Introducing Disqus: On-site Engagement with User Comments

Keyboard typing image.jpgOver the last year and a half, PBS Engage has been proud to offer you an easy to use and customizable commenting tool for your websites. As technology has advanced and stations have become more savvy in engaging audiences online, PBS Interactive has been re-evaluating the commenting space.

After weighing the pros and cons of using a new solution or making advancements to the current tool, we have decided to retire the Engage commenting engine this month. To better serve stations and producers, we have inked a deal with Disqus (pronounced 'dis-cuss'), a commenting solution being used on many major media outlets including CNN.com, and are able to offer stations unlimited use of the tool locally through the PBS premium account.

Starting on April 15th, it will not be possible to create new instances of the Engage commenting tool; however, existing instances of the Engage commenting tool will still function. After June 1st, the ability to add new comments to existing implementations will be turned off, but existing comments will still display. The Engage StoryBoard tool is not affected by this change.

The advantages of Disqus include:

  • Pre-made plugins and modules for a wide variety of content management systems such as Wordpress and Drupal
  • Integration with social sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Email notification for users when someone replies to their comments
  • Additional widgets available for your site (such as "most recent comments" and "most popular comments")
  • An API to build your own custom interface
  • Easy to use moderation controls that can live within your existing CMS admin.

The Disqus service is currently being piloted with several producers and will be widely available later in April. You can see a sample use of this new platform implemented nationally at The Buddha and on PBS Teachers' Media Infusion blog.

Want to learn more? There are plenty of opportunities to find out how using Disqus on your site can work for you. The PBS Interactive team and folks from Disqus will be hosting a webinar on April 15th (this is a change from the originally scheduled date) at 3pm EDT to introduce you to this new platform.  The webinar will also present best practices around retiring the current PBS Engage comments engine. Check back for webinar registration details. Registration will also be available via the weekly email newsblast and on Connect.

Documentation for the tool can be found at the Disqus website at www.disqus.com and we are also available anytime to answer questions you may have.

If you are interested in being one of the first stations to help us test to the tool locally, please send an email to pbsi_stationservices@pbs.org.   

 

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