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Forums > Announcements & Site Feedback > Disqus arrives at HonestGamers

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 01, 2012 (02:44 AM)
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This is a not-so-brief note to let you all know that HonestGamers is now updated to take advantage of the Disqus commenting system, which I expect will make it easier to encourage and manage discussions on-site. You may have noticed the change already.

When HonestGamers was first converted to a dynamic site in 2002 or so, it was one of the only sites on the Internet that allowed users to comment directly from a review and then easily track comments on the site from that point onward. It allowed us to build a unique community and for a long time, it was a distinction for the site. However, tools such as Disqus are now widely available, and the old feedback system is no longer the selling point it was at one point because--to be perfectly honest--services such as Disqus now manage discussions of that sort better than old-fashioned forums.

Clearly, something different needed to be done. Rather than try to reinvent the wheel, I decided to implement Disqus on the site as the sole means of commenting on contributions from both staff and users. I did so for a variety of very important reasons.

* Disqus offers our community some amazing functionality just by default, even before I worry about modifying it (I encourage you to give it a try here at HonestGamers if you're not already familiar with the service). Once you have a free Disqus account, you can by default see all discussions related to a current page (such as a review or news article or even a game profile), or you can see a list of all hot discussions currently taking place across the HonestGamers site. You can also subscribe to discussions by email, or easily share them on social media if you find them interesting. I'll be able to set staff up as moderators, as well, so that the appropriate people will be able to delete inappropriate comments as needed.

* Disqus is widely used around the Internet. You'll find it in use at sites like IGN, Gamespot, and Joystiq, to name just a few. It's a standard platform, which means that a lot of people are familiar with it or will be in the future. This should lead to a more welcoming experience for newcomers, and it should also mean that people who might come to the site from any number of places will easily be able to join discussions without needing to sign up for another service that has only limited use.

* Unlike Facebook, Disqus is a platform built specifically around commenting and discussion, so there's not as much clutter and you don't have to worry about posts going out to people who you would rather didn't see them (family members who might follow you on Facebook, for instance). Facebook also tends to load more slowly than Disqus, and it's not as reliable. It rather frequently breaks, due to privacy updates and coding changes, but Disqus for the most part operates very smoothly.

* Since all future comments will be going through the same service, they'll be easier to track and follow. You won't have to worry about as many threads going away to conserve site resources. As a bonus, it's now easier than ever to talk about any games that might interest us, and that might inspire us to write more reviews as we suddenly realize how much we have to say about games we might have forgotten.

In the immediate future, any old comments on the site won't be going anywhere, even though they're no longer linked from submissions. You'll be able to go through old feedback threads on that section of the forums.

The forums remain valuable for certain purposes. They're still handy for site contest announcements and for Review of the Week topics and organization. They're still a great way to manage freelance assignments and revisions, and they'll still be helpful for discussion that doesn't relate to a specific game title.

Still, this change should make discussion flow more naturally on the site and it should ensure that more people can easily get involved. That's something I've wanted to see happen for a long time. I hope you'll all give it a shot and that you'll like it as much I do.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: pickhut
Posted: November 01, 2012 (09:26 PM)
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Are the news articles going to get the "# comments" as well? I didn't even notice that someone replied to the Halo 4 article until I came in and saw a reply by you. Or is that just something for the reviews?


I head spaceshit noises


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 01, 2012 (09:35 PM)
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I'm leaning toward "not at this time," and that might not change. The news articles are better for short-term discussion while the news is still hot, while reviews tend to have a longer shelf life.

Recent comments in other topics also show up at the bottom of articles, below comments, plus there are a lot of tools in Disqus that make it easy to track anything of interest. Finally, there are some API resources, so I haven't entirely given up on listing Disqus subjects along the left side of the forums--below forum activity--if it can be implemented appropriately.

The real test here on HG will come once we post something that actually gets a lot of traffic, which will likely not happen until we get luck again, or until I'm able to expand our audience on Facebook by investing in some more advertising. A lot of what I'm doing right now is getting the site ready for another big push in 2013. I'm paying off bills in 2012 and tweaking site code and such, and then in 2013 I'll be going nuts with investment (I hope) to finally break through that wretched glass dome the site has had hanging over it for years. Hopefully.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: November 03, 2012 (02:13 AM)
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Sorry if you've already answered this question and I just missed it, but is there any system in place to alert users of the most recent comments made on the site? As it is now, it seems that if I were to comment on something that's not on the front page, no one would see it unless they happened to be reading the article and saw it. I just know that there have been a few cases in which someone has left me feedback for an older review, and I'd never have known if the thread itself didn't pop up on the front page.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 03, 2012 (12:10 PM)
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When you view a given article and scroll down to where Disqus comments show for that article, you can click "Community" to see all of the latest comments within the HonestGamers community, not unlike the list of "Recent Forum Activity" that displays on the left side of the Forums pages. So it's pretty easy to keep on top of all comments that way.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: November 03, 2012 (08:46 PM)
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Cool, thanks.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: Fiddlesticks
Posted: November 05, 2012 (04:41 PM)
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Does Disqus not work on Internet Explorer?


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 05, 2012 (05:20 PM)
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I'm unaware of any Disqus issues in IE. It should work fine on all major browsers, and IE certainly qualifies. I see you've posted on your AC3 review.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Fiddlesticks
Posted: November 05, 2012 (07:25 PM)
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Yeah, but that was posted through Firefox. I went to post a response earlier today from my work computer (it uses IE), but got a message telling me that Disqus was incompatible. Must be the version of IE then.


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: November 06, 2012 (01:46 AM)
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It might be, because I can access Disqus just fine through IE.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than paunnyraryCap requested its removal.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 08, 2012 (07:49 PM)
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When you view a given article and scroll down to where Disqus comments show for that article, you can click "Community" to see all of the latest comments within the HonestGamers community, not unlike the list of "Recent Forum Activity" that displays on the left side of the Forums pages. So it's pretty easy to keep on top of all comments that way.

Is there a way to replace the "recent forum activity" with this disqus list?


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 08, 2012 (08:54 PM)
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I haven't found one yet, and besides, I wouldn't want to replace the list. Maybe shorten it? Forums will still be useful for a variety of things, like RotW, site announcements, general chit-chat... stuff like that.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: dagoss
Posted: December 08, 2012 (08:39 AM)
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I wondered what happened. I know I'm late the game as I don't come here very often. I've read a few reviews , got to the bottom and was like "how do I comment?" and just kind of went to another site instead.

I tend to browse using Dillo or (when I'm adventurous) Iceweasel with noscript and ghostry. Yes, I'm aware that this may be considered "paranoia." I leave Discus blocked because it's no one's and no advertisers business where I'm going on the Internet or what I'm saying. Is this going to be the only way posting on the site moving forward?


Not sure how to make a sig? While logged into your account, you can edit it and your other public and private information from the Settings page.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 08, 2012 (06:11 PM)
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Thank you for expressing your concerns, dagoss. I take privacy concerns seriously, but there are limitations to how far I can go while still running a site that is competitive. Disqus was the best solution I could find.

If you would like to leave comments on reviews, the HonestGamers forums remain and you can certainly create a topic to let a writer know what you thought, or you can contact him or her by HG Mail to engage in more private discussion. Another natural means to do so is the new Chatter resource, linked from the top of the page and tied to your account profile.

However, I'm not bringing back the old method that enabled a user to respond directly from a post and make a new comment on the forums. The point of implementing Disqus was to enable more organic growth without breaking that discussion into pieces, with the tools Disqus provides and by removing a barrier to entry. Already, more people are commenting on reviews than did previously. As the site continues to post content worth sharing, I expect that trend to continue and it should also spur site growth and activity, as it already has in a limited fashion.

I hope that you'll continue to participate on the site, using the variety of tools that still do not require scripting. Note that--as announced elsewhere--your full account name displays on some pages within the site, so make sure that the first and last name tied to your account are names that you don't mind seeing shared (using a fictional name is fine if you don't want your real name associated with any posts). You can click Settings at the top of most pages to update your display name.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


This message was administratively deleted because it did not adhere to site guidelines, or because a user other than requested its removal.

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Author: zippdementia
Posted: December 09, 2012 (11:01 AM)
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Wow this is annoying.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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