Yesterday, I came across a new feature of Disqus, the comment system I have been using on all my blogs since early 2009. At a first glance, I barely noticed the red notification message that now shows up on each Disqus enabled comment section.
I noticed it because Big Think, the blog network which I contribute to with Disrupt Education just switched their comments to Disqus. Sunday, I wrote a blog post about Siri, the new voice enabled assistant on the iPhone 4S and its implications on learning and education.
Of course, this particular post got a lot of comments, so I spent parts of Monday engaging with my readers. I also published a couple of posts on EDUKWEST and KirstenWinkler.com and when I checked one of them, I saw this red notification for the first time. I think it showed a 4. Too busy to bother, I continued working on some other posts but later that day I came across the same notification on another Disqus enabled blog, this time showing a 6.
Now, I got curious enough to click on it and it literally made click in my head, too. The notification showed me all of the latest comments I received on Big Think with a direct link to the comment section. Basically the same as the small red number you get on Facebook when somebody interacted with your updates.
I made a little screencast to show you this new feature, you can watch it below.
Now, what does it mean? Arnold Waldstein wrote an article on Disqus and the interest graph a couple of months ago and I think this new notification setting is one more piece of the puzzle. Other than Facebook notifications that keep you inside of the social network, Disqus notifications add an interactive layer on top of the Internet, at least over the Disqus enabled part of it.
I, as a blogger and commenter love it for a variety of reasons. If you or someone leaves a comment on an article, you as blogger, journalist or author reached the highest level of interaction which means you actually care for this piece or somebody else really does. Until today, you needed to either check if someone else left a comment manually or subscribe via email or RSS to the comment thread every day. That lead in most cases to spam in your inbox as soon as Indian Internet marketers found the post interesting enough to link to domain registry services and what have you. Currently, I have a blog post on eduFire I commented on in 2009 that pops up once a week with those infamous messages.
The new notification feature also enables me as a blogger to better engage with my audience across all the blogs in an easy way. I can jump from comment to comment, from blog to blog. As I said, leaving a (thoughtful) comment is the highest form of engagement so people who take the time to leave one should receive an answer as well.
I think this is a great feature for blogs. Through the comment notification, the articles will follow the reader across the Internet, probably leading to more and better interaction from both sides, readers and bloggers.
What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below, I will get notified .