Yesterday was a very exciting day for bloggers of all stripes. HUGE things are afoot for every one of us, and most of you probably missed the news.
The global commenting system IntenseDebate was acquired by Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com and drives the WordPress.org project. This is literally going to revolutionize the way blog commenting takes place on blogs worldwide.
I know that sounds like a bold statement, but trust me, things are changing. You may remember that I wrote a few months back that blog comments are broken. The short version of that post and point is that it’s just too hard to keep up with even a minor amount of blog commenting activity. Over even a short time with even minimal blog commenting, we leave our mark all over the Web but have very little ability to collect and follow-up with those comments. We’re currently in an era of Blog Commenting 1.0.
Here’s what I wrote about the solution to bringing us to Blog Commenting 2.0:
In my mind, the solution lies in a (better implementation of the) global commenting system. I’ve switched my comments to Disqus because I believe they are dang close to being the right global system. Here’s why:
- It works wonderfully and is easy understand, even for the technology lightweights.
- It does a great job of keeping you logged in across multiple blogs, so you’re always ready to go with a comment without having to fill out name, email address, and URL
- Threaded replies
- See all your comments in one location
- Fantastic integration process – it’s super easy to add to a blog, forum, etc.
But those things said, we have to eventually plant a flag somewhere around something. Any global system is only as useful as the number of people using it. Look at how good Akismet, the spam fighting functionality included in WordPress, is at fighting spam. Every user they add helps every other user.
At WordCamp Dallas this summer, I even raised this issue with Matt Mullenweg of Automattic. I asked him flat out if he intended to use the power of the WordPress reach to deliver for blog commenting what Akismet has delivered for spam. My point was that if Automattic was to buy or build a global commenting system and implement it into the open source WordPress software and/or the WordPress.com platform, we very nearly solve the broken blog comment metaphor overnight.
At the time, he said he wasn’t interested.
Whether he was just hiding negotiations or whether my genius question changed his mind, it doesn’t matter. We now have a significant move towards a true global commenting system that will hopefully move us to Blog Commenting 2.0.
It’s a good week for bloggers.