As I was having my morning coffee and reading my feeds I came across the post on Louis Gray’s blog where he passed along the info that Disqus announced the availability of a full public API for their commenting system used by many bloggers. Now, I’ve been a faithful user of Disqus on my blogs and have been using their service since pretty close to the beginning so I hope that Daniel and Jason; the two founders of Disqus, don’t take this the wrong way – but so what?
Granted it’s kind of cool that services like FriendFeed let you pull in your Disqus comments as part of your stream but after the first little while it gets old because there is no fluidity to the entries. Each comments that is made on your blog that uses Disqus comes in as a separate entity within FriendFeed – if that person also has a Disqus account. Even when someone posts a reply to a comment on your blog it doesn’t link up in FriendFeed – it is basically just a comment drifting about with no context. Now if this has been changed since I turned off that feature in FriendFeed I’m more than willing to be corrected.
The other thing is that I am not that far from when I hung up my developer toolkit that something like an announcement like this won’t still get my curiosity up. So I had a quick look through the API documentation and I am still left wonder what this public API is really going to do for anyone other than the individual blogger who runs Disqus or for services like FriendFeed. Sure they say in their announcement that this will allow developers to
The methods provided are enough to let you write your own comment import tools, export tools, or even a custom Disqus plugin for your platform.
Why should any of those options really be of any interest to a blog owner especially considering that things like export and import should be a native part of the platform. There should be absolutely no reason for a blog owner or even a plugin developer to need to write something like those two things. As far as a blog owner Disqus already gives me one of the best services around by letting me handle all my comment management via email replies to my own blog. As for a custom plugin I am at a lost as to think of what more can be done for the comments that Disqus doesn’t already do natively.
So I keep coming back to the main question here – what real use is a public API except to a very few people and I can almost guarantee it’s not going to be the blog owners. What value is it really adding to the comment platform for me as a blog owner beyond what is already a native part of the service. It’s not like anyone can develop a cool newsreader type of thing for it that would provide any better service that we already get from the Disqus email option. Especially considering you could only access your own blog(s) comment threads unless I am reading the documentation wrong and if I am I hope that Daniel or Jason gives me a slap and correct my assumptions.
Right now though I just don’t see how this is going to be of any benefit for the average users of the Disqus system. As Alexander van Elsas said when we talked about it this morning on IM
Sounds like Social Media mumbo jumbo no user will care about too much. Great idea for people that live within the Silicon Valley bubble.
I guess time will tell if it will matter or not – in the meantime though Disqus is still a great commenting system and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
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