1. danielha

    D12: The Next Steps

    Posted on May 23, 2012 by danielha

    It’s almost here — we’re just weeks away from publicly releasing the new Disqus 2012. Just recently, we invited you to test out the new Disqus platform on this blog. We also began inviting specific websites to use the new Disqus. The feedback has been awesome.

    Over 80% of invitees followed through and there are now thousands of live websites using Disqus 2012. Some of my favorite super-active communities using D12 are Droid Life, IGN Wikis, Slashfilm, and AVC.

    We’re still inviting new websites to use Disqus 2012. If you’d like to use the new Disqus before we publicly launch, you can request an invite today.

    It’s hard to work on a product like Disqus in the dark. Putting out an early version of this platform really let us learn what works and what doesn’t work — from the perspectives of both websites and people. We’ve been listening earnestly and have been making careful decisions based on community feedback.

    Today, we’re releasing a few subtle changes that we believe will make big differences.

    Voting. Disqus 2012’s new voting system was meant to encourage richer discussions by letting communities curate the best comments. With the new voting features, 1-2% of comments on the new Disqus are getting hidden due to people downvoting. Looking through them, we can see that they are mostly spam, abusive, or trollish comments. That’s a good thing for voting as a self-moderation tool for the community. However, abusing downvotes is still very possible — we’re also seeing legitimate comments being downvoted for less obvious reasons. So, we’re making improvements.

    • We’ve tweaked the collapsing/hiding threshold. Our goal is to make this smarter. We want to give people the power to kick out spammy, abusive comments — but prevent different opinions from being silenced.

    • Upvotes and downvotes are now separate. Disqus is now surfacing the activity from both ends and making it clear to readers. We’ve heard this suggested a few times (even on this very blog) and we agreed that it was good improvement.

    • We have more improvements to come in the near future. Soon, you’ll be able to see the names of people who have upvoted on a certain comment. We’re also working to tie in downvoting with the feature to flag comments for abuse.

    Starring a discussion. At the top right of Disqus, there’s a button that lets people “star” a discussion. We have big plans for this in the future — and today, we’re releasing some functionality to tie into starring:

    • Sharing a full discussion thread. People can easily share out to friends on Twitter and Facebook.
    • Grab RSS feed. For those who prefer RSS, you can also grab the RSS feed link for updates on the discussion.
    • Coming soon: Subscribe to the discussion. In the coming days, you’ll be able to easily subscribe (and unsubscribe) to any discussion and receive updates straight to your email inbox.

    Streamlined sign in. We’ve simplified the flow for signing in and posting. On the surface, the changes are quite minimal. But, we’re excited to say that the new flow is much easier to use and addresses many compatibility issues across browsers. For websites, this simply means more participants and more often.

    More to come

    Today’s release are only some of the things that we’ve been working on. Still in the works are many larger improvements that we’re excited to show off soon. Check out our release notes if you’d like to know about every update that we’re making along the way.

    What are you still looking forward to? Let us know in the discussion below.

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