The native commenting system on the Chronicle website has long lagged behind the features available on third-party systems such as Disqus and Livefyre.
Notably missing from the Chronicle’s system are comment ratings, the ability for commenters to sort the comment list in different ways, and in-line moderation options for us on staff.
In the past, I’ve experimented with adding third-party commenting systems as alternatives to the built-in comments, ones that you could opt to use on a separate tab from the native comments. We’ve tried out Facebook comments, Disqus and even a very limited trial of Livefyre.
None of them were used much compared to the built-in comment system. I suspect that’s because people are already familiar with the built-in system and have their usernames estabilshed there.
However, that doesn’t add features to the system, and while our CMS provider says it is assigning a new person to just improve comments, new features could be a while in coming. That’s why I’m once again considering a switch to Disqus.
The chief obstacle management at the Chronicle feels gets in the way is a reluctance of users to sign in with a different username to the comments than they would sign in to view their newspaper subscriptions. I agree that this might be confusing to some readers, and it would be better if the systems were linked.
However, that costs a lot of money — more money than we’re willing to spend on comments right now. Hence, the poll below. Your answers will help me sort out whether such a change is possible for us without the integrated sign-on solution.
Please also feel free to leave your comments in the (Disqus) form below. (I can use Disqus here because this is a part of the site that's separate from the subscription system.