[Update: As of April 18, 2009, the Facebook Connect glitch under Disqus discussed in this post appears to be remedied. As you can see, I have re-activated the Facebook Connect option on The Daleisphere.
I also note that commenters using Facebook connect have the option (when leaving a comment) to allow that comment to be posted back to their Facebook feed.
Finally, I have updated my ‘Why and How to Integrate Facebook Connect with Disqus’ post to reflect recent Disqus/Facebook implementation changes.]
Disqus is in the process of enhancing their Facebook Connect feature. However, for the last day or so, with the feature enabled, only logged-in Disqus users were able to leave comments on The Daleisphere and on my iMedia Law blog. Neither Facebook users, nor regular commenters could leave comments here.
I recently updated sections 4.6 and 4.8 of my ‘Why and How to Integrate Facebook Connect with Disqus’ post describing the changes that Disqus recently instructed me to make on the applicable Facebook developer pages to facilitate the latest enhancements. Clearly, they are not working.
For more information on the problem, I wrote a detailed description of Facebook Connect / Disqus problem here in the Disqus forums.
I will update this post when this problem is resolved.
The primary reason I switched from Intense Debate to Disqus, is Disqus’s integration with Facebook Connect. Below I describe why this is important. I then provide a step-by-step ‘how-to’ guide on how to integrate Facebook Connect with Disqus.
[This Post was Updated on April 18, 2009 to reflect the changes made to the setup process, both on Disqus and the Facebook developer pages.]
1. Why Facebook Connect is a Big Deal
Discussion via comments draws users back for repeated visits to their site while engaging them in conversation with the blogger and other commenters. Bloggers want traffic to drive more ad sales and, frankly, they want more people reading their content. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Users are understandably reluctant to leave comments on blogs. Most bloggers, including myself, require users to leave a name, email address and an optional URL. The reason for this, at least in my case, is to weed out spam commenters and to develop a sense of community among commenters. Requiring such information has the unfortunate side effect of dissuading most readers from commenting because they don’t want:
- the ‘sign up’ hassle just to leave a comment; and
- to provide personally identifying information.
Facebook Connect solves these two problems and provides other terrific benefits.
Earlier this month I described How to install Intense Debate in WordPress 2.7 blogs. In my ‘Why I switched from IntenseDebate to Disqus’ post [coming soon] I describe why I made the switch.
The Disqus installation instructions are out of date (written for pre WP 2.7 blogs) and surprisingly difficult to follow.
Happily, both Disqus and IntenseDebate mirror/sync comments within a blog’s databases (though there are still problems with threaded comments not retaining structure – see part 6 below). This makes it possible to switch back and forth between the two at will.
Below I provide a step-by-step guide for integrating Disqus within a WordPress 2.7 blog. I first make some preparatory recommendations. Then I describe the steps needed to set up with Disqus, download and install the Disqus WP plugin, how to import your historical comments into Disqus and, finally, how to reclaim straggler comments.
Since listening to this net@night podcast back in May 2008, where Amber and Leo interviewed Daniel Ha, the founder of the Disqus, I have been interested in implementing this kind of a community-oriented, commenting/discussion system on my blogs.
Early on, I had compared the feature set of Disqus and its competitor, IntenseDebate (“ID”), and Disqus’s feature set and looks won. Concerns surrounding the ability to import, export, sync and otherwise control my comments, held me back. I was not going to join any system where I lost ownership/control of my users’ comments.
In the interim, both Disqus and ID have added dynamic comment importing, exporting and synchronization features. I became comfortable that I would not be locked into any commenting system if/when I chose to leave. Scot Jangro’s December 30, 2008 post, ‘Comment System Review Redux’, compared the the two systems afresh and gave me substantial comfort that ID’s feature set had evolved to near parity with Disqus (see other comparisons: inquisitr.com | Mashable).
But the clincher came on Sept 23, 2008 when Automattic, the owner of WordPress, purchased IntenseDebate. (See: Matt Mullenweg’s comment – IntenseDebate’s comment – Disqus’s comment). I expect Automattic to integrate IntenseDebate’s community comment / discussion system into the WordPress core at some point. So, as a WordPress user, it seemed a no brainer to go with IntenseDebate.
[January 23, 2009 Update: Despite what I wrote above, I ultimately switched to Disqus not long after implementing Intense Debate. In my ‘Why I switched from IntenseDebate to Disqus’ post [coming soon] I describe why I made the switch.]
IntenseDebate’s WordPress Plugin features are discussed here. The newest WordPress Plugin (v 2.0.18) has been completely overhauled, making the installation and comment import/export/sync process much easier than it was.
Below I describe why I installed ID. I then walk you, step-by-step, through the IntenseDebate installation process in WordPress 2.7.