September 26, 2008

Disqus' API Launch Extends Commenting Possibilities

At Blog World Expo last week, I said that those services which "played well with others" would do better in a collaborative, cooperative Web 2.0 landscape over those that instead held tight to their walled gardens (See tweet from @drewolanoff.) It is through the launch of an API and extensive developer activity that services like Facebook, FriendFeed and Twitter have grown, often at the expense of those that didn't. Tonight, the popular Web commenting service Disqus joined the fray, launching a full public API.

The API (outlined here) lets services and tools write custom comment import and export tools, or to develop unique plug-ins for their platform. (see the announcement and coverage by The Inquisitr.)

Disqus comments are already among the most portable, enabling syndication through RSS, and into lifestreaming applications of all sorts. But what I found most interesting was the note on custom plugins for customer platforms. What's to stop developers from making a custom Disqus-enabled engine that is secure, and for the enterprise, essentially the comments equivalent of Yammer (versus Twitter)? What I see happening is that many of the social tools we may be using for community and entertainment in our world are now on the verge of making it to the enterprise. With an open development platform, and possibly, the idea to customize the comments engine for services that have enterprise capabilities, this could be one way to break on through to the other side, so to speak.

This week's big commenting news was Automattic buying up Intense Debate, something many thought would make Disqus' world a whole lot harder. Tonight's announcement shows they aren't sitting still and playing the part of victim. I'm eager to see the new services and tools that get developed as a result of being Disqus-powered.