’t rush into making decisions too quickly as Disqus provides the alternative option to comment with your social profiles like Twitter and Facebook.
These days almost all Internet users are on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Hence there is a high percentage of possibility that they will be logged into one of these accounts at any given time.
So it’s one click away from commenting, which seems fairly easy for a reader.
Also we get the added advantage as authors or blog owners of social sharing links being provided automatically in line with every comment, increasing the possibility of readers sharing on their social profiles.
Comment Fields and Captcha
Disqus doesn’t have a comment form with a lot of fields. A mandatory section is given to enter your comment. Other form fields depend on the chosen login section by the readers.
If the readers are already logged into Disqus or social accounts, they can choose to enter the comment only. Readers who are not already logged in need to enter their username and password to login.
In the worst case, readers need to fill only two fields, which is a simple enough task.
No captcha image is used since not many people will waste time on getting authenticated and making spam comments. Disqus admin panel can also be used to filter and remove spam comments if necessary.
So I would see this as a plus for making it easier for the reader to comment quickly.
Staying Updated With Discussions
Notifications on Comment RepliesIn the default system we had to implement the comment reply functionality through a manual process. Disqus comes up with built in functionality for notifying commenters when required. In order to make this work, as a reader you need to log into your Disqus account and change the configurations according to your preferences.
You can find a section called Notifications in Edit Profile area of your Disqus account. In thePersonal Settings area there are 3 options regarding notification.
First you will be sent a notification whenever someone replies to your comments. This feature is similar to the default WordPress system feature.
Second option can be used to subscribe to complete comment thread that you comment on. This will be set globally for every post you comment on. Also you can subscribe to specific comment threads only using the ‘Subscribe by Email’ link under the comment section as shown in the following screen.
The final set of options sends notifications if someone mentions about you in comments. So considering all the above features, we can come to a conclusion that Disqus notifications are way more powerful than default WordPress comments system.
Another plus point for Disqus.
- Comment Numbers Disqus displays the comments thread similar to the default system’s style with small indentations for each level of sub comments. The latest version of Disqus 2012 uses an IFRAME to display the comments. Therefore it’s very difficult to add custom functionality. So implementing comment numbers with the new version will be very difficult if not impossible. Earlier we could have created this numbering using CSS tricks. With the new IFRAME, styles we use in the theme stylesheet will not take effect on Disqus comments.So it will be a minus point compared to the default system where we can customize almost anything.
Comment Filters In the default comment system we were able to create either the latest comments first or oldest comments first. So the readers had to use the pagination to view older or newer comments depending on what was displayed initially. Disqus allows us to filter the comments section using newest, oldest or best comments. In just one click you can change the direction to sort comments differently.
This is very useful for the readers as well as authors. So another plus point to Disqus on our comparative analysis.
So there you have it. We hope you like Disqus, and we hope a quick signup isn’t too much of a hassle to get the comments going.
Note: All prior Games Thirst comments are currently being synced into Disqus and will never be lost. Also, all comments made on the Disqus platform are immediately synced into Games Thirst’s data bank, saving all activity, therefore nothing will ever be lost.
I really hope you like it. Share your thoughts!