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Goodbye Facebook Comments; Hello Again, Disqus

by Jason Unger, Founder

roweAllowing comments on your website is one of the easiest ways to get your readers and customers involved and engaged with your product. It gives them a say in the discussion, and an opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions on what you’re offering (whether it’s a blog post or a product they’d like to review).

WordPress has always had a great built-in commenting system, though over the years, a number of other services have popped up to add in new features, like Disqus (pronounced “discuss”), IntenseDebate and Lifefyre.

Each one is designed to make commenting more interactive and share your comments across the entire Internet (so you could follow and share your discussions away from the original website). When the biggest player in sharing your content online – Facebook – got into the game with Facebook Comments, a number of publishers switched to the Facebook comments in hopes of an influx of traffic from comments being shared on the social network.

Our clients at Brazen Careerist, a career-management and recruiting site, had been using Disqus for their Brazen Life blog, but took the plunge to Facebook Comments to try and get more sharing and exposure. Turns out, many of their readers didn’t like the fact they needed to log in via Facebook to comment, so they weren’t getting the boost in conversation they were expecting.

After about a year-plus on Facebook Comments, they were ready to switch back to Disqus, and we were there to help. The big problem – which isn’t surprising to folks who’ve dealt with leaving Facebook – is that they don’t make it easy to get all of your comments OUT of Facebook and into a different system. You can’t do a simple export (like you can with other systems) – you have to get the comments from each post individually.

So when you have over a year’s worth of posts, that’s a lot of requests.

We were able to put together a script that grabbed all of the comments (with the appropriate wait times in between calling each post) to import the comments back into WordPress, and then into Disqus.

So now Brazen is back on Disqus, and they’re better serving their readers. It’s a true win-win.

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About Jason Unger

Jason Unger is the Founder of Digital Ink. He built his first website on Geocities, and hasn't looked back since. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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