Posted on September 26, 2014 by tonyhue
In July, we started a series called Life At Disqus. Inspired by Humans of New York, this project aimed to share the story of Disqus through the people who work here. Every week, we introduced a new Disqusser, sharing insights into their passions, hobbies and aspirations.
During the course of running Life at Disqus, I was reminded of one important fact: technology isn’t what makes communities so special - it’s the people. We’re a team of geeks, mavericks, and quirky characters passionate about what we do, just like the types of eccentric and tight-knit communities we hope to foster every day through the products we build.
I hope you enjoyed following along as much I did being able to bring these stories to life. Here now is a recap including some extra tidbits we didn’t publish the first time around.
Posted on September 3, 2014 by jobosapien
Disqus makes it easy for people to add color to content across 3 million websites around the world. And each day, millions of users contribute through comments, replies, upvotes and follows about thousands of topics and interests.
Today, we’re announcing new features and changes to our notifications that make it easier for people to track their conversations and better engage with site content on an ongoing basis. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll start seeing this week.
Rapid Comment Replies
Since everyone likes quick and easy, you can now reply to comments directly inline.
Now you’ll get notified when you receive an upvote from another person. No need to manually re-check a comment for interactions.
You’ll now receive notifications of new followers and have the ability to follow back immediately. Need a reminder of why following is cool?
To cut down on clutter, you are also able to easily filter notifications to view just replies by clicking the ‘Replies’ tab on the top navigation.
You can find these new features by clicking on the notifications bubble at the top-right of any English language commenting embed while logged in. A new Disqus sidebar should be revealed on the right of your screen.
You can also find these new notifications in the Notifications tab in your Disqus home feed:
Posted on August 26, 2014 by tonyhue
Donning the most glorious blue t-shirts that the world has ever seen, a small team from Disqus ventured out into the streets of San Francisco during the second annual 20th Street Block Party this past weekend. Armed with a camera crew and an unflappable spirit, we were determined to film and capture this cultural convergence of food and music celebration in the city we call home.
Approaching unsuspecting folks, we enticed them with the sure-fire reward that many crave, but few can easily claim: eternal Internet fame and free food or drinks of their choice.
How does the Internet work? What’s the grossest thing you’ve seen on Bart or Muni?
We wanted to know what people thought, and perhaps elicit some interesting responses. Find out what San Francisco had to say and more in this 90-second video we put together. We hope you enjoy it, San Francisco.
Posted on August 1, 2014 by gabalafou
It’s like 10:30 pm and I’m still in the office.
My coworker Ted is making loops around the office on his bike while waiting for some part of his program to finish running. Inspired, Melsa jumps on hers, too.
I’m so tired. How many coffees has it been?
I’m wearing headphones and listening to the Slavonic Dances by Dvořák to drown out my coworkers’ chatter.
Suddenly, they look at each other with raised eyebrows. Lifting up one side of my headphones, I hear raised voices coming from the far corner of the office. I ask what’s going on.
"Oh, just a nerd fight," says Ted, leaning against his bike.
A four-letter spell has been cast upon us: H-A-C-K.
What the hack?
I’ve been a programmer at Disqus for almost three years, and my favorite time is when we shut everything down and declare a hackathon, so I volunteered to help run the last one. The general idea behind a hackathon is that it fosters innovation and an esprit de corps in the company. This was basically our Disqus hackathon: dreaming ideas, forming teams around them, and then spending a week, July 21-25, to make them real.
Some ideas are deemed low priority simply because you don’t have the time to properly sell it. Hackathons give you a chance to do that.
Jono - Product Designer
In every hackathon I’ve participated in, there are at least two projects that attack the same problem. In this one, we saw two teams both dig into our data to pull out recommendations for users. In other words, if you like to comment on Disqus (or if you’re just a lurker), how can we help you find the conversations you care about?
The Internet is a huge place, and you’re only seeing a tiny fraction of it, but the people you interact with—the other commenters and readers on Disqus—are, after a few degrees of separation, seeing almost all of it. It turns out that this theme, how to bring the bigger world of Disqus to you, was something that nearly all of the projects addressed.
Disqus Daily & Deq
From the data angle, we worked on two projects: Disqus Daily and Deq (we’ll be focusing on Disqus Daily). The goal was to use our data to find articles, people, Disqus communities, or even advertisements that would interest you. Let’s say you’re a Disqus user. When you open Disqus Daily on your smartphone, we look at all of the articles you’ve read over the past several days. For each one, we get every other user who has seen that same article. And for each of those users, we gather all of the articles they have seen in the past several days. From that group, we identify the users who are similar to you and recommend the articles that were in their reading list but are not yet in yours.
One of the engineers who worked on this project, Kashif, told me he was surprised by how well this approach worked. He said the first time they got everything working, the very first recommendation the system made was a blog post written by a college friend that he didn’t even know had a blog. “I’m never surprised like that when I go on Zite,” he said.
If we’re going to link you to a conversation that we think you’ll be interested in, what exactly would we show you? Would it be a comment on that thread from someone you follow? That’s probably not enough for you to decide if you’re actually interested in clicking through to the discussion. Thus, the Summario team built a scraper that visits pages that use Disqus and pulls the metadata: headline, summary, keywords, images. Voilà! Summation in seconds.
Homeception was inspired by our work at disqus.com/home, a fairly new product we hope will become your hub for compelling conversations. The “ception” part refers to the way we bring the home feed into a sidebar next to the comments section. Imagine you are new to Disqus and for the first time ever, you favorite a conversation by clicking the star. The star then floats up and over across the page while the home feed simultaneously slides in from the right, catching the star and placing it in your profile.
Now that hack week is over, a different kind of hacking begins—the butcher shop kind. We take the ideas and the projects we’ve worked really hard on and we hack them apart: we take the pieces that we like and can incorporate, and throw away the ones that we can’t do anything with. No hack project emerges intact into the outside world. They are proofs of concept, tokens of our ingenuity—and totally worth staying late at the office.
Posted on July 17, 2014 by rogupta
DataSift is one of the leading social data platforms, with more than 1,000 customers in 40+ countries. Their intuitive interface and APIs enable easy aggregation, filtering and extraction from the billions of public social interactions on top social networks. DataSift will be a certified distributor of the Disqus content firehose. They will allow brands, media companies, institutions, researchers and many others to simply access and analyze the rich, public conversations happening across millions of Disqus communities everyday. To find out more, contact DataSift here.
Temboo’s programming platform provides normalized access to 100+ APIs, databases, and code utilities to give developers all the power of the web without the learning curve. Their “Choreo” library contains 2,000+ cloud-based, task-specific code components that can be tested live in a browser, and put to work in projects with their SDKs, for multiple programming languages. In their words: “Disqus is an excellent fit in our Library, and we’re happy that their social functionality is available to our users. They range from university professors teaching application development to professional developers building enterprise-level networks of connected services and devices. And for them, the ability to integrate the discussion and community capabilities offered by Disqus is key to programming in the connected world.” You can take a look at Temboo’s Disqus library here.
X-Cart is one of the most popular PHP e-commerce engines, powering over 30,000 online shops in 111 countries of the world. Last year, X-Cart merchants processed over $2B in sales. Disqus was chosen as the comments engine for X-Cart’s own web-site, and later was added as a free integration extension to X-Cart’s flagship product “X-Cart 5” to let merchants and their online shoppers enjoy flexibility and power of Disqus on their web stores. Click here to check out their Disqus extension.
As always, if you work for a company or know of a third party service that would be a good candidate for the Certified Program, apply or let us know below.