April 26, 2008

Disqus' Excellent Customer Service Enables Comments Integration

Disqus is seeing a meteoric rise as the default comments management system for the Web, enabling bloggers to deliver threaded comments, and track their own commenting activity throughout the blogosphere. Recently, Disqus has made a lot of headway through integration with popular social networking tools, including RSSMeme, ReadBurner, Fav.or.it and Plaxo.

But while I had tried earlier this month to get Disqus up and running, the way I use Blogger, with a customized template, along with FTP publishing to louisgray.com, got in my way. But overnight, with some incredible help from Disqus' Daniel Ha, the site now features Disqus comments for all posts, without losing the existing comments from previous conversations.

Disqus is designed to offer bloggers simple installation, be they on Wordpress, Blogger or TypePad. But by default, it assumes a user has upgraded to the newest edition of Blogger, featuring greater widget control, customized layouts and templates. As I have made numerous changes to my template in raw HTML, I haven't made this change, and Blogger hasn't made it easy for me to move to the new service, not making it available for FTP-hosted blogs like mine.

So essentially, I thought I would remain Disqus-free, saying so last night on Twitter. But showing incredible awareness, Daniel Ha of Disqus, said "How can we make it easier for you?"

We traded direct messages and e-mail, and he quickly understood the issue, offering to patch it manually.

Daniel came back with his first solution this morning, but that solution wouldn't have displayed old comments, which would be a showstopper for me, so I balked, asked for him to keep working on it, and again, he said he'd give it a shot. He wrote, "I will take a look into how to display the comments for older articles and let you know ASAP."

Just seven minutes later, he sent me an updated template, which now lets all blog entries, such as this one, use Disqus for comments. And all previous posts will also display Disqus comments, underneath existing conversations. At the moment, this change makes it look like the posts don't have existing comments, but they do, and over time, the Disqus comments will populate the data here, instead of Blogger's comments.

If Daniel hadn't been listening, and willing to give my "corner case" some real effort on a Saturday morning, we wouldn't have been able to get Disqus up and running. This is a great example of next-generation customer service, and engaging. Of course, if you see any oddities related to the new Disqus usage on louisgray.com, please do let me know. I'm listening, and so is Daniel...