I use Disqus for my blog comments management. ItÂ continuesÂ toÂ improveÂ and adds significant additionalÂ functionalityÂ to the site without a massive overhead of extra plugins.
Disqus has conducted some researchÂ that shows thatÂ commenters using pseudonyms are â€śthe most important contributors to online communities.â€ť
The service gives each user the option of commenting with a Disqus account, a social media identity or anonymously. It says 61 percent of commenters use pseudonyms, 35 percent choose to be anonymous and 4 percent use their â€śreal identityâ€ť verified by Facebook. It also says those with pseudonyms post the best comments, while anonymous comments are lower quality. One theory: People donâ€™t mind being accountable online, but they donâ€™t want it to blow back on their work or personal lives by using a real identity. A pseudonym protects them while providing a measure of accountability.
Once people settle on a pseudonym I think they do take more ownership of their comments. The anonymous cowards tend to junk up the comments and their flame attempts become frustrating to those who are trying to engage properly.
TechCrunch rolled out Facebook Comments in a bid to rid themselves of trolls and abuse. Facebook Comments of course works on publishing, in most instances, the realÂ credentialsÂ of a commenter. hOw did that work out for them…turns out not so well:Â
It was early 2011 and TechCrunchâ€™s comment section was overrun with trolls. Bullies and asshats were drowning out our smart commenters. We hated our commenters because, well, they hated us. So weÂ rolled outÂ Facebook Comments in an attempt to silence the trolls â€” by removing their anonymity.
But we eventuallyÂ discoveredÂ that our anti-troll tactic worked too well; The bullies and asshats left our comments sections, but so did everyone else. Now, several years later, after dozens of endless meetings and conference calls, weâ€™ve decided weâ€™re going to try out Livefyre instead of Facebook Comments.
Frankly, our trial with Facebook Comments lasted way too long at too steep of a cost.Â Sure, Facebook Comments drove extra traffic to the site, but the vast majority of our readers clearly do not feel the system isÂ worthyÂ of their interaction.
And we want our commenters back.
People periodically email me withÂ suggestionsÂ and comments about the site…they are not ignored…I add them to a spreadsheet of issues/challenges and I discuss them with my technical advisors and moderators…I am always looking forÂ improvements.
I have toyed with the idea of requiring a real email address to verify commenters…but so far have shied away,Â preferringÂ instead to rely on the vigilance of the army for outrageous attempts at hijacking and the up and down votes to encourage foolish trolls to improve their ways. Some learn and some don’t.
Anyway as always this is a work in progress…some new changes are coming, the blog will be refreshed, rejuvenated and continue on unabated.