February 5, 2010

New Conversation-Friendly Comment System, plus thoughts on Free

Ok, it’s a fact: I am a terrible blog host when it comes to comments.  I love getting them, as all bloggers do, but I just suck at responding, so I’ve done something to change that!  The main reason I’m awful at replying is that the way my wordpress commenting has always worked made it so email-replying was the way to respond… so the comments get mixed in with the rest of my emails and I just can’t keep up with it all… excuses, excuses…

So I’ve installed Disqus comment system!  The most significant thing that this means is now I (and you, and everyone) can reply to individual comments right here on the blog!  Replies automatically get emailed to the original commenter, and show up for all to read, and you can subscribe to get notices about comment threads you want to follow… it’s fabulous!

disqus commenting

I’d thought about doing this for awhile, figuring it would be more work to get set up than it actually was (easy peasy!)… I finally made the switch partly because of the issues I’d been having with wordpress comments not getting emailed to me lately, but mostly because of the excellent conversations that have been happening on Make & Meaning, started by Alice’s post here.  Just scrolling through the comments on that post shows how these kind of threaded disqus comments can turn single blog posts into conversations, really turning a blog into a community!  Rad!

disqus commenting

And speaking of great conversations, and Make & Meaning, I have been super inspired following Diane + Paul‘s talking and writing about Free.  I highly recommend the latest episode of Craftypod, especially if you are a blogger and/or trying to make money off of handmade things (or anything like that), and then there’s Diane’s follow-up post here, Paul’s original post, and Kim’s fantastic response post here.

A few excerpts… Diane:

In the creative community, because information is abundantly shared, we all learn more. We grow in skill, yes, but we also grow in interconnection to each other. Because of Free, we know more about each other, and this knowledge helps us to respect and help each other – despite geography or personal differences.

That interconnection has way more value (and future potential) than mere money transactions. In the podcast, in fact, we talk about the idea of there being different kinds of currencies in the online community. Web traffic is a currency. Goodwill is a currency. Connection is a currency.

Kim, writing about how the money part will “work itself out”:

The money doesn’t really just materialize, though. There’s one thing you have to do to get the money: seize (the right) opportunities when they come around. You don’t need to have an air-tight business model if you don’t want one. Free involves deliberately winging it. With a good emphasis on the deliberate AND on being comfortable winging it.

I, like Kim, started putting things out into the world for free (and some for no-profit cheap) without any plan to make a living and without thinking about the money end of it much at all, and it’s kind of magically transformed over the years into a rent-paying career.  I try never to stop with the free, and sometimes I do find myself distracted by the money part, realizing it’s been awhile since my last free pattern, for example, but there is plenty of free coming your way this year, I assure you!  “Woo-woo” for free, I say!

Filed under: lots of links,random stuff — leethal @ 3:17 pm
  • Thanks so much for the shout-out, Lee! And welcome to the world of Disqus. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Awesome, no more error messages when I leave a comment!

    I've also been reading and listening to these conversations and, besides from being very timely for me, is something that I've been thinking about deeply in relation to both craft and other areas of my life. I'm just starting out and trying to strike a balance between free and paid since I also have a great appreciation for the free.

  • Hooray! I love Disqus. It's definitely made me a better commenter and comment responder.

  • i just installed disqus too (thanks to diane. she knows her stuff!). and it makes me feel responsible. : )

  • marieinflorida

    woo-woo thank you

  • This kind of fits into the discussion on Free: I linked to you on my blog for Sunshine Awards :)

  • SisterDiane

    Thanks, Lee, for linking to all these recent convos!

    Here's a nerdy bit of advice from another DISQUS user: if you're using email moderation, be sure and check your DISQUS moderation panel from time to time. Periodically, the “feed” between DISQUS and your blog may go down. While it's down, any comments you moderate vie email may not actually get moderated through to your blog.

    This used to happen a lot more often than it's been happening lately, so I'm sure DISQUS is aware of the issue. What I do is, every tenth comment or so, I go to the moderation panel to approve. That way I can check up.

    Other than this, DISQUS is dandy. Hope you enjoy!

  • cal

    very cool! i too am always torn between replying to comments on my blog (also wordpress), or replying directly to the commenter via e-mail. i feel unsure that the commenter will see my reply if i do it through my blog. is this still true with disqus? does the commenter still have to remember to check into your blog to see the reply? or are they notified in some way?

  • lindamade

    yay- i am going to do the disqus thing too, cause i'm a lemming! :)

  • Lee

    Yeah! It's working out great so far! Always love your blog posts!

  • Lee

    Yay to no error messages! I love following these kinds of conversations – I've always been a fan of free, but never thought too deeply about it, so it's been really interesting and helpful for me as well. It's that balance between free and paid that's tricky, and I always feel like, as a small business owner type person, I should be focusing more on the paid than the free, so it's been good reading/hearing people telling me that I SHOULD be focusing on the free!

  • Lee

    Yay! High five for Disqus!

  • Lee

    Rad! I have Diane to thank for oh-so-many things!

  • Lee

    woo-woo you're welcome :)

  • Lee

    Catching up on my own comments now… thanks again!

  • Lee

    Nope, that's why Disqus is awesome – a reply to someone on the blog automatically gets emailed to them. It's working out great for me so far!

  • Lee

    Yay! The good kind of lemming :)

  • lindamade

    it's great!! so far so good!

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