I read a nice little article outlining 7 ways to increase user participation on your site (see side link). The number one method is adding social logins to your website. Social logins allow your users to use common outside communities like Twitter and Facebook, which they're probably already apart of and logged into, to post comments on your site. Those sites also have less spam bot-based accounts due to their own security metrics so there's a better chance of getting less spam using social logins (in theory at least).
So, I decided to see if there were any slick ways I could implement this on our site. While I could look into the oAuth specifications and use the API to let people login with Twitter and anything else, I love reusing things that are already out there. I enjoy looking at external tech blogs Drupal and non-Drupal related so I scanned a bunch of them to see what they were using. Engadget, one of my favorite sources of up and coming tech, has a system called Disqus.
Disqus is an external social login service. Much like Apture that I talked about in an earlier post, they are a free service to small blogs and have targeted customizations / paid modifications for larger clients like CNN. Sure enough, I searched on Drupal.org and quickly found a Disqus integration module. Rob Loach posted it so I had a good feeling about it and decided to give it a spin and I'm so happy I started using it.
It's extremely easy to install, just turn the module on, give users the permission to view disqus comments, and you're ready to go. If you're the moderator for your blog / site you'll have to go to Disqus' website and configure your account which is also pretty straight forward.
Here's my bullet point based review of the module / project but honestly I'd go try it out today!
- Users don't need accounts to your site in order to post comments
- Much easier for them to create accounts
- Can view cross-thread / site / page discussion topics of users just by clicking on them
- Very easy to use Like / Dislike engine
- Lots of configuration options that are easy to understand (on the moderator's end)
- Simple UI on the end-user side which should promote participation!
- Need a separate account (as moderator) on disqus.com in order to use
- Comments don't live in your site (back-end that is) which could be an issue for some
- Issue queue seems to suggest some Views integration issues
- Possibly detracting for users who don't want to associate their comments with their social identities
Try it out below on this post and let me know what you think. Does this make it easier for you to engage in the discussion or do you find it just as annoying as Captcha services?