Right now I’m not entirely satisfied with how comments are on this blog.
At present, comments are open on recent entries only, and require you to have an account with AOL, WordPress.com, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, LiveJournal or any other OpenID provider. This should include just about everyone, but, the integration is a little clunky in places. And I have noticed that the number of comments posted on here has dropped; in fact, there haven’t been any for 5 weeks. Obviously, I’ve raised the bar too high.
I had to remove the ability for people to post without authenticating to stem the tide of spam; spam comments were being posted on entries that had literally been published seconds ago, and were coming in at a rate of 10-20 per hour. When I was running Movable Type, I had enough plugins to stem the tide; most comments were denied before being added to the database and those that did get through were usually held for moderation. With Melody, a number of those plugins no longer work; whilst I can usually stop comments from being published, they still end up in the database and means I’d have to delete 100+ comments every day – I don’t have time for that.
I’m hoping that better anti-spam plugins will appear, or old plugins will be updated for Melody in due course, but I’m also looking at alternatives – in particular, Disqus.
Disqus is a hosted service, so would mean exporting comments from the blog onto their servers. There’s a Movable Type plugin which will hopefully work with Melody, but if not there looks to be other manual ways of integrating it. The main benefits are that it manages comment spam well, has decent integration with Twitter and Facebook (I’ve previously had Facebook integration but the plugin won’t work with Melody and it’ll need a lot of changes to work with upcoming changes to the Facebook platform) and mobile apps to manage comments. Hopefully, I’d be able to enable comments on all entries – even those from years ago – and commenting will be easy enough for most people to do so that they’re not deterred. I am a little hesitant about trusting so much information to a third-party service, although they do allow full data exports.
I’d like your opinions – should I stick with the current arrangements (at least until Melody’s plugin ecosystem matures), or give Disqus a try? Comments are welcome.