By now, most of you are probably aware of the Disqus commenting platform, but for those of you that aren't, I'm going to shed some light on why this is a great commenting platform for you to consider.
It can be annoying and hindering to force your readers to create a new account in order to post a comment on your blog. It can be even worse to allow them to comment without logging in at all (spam attack!). That's why it is extremely helpful that Disqus allows your readers to log in with 6 different sets of credentials. These include:
This is great news for anyone who is concerned about making sure their content is shareable (if you aren't, you should be). The only time I would recommend going elsewhere for your commenting needs is if FB sharing is your primary goal. If that is the case, you should look into the Facebook commenting feature.
The Disqus commenter profile is useful because you can see other comments by each commenter and which sites they commented on. If you notice someone with lots of comments in your industry who also have lots of "likes" for their comments, they may be a good person to get in touch with or follow. Try responding to comments they make on other sites and develop a relationship with them. They could end up being a positive voice for your brand in the market, and you could even offer them the opportunity to write a guest post.
The commenter must be signed into Disqus using an account for which they have a photo associated, but this tends to provide a much more engaging and personal conversation. The comments are also made more personal by providing a commenter bio (although this is typically used to plug someone's business) and linking to a site of the commenter's choice.
Unfortunately, the required login does not eliminate spam entirely, but it does hinder it. As a moderator, you can mark comments as spam, and as a reader you can "thumbs down" a comment. These two actions help identify the spammers and filter them out.
While most commenting systems provide conversational threads, not all provide email notifications to commenters. The notification email sent out by Disqus help keep the conversation going by notifying commenters when someone has responded to their comment.
Another angle on Disqus' notification emails is the benefit that blog admins receive. As an admin, you are notified when someone has commented on one of your posts, and you are able to moderate the comment by simply replying to the email. Call me crazy, but I think that is pretty awesome. At Compendium, we actually have comment notification emails sent to the entire team so everyone is encouraged to chime in.
Do you also use Disqus? What do you love about it, and what tips can you share with the rest of us? Do you have another commenting system that you recommend? Let us know why it's your favorite by sharing in the comments!