Social commenting

One of the features I have always been keen to implement is a decent commenting system, where visitors can comment on your maps and ideally be able to easily share their comments on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Fortunately I have been able to implement a system quicker than I had expected thanks to a great service Disqus.

Disqus has some fantastic features which will make it a valuable addition to the site. These features include:

  • Realtime comment system – comment become more like live discussions
  • In-line media embedding – full integration with media services such as Youtube, Flickr etc
  • Community profiles – giving you a quick glance of the user and their activities on other communities
  • Integration with social websites – people can login, comment, and share using social services they already use
  • Linking and sharing – people can write what they like and then sharing that on Facebook, Twitter etc

Disqus has been implemented across the site on all of your maps [UPDATE – you must set up your own Disqus account to use this feature – see below]- the same comments will appear on all versions of a map (i.e. Both Google version and the OS version share the same comments)

But there is more…..

By default all the comments boxes are linked to a single Social Hiking account [UPDATE: commenting has been disabled unless you setup your own Disqus account], however it is possible to connect your Social Hiking user account with your own Disqus account – this means that you receive e-mail and Twitter notifications when comments are made on your maps. By replying to these e-mail notifications, your reply gets added as a comment reply on your map. This basically gives you the power to be involved in the discussion even when you are out and about, and your map is being updated life. That is a pretty powerful tool for geo-blogging!

To activate this feature you first need to setup a site on Disqus specifically for Social Hiking – this is really important as it means that future changes (for example when the domain name changes) and for export / import support in the future, comments made on Social Hiking are separate from the comments made on any of your other sites.

As an example here are the details I used for setting up a personal account on Disqus:

Once setup, you can then enter your site shortname (daylightgamblersocialhiking in the example above), into the relevant box on the ‘General Settings’ tab of Social Hiking.

Just a few key points about this feature:

  • By using your own account, you are responsible for the comments that appear – they must not breach Social Hiking’s policies
  • By using your own account, you have control over all the settings relating to your comments boxes (and moderation). If you get stuck I will try and help you, but ultimately it is your own responsibility.
  • When you use your own account, any previous comments on your maps will disappear. I am looking into ways that I can export the comments for you to import into your own account in the future. As such, if you want to use this feature I would recommend implementing it as soon as possible.
  • There is currently no guarantee that I will be able to import comments added to your account in the future (although I am hoping to be able to)
  • You will need to make a change in the future to your  Social Hiking Disqus account when the URL changes – this seems to be a fairly simple process (and I do not believe that anything will break if you do not)

A big thanks to @tookiebunten for first pointing out Disqus to me – he saw it as @philoutdoors was implementing it after seeing it on @hendrikmorkel ‘s blog, who originally saw it on @sharalds using it (basically it looks to be well implemented throughout the outdoor blogger community already)

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6 Comments on "Social commenting"

  1. tookiebunten says:

    Excellent l’ll get that set up. Looks like there’s a place that it’s missing from though………… 😉

  2. daylightgambler says:

    lol presumably you mean this blog….

    when the new design is done, the blog will be completely reworked – as you can probably tell, it was knocked up in about 5 minutes!

  3. PilgrimChris says:

    I like the simplicity of this site 🙂
    As for the Disqus implementation – great!

  4. daylightgambler says:

    Thanks Chris – I have tried to make it as simple as possible to use!

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