I use Disqus comments on this blog. I love Disqus. I think it is the best way to create community on a blog. Comments create interaction, interaction creates connection, connection creates relationships and relationships make communities. This community is getting bigger everyday. I believe Disqus plays a role in that.
One area I think Disqus could improve is on the exposure, reward and recognition front. People love to be acknowledged and rewarded for their commitments. A set of features I’d like to see Disqus add are features that would increase a commenters exposure, reward their participation, and create competition. I pinged a friend of mine who sits on their board and he told me they have these features, but I can’t find them. If they exist, Disqus needs to make them more prominent.
Here are a few of the specific things I’d love to see on Disqus:
- Mayorship or “El Presidente” (name is moot) for the most engaged person on a specific blog. Similiar to Foursquare or OneTrueFan The title would come with some identifying element within their comment stream, or on their avatar. Like FourSquare Mayorships the “El Presidente” or Mayor title can be lost or taken away by other, more engaged commenters.
- A Top 10 list: this would be more for the blog owner, but I can see the community loving this as well. Having a list of the top 10 commenters in my dashboard would allow me to keep tabs on who the most active and committed community members are. I’d like to know. Also, having some sort of identifier with in the comments letting others know that particular person is a committed community member.
- I’d love to see “levels” or achievements by blog. In other words, after certain number of comments, return visits, thread discussions, etc. users could have titles associated with their level of participation; first time users would automatically get a “newbie” title. After 10 comments, they become a “weekender”, after 100 comments they become the Professor etc. You could put their “title” for that blog next to their avatar in the comment stream. This would give users a sense of pride, and ownership for those blogs they visit the most. I can see a lot of people wanting to reach the highest title on popular blogs. For example; being the “professor” on Fred Wilson’s blog or on Mashable would be a desired goal for many.
These are just a few of the directions I think Disqus could go to improve the community aspect of the platform. I’m not married to anyone of these ideas and I’m sure there could be more elegant ways to grow blog communities using Disqus. Regardless of how they do it, I think adding competition, rewards and recognition and exposure to the system would take it to the next level.
What do you think? Who would be “El Presidente” of this blog? What title would you carry? I’d love to know.
- Disqus now integrates with Google Accounts (disqus.com)
- Disqus CEO: We Are Not Afraid Of Facebook (fastgush.com)
- Disqus Can Out-Open Facebook Comments With Its API, Features (programmableweb.com)