Monetising Disqus

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The Techcrunch switch from Disqus to Facebook got me thinking about how Disqus competes and earns money.  Mark Suster has suggested that Google should buy them which undoubtedly could be a nice financial outcome but it’s probably a little early for the visit to the “pay window” (attributed to JLM).

I’m a huge fan of Disqus, it helps to create a community on a blog.  The thought of posting a comment and it turning up on my Facebook wall, out of context, is a huge turn off to me.  Plus I’d be spamming my friends quite a bit with the comments I make on AVC.

Techcrunch say they switched in effort to stop the trolls, I think this is partly true, although frankly how hard is it to create a fake facebook account if you want to troll.  I’ve seen a few people comment (my favourite is here) that the real reason is because Facebook will bring more eyeballs to Techcrunch and I think that’s also true.

How does Disqus compete with Facebook, well apart from enhancing community features I think they need to capitalise on the information in the blogs that use Disqus and the comment stream and do that from the Disqus website i.e.

  • Search comments
  • Trending/Hot Topics
  • Comment Stream
  • Enhanced Profile, including recommended blogs
  • Blog directory/leaderboard (even premium listings)

Keywords/Tag inserts

A very powerful feature that I think Disqus should implement is to allow blog owners and those who comment to place tags/keywords into the Disqus stream.  This makes it easier for people to search and find blogs and comments that they might find relevant.

The discovery of new and interesting blogs and comments is where Disqus can win.  All bloggers want people to come and read their blog and if Disqus can drive that traffic via a Disqus search or link then I think that would be extremely attractive to them.  Helping to create a community with a great commenting interface is important but driving the traffic  is more important. Which I think will help Disqus beat off the Facebook competition and monetise faster.

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  • That search feature would sure make it a lot easier to argue on the Internet! Instead of trying to find the same primary sources and phrase your arguments multiple times, you search Disqus for the response you used to a similar comment last time.

  • Disqus don't seem to be leveraging the content much at all. I know comments alone could be out of context but they should be able to tie it up with blog content

  • Funny how "banter" in one venue is "spam" in another.

    I'm not an expert in this space, but these sound like great ideas --sociable and searchable seem to be the themes, primarily.

    (Love how JLM gets his own category on your blog.)

  • You are right Donna. I don't think it matters what system Techcrunch chooses, it comes down to their desire to manage the community there and I don't think they have any desire!

    Thanks very much for taking the time to read. JLM gets his own category because:

    a) he's awesome
    b) The reality is that this blog is likely to be read by me more than anyone else! So I use it as an area to reference things I like.

    The funny thing is, I've checked what search phrases have brought people to my blog and I've seen phrases like "who is JLM", "JLM on AVC" so there are evidently people out there whose interest he has piqued.

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