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Summary:

Disqus, a startup developing a next-generation blog commenting system, has raised $500,000 in fresh funding in a round led by New York City-based VC Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), along with well-known angel investors Naval Ravikant, Howard Lindzon and ex-Googler Aydin Senkut. The company is one […]

Disqus, a startup developing a next-generation blog commenting system, has raised $500,000 in fresh funding in a round led by New York City-based VC Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), along with well-known angel investors Naval Ravikant, Howard Lindzon and ex-Googler Aydin Senkut.

The company is one of the many players in the “Comments 2.0″ space and competes for attention with SezWho, Intense Debate, coComments and Tangler. (How these startups will eventually turn their ideas and concepts into a business is the big question, and one that’s unlikely to be answered until they get mainstream traction.)

Daniel Ha and Jason Yan started the company last year; I have stayed in touch with them since the very beginning. They also released an upgraded version of their system today, as noted in this blog post. There are 4,000 blogs (and newspapers such as The Harvard Crimson) and nearly 60,000 commenters using the Disqus system. Dave Winer is using Disqus on his blog, which says a lot about their approach to commenting. (How Disqus stacks up against the competition!)


I have often said that the real value of blogs lies in the intelligence embedded in the comments. The quality of the conversation is the ultimate barometer of the success of a blog, especially when measured using the currently fashionable engagement barometer. What is frustrating is that many of these smart conversations are lost in the overly simplistic commenting systems that come with the popular blogging platforms, including our platform of choice, WordPress.com.

In other words, I have been looking for ways to unlock this intelligence and promote it to my audience. And that’s why I’ve been fascinated by the startups that are trying to reinvent the commenting space. Unfortunately, none of them deliver what I really want.

Some offer a ranking system, others offer better discussion forums, but importantly, none are tightly integrated with my existing blog system. I want to turn intelligent comments into posts themselves, highlighting the efforts put forth by the commenters and thus making the blog truly collaborative. I know sooner or later someone will get there and come up with my perfect blog enhancements.

Related Posts:

* SezWho Offers Portable Reputations.
* Tangler, a better forum

  1. thanks OM. I believe Disqus is closest to perfect blog comments and you will likely see very soon your wish for turning intelligent comments into posts themselves. fred and I talk about it all the time and they are on it.

    stay tuned

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  2. Also – Om – our investment was through http://www.kbcpartners.com of which I am a partner so if you could correct. thanks much

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  3. [...] leverage is my personal favorite them for venture investing. Om has a good post on Disqus.com . I love social leverage and don’t think you can blow yourself up tapping it. Banks call it [...]

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  4. Congratulations to Disqus!

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  5. [...] обеспечения комментариев для блог-платформ, получил дополнительное финансирование и выпустил новую бету своего сервиса. Ввиду недавно [...]

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  6. Great news – would also be great to be able to use Disqus here, Om!

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  7. The graph is misleading. Unlike Disqus, Sezwho does not host your comments and is not a destination site. It also does not compete with the site’s traffic. Sezwho is a context rating and reputation layer between the blog and your comments and not a comment replacement system.

    Since the comment data stays in its original platform (WordPress, MT, etc.), SezWho does not generate any new traffic for itself. Instead, the cross-linkage between various blog posts gets increased click thrus without touching SezWho.

    More and more, the blog posts and the comments are becoming increasingly important — giving it away or letting someone else benefit (read, PageRank, SEO, etc.) from it does not make an iota of sense.

    I still don’t understand why would someone use disqus when gurus behind WordPress, MT, etc. have a very solid commenting system!

    My 2 cents, would love to see some “discussion” around it.

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  8. @ Indus,

    Good points you make. That said, we should talk about your ideal commenting system. Why don’t you kick it off and we can take it from there. Thanks in advance for jump starting the conversation.

    Best

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  9. [...] including Nick Gonzalez at TechCrunch, Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider and Om Malik over at GigaOm (who I think broke the story first) — are reporting, the hosted-comments company known as [...]

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  10. I’m surprised that you failed to include the clear market leader in your assessment. Each day, JS-Kit serves some 20 million impressions to many millions of unique users interacting on over 60k sites. We’re larger than these three combined!

    In addition to Comments, JS-Kit offers Ratings, Navigator, Reviews and Polls and we have much more in the works, including a user profile that will immediately blow away what’s currently available and a binary (up/down) alternative to 5-star ratings. As Indus points out, the Compete data is misleading since, like SezWho, we don’t compete for eyeballs on js-kit.com.

    oh… and congrats to Disqus!

    Eric
    eric at js-kit.com

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