Disqus Channels

Sub-reddits for Disqus

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Daniel HaMaker@danielha · CEO at Disqus
Hi, Daniel here (CEO, cofounder) and I’m pretty pumped about this! Some people may know about Disqus through the comment system, but this version of Disqus.com (what we internally dub “Disqus Home”) has existed since around last Fall. Historically Disqus was primarily a network of sites that use our commenting widget. Lots of sites used it — and many very interesting online communities were born out of this. But as the years passed, I’ve always felt limited by the nature of comments. Today’s Disqus is making steps to becoming a more interesting (in our opinion) full-blown community platform. We started by kicking off some niche channels (akin to forums or communities in our world). These were run by volunteer users and incorporated a broad set of ideas. For example, one is Talk Shop (http://talkshop.disq.us) which is about style/fashion. Another is Squid (squid.disq.us) which is a general discussion forum. This week’s feature (subreddits for Disqus) is mostly about opening up the platform more liberally, cleaning up the tools we’ve used internally, and letting users play with it. We have a lot to learn but I think it’ll be fun. The timing with reddit’s internet-melodrama is interesting, but unintentional. We love reddit. For me personally, I am a long-time, active redditor with comment activity across 3 regular alts. My original account is in the "Eight-Year Club", though I was a lurker for a little longer than that. And before reddit, I was a forum junkie (as I wrote about here https://medium.com/disqus-words/...) — many small ones, and some more popular ones like SomethingAwful and OffTopic. In some ways, we’re building Disqus for people that aren’t quite as hooked as I am. The content that you’ll find in these online communities are amazing. People are sharing and resharing stuff from reddit to Facebook all of the time, but I also know that forums tend to have an insular quality about them. Mostly for good reason since forums are great for the ultra-fans, but it also means that the content and participation can feel out of reach for lots of folks. So I like to dream about ways to tap into this enthusiasm and knowledge that exists in these communities, and cultivate them into something great for others to discover (like using social products). This part of Disqus is new so we’re going to have fun with it. We need better tools and more ways to learn from the types of communities that may want to thrive here. In the meantime, it’s our slice of the internet that hopefully helps people talk about stuff they love with people who love it just as much.
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Disqus has been a "sleeping giant" as I think @semil has described them before. They're embedded all across the web touching over 100 million uniques/month (I think -- not sure if they've revealed the exact numbers publicly) yet they get relatively little press. This move toward a reddit/forum-like platform is interesting and a significant shift from where they started -- a simple tool for content creators to embed comments on their site. I'd love to hear more about why you're moving in this direction, @danielha, and congrats on the launch. 😀
Jason HitchcockHunter@jasonhitchcock · Problem Solver @ Bebo
@rrhoover my understanding is they're getting between 1-2 billion uniques/mo because it's one of the most installed pieces of javascript on the web.
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@jasonhitchcock not surprised. Granted, these 1-2B uniques aren't necessarily signed in, engaging on the platform but that's still an absurd number.
Sam ParkerMaker@renr · Product @ Disqus
@rrhoover One advantage to Disqus already being webscale: Disqus channels won't see load-related downtime. Seeing Reddit alternatives go down with exodus load reminded me how much work we already put in. Past a point, the numbers are absurd. And one key I've seen to launching something new on such a large platform is to think small again, and really talk to individual people. It's impossible to design for two billion.
Sam ParkerMaker@renr · Product @ Disqus
Opening up channels is a turning point that's come after doing a lot to mature the product, and platform. The first Disqus channel came out late last year. We first started a meta channel that's about Disqus, dogfooding and talking to users all at once. Ramping the invitational test in recent months to dozens of channels taught us more about the community dynamics and discovery parts. Some have popped and are growing on their own. All of this gave us a fresh look at the community management tools that have always been at the core of our distributed network. Running the platform more directly pointed us at key parts to improve that we've baked in for both channels and publisher-run comments. It was time to open the floodgates. There's a lot more to do, both based on learning from the response and doing the parts that are obvious, like releasing the Disqus iOS app that's now my main way to use Disqus.
Pawel Janiak@cynicalgrinch · I love making tools
This will be huge I think, especially if a community can be hosted on a custom domain.
Satyajeet@iamdeveloper · iWonder
Product vs Feature.
Jason HitchcockHunter@jasonhitchcock · Problem Solver @ Bebo
@iamdeveloper this would absolutely fall under the "product" category, as "channels" are tangentally related to the existing embeddable comment experience.