Discourse allows topics to be embedded as comments

It can be configured to generate new topics automatically so comments will always appear each time you create a new page.  This is exciting because it offers a way to embed comments with a single account for commenting without any need to rely on a third party system like Disqus.  Using Disqus has been awesome for certain sites I’ve assisted where they have limitations on what they can set up.  It gives you embedded comments that you can include on any page and users with a Disqus account can comment on any of your sites and every site that has Disqus.  Having a unified account for commenting makes it much easier to users to engage with the site because they don’t need to register a new account to leave comments on every particular site that you run.  For example, without embedding comments, users who want to comment need to register a new account on every WordPress site or wiki.  They can’t even register if the site doesn’t have that feature.  There are a small number of self hosted comment scripts that are designed to be embedded but none of them allow user registration so there is no way to know exactly who is posting, so the community can’t build up any reputation among members.

Even though Disqus is great, it’s a necessary evil.  Everyone who uses it is reliant on it as a third party system.  If the providers ever decide to stop serving, all the webmasters who use it are screwed.  If the service were still offered but changes to it made it very undesirable, all the users would be stuck deciding whether to abandon it or continue with all the new problems.  Here’s the biggest problem with using Disqus: they can track users of every site that it’s used on.  That’s why many of the services are free.  It’s very bad for the internet to have trackers on every site.  The necessity of comments to a web page makes it worse.  I don’t have much problem with adblockers, but blocking Disqus comments interferes with the content of the page.

Having the ability to embed forum topics as comments and to have new topics generated automatically per-page solves all of the problems I’ve had with online commenting systems.


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