A Case for Why Disqus Should Implement Webmentions

Disqus could further corner the market on commentary in the social web by implementing the new W3C spec for Webmentions.

Internet-wide @Mentions

There is a relatively new candidate recommendation from the W3C for a game changing social web specification called Webmention which essentially makes it possible to do Twitter-like @mentions (or Medium-style) across the internet from site to site (as opposed to simply within a siloed site/walled garden like Twitter).

Webmentions would allow me to write a comment to someone else’s post on my own Tumblr site, for example, and then with a URL of the site I’m replying to in my post which serves as the @mention, the other site (which could be on WordPress, Drupal, Tumblr, or anything really) which also supports Webmentions could receive my comment and display it in their comment section.

Given the tremendous number of sites (and multi-platform sites) on which Disqus operates, it would be an excellent candidate to support the Webmention spec to allow a huge amount of inter-site activity on the internet. First it could include the snippet of code for allowing the site on which a comment is originally written to send Webmentions and secondly, it could allow for the snippet of code which allows for receiving Webmentions. The current Disqus infrastructure could also serve to reduce spam and display those comments in a pretty way. Naturally Disqus could continue to serve the same social functionality it has in the past.

Aggregating the conversation across the Internet into one place

Making things even more useful, there’s currently a third party free service called Brid.gy which uses open APIs of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Flickr to bootstrap them to send these Webmentions or inter-site @mentions. What does this mean? After signing up at Bridgy, it means I could potentially create a post on my Disqus-enabled Tumblr (WordPress, or other powered site), share that post with its URL to Facebook, and any comments or likes made on the Facebook post will be sent as Webmentions to the comments section on my Tumblr site as if they’d been made there natively. (Disqus could add the metadata to indicate the permalink and location of where the comment originated.) This means I can receive comments on my blog/site from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, G+, etc. without a huge amount of overhead, and even better, instead of being spread out in multiple different places, the conversation around my original piece of content could be conglomerated with the original!

Comments could be displayed inline naturally, and likes could be implemented as UI facepile either above or below the typical comment section. By enabling the sending/receiving of Webmentions, Disqus could further corner the market on comments. Even easier for Disqus, a lot of the code has already been written and is open source .

Web 3.0?

I believe that Webmention, when implemented, is going to cause a major sea-change in the way people use the web. Dare I say Web3.0?!

3 thoughts on “A Case for Why Disqus Should Implement Webmentions”

    1. O Caos é Eletrônico, I think you read about the concept of @mentions and stopped there. If you re-read it, you’ll hopefully see the MUCH broader underlying point.

      I’m aware that one can do @mentions within Disqus, but they’re limited to activity within Disqus itself. This is the same thing as @mentions on Twitter only working within Twitter.

      What I’m suggesting above is that they support a broader open spec that allows @mentions between other services. So, for example, I could @mention someone on Disqus from Twitter and potentially vice versa. If you can only have conversations with people on Disqus, you’re limited by how big and popular Disqus is. If you can @mention people outside of the Disqus echosystem, the product becomes that much more powerful!

      Imagine if every blog on the planet could @mention every other website, or even Twitter or Facebook users across platforms? Why should you rely on everyone being on the same platform to be able to communicate with them?

Mentions

  • Chris Aldrich

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