I’m on a bit of a hacking high for a moment so bear with me.
For, well ever since I moved to Seattle more or less, my site has been based off of Windows SharePoint Services using its blog template. On the plus side, it’s extremely easy to set up a database centered blog with dynamic pages and such and things. The downside is that to customize it you have to do all manner of BATSHITINSANE stuff. Recent versions have made things easier and easier and I only expect that to continue with SharePoint 2010.
I’ve never been terribly pleased with the comment ability on the blog. I could have set it up like a lot of blogs, requiring a unique registration, but that would force people to remember yet another password and have yet another silo’d account just to post here. So I allowed anonymous comments on the blog, which has basically been more or less ok. However between pranksters, Internet drama inciters, and most recently, comment spammers, I finally cast about for a real solution.
While it doesn’t directly support SharePoint, Disqus is a drop-in comment technology that allows social media integration with a variety of blog solutions, and wow did that just sound like some moronic web 2.0 buzzword speak.
By dropping in some webparts and haxx0ring the gibson, I was able to fully integrate Disqus’s universal blog code into SharePoint’s blog template.
So, this means several things.
First off, all the old comments have been removed and archived. The two comment systems are incompatible. So basically it will now look like no one has ever commented on my blog. That’s not censorship or anything, just a necessary evil to move to the new system.
To now post a comment on the blog, you must have one of the following:
A Disqus account
A Twitter account
A Facebook account
If you don’t have these, the comment system will help you now create one.
There will no longer be any blanket anonymous posts on the blog.
Sure, you can create a new Twitter or Disqus account for being a troublemaker, but I can throttle a lot of that stuff and even ban words or users without having to close the system down or move to moderation only. This solution is so much better than captcha’s or any of that stuff, and you don’t have to remember some unique username or credentials just for my site.
For you privacy people, using Facebook or Twitter means that you must allow Facebook or Twitter to accept connections from Disqus (NOT Stepto.com, I will have no way of viewing or messing with any credentials, another attractive part of being able to integrate the sites like this). Also be warned that using those accounts to post here on Stepto.com will mean that your “username” displayed will be your Facebook name (usually your real name)or Twitter username.
As a bonus, with Twitter and Facebook you will be able to cross post a comment to those sites if you so choose, although that is off by default.
I had to do a lot of kludgy xml editing using trial and error to get it all to work so my next post will be a tutorial on how to integrate Disqus into a Sharepoint blog for the Disqus folks to reference. There’s still some things to do, I’m not sure I like the themes and color schemes of the Disqus stuff so I will be tailoring that more to the site’s theme. But overall I am really pleased.
Anyways, this is all a longwinded way of saying, give the new comment system a spin!