Friday, January 17, 2014

Why I am no longer a "fan" of Disqus

Props to Gary Rumain was talking with me the other day and it inspired me to write this article. Something I needed to talk about anyways but his conversation with me got the ball rolling.

I'm not sure if everyone has been paying attention to the comments I've been posting on this site recently when I am not posting actual articles to the website, but in case you haven't caught on yet: I'm not so happy about Disqus anymore. However, I'll say that I still use Disqus on this site and still continue to comment using Disqus. However, whatever was "there" about Disqus and me is gone. Of course there are reasons for this...I'm going to explain a little.

CSS Support (or lack thereof)

CSS is very important to me for those that didn't already know. Ever since the new Disqus was planned and when the first private beta releases were rolling out, Disqus has NEVER added CSS support for Disqus 2012 (which is called the "new" Disqus). Despite numerous emails to Disqus and direct talks to some developers (which is another issue altogether), they will not add CSS support, and probably never will.

Because Disqus has no plans to add CSS support to Disqus 2012 now or any time in the future, and they give unreasonable excuses to not to, Disqus no longer makes me excited for their product; in fact I'd just rather it disappear.

Ignorant Developers

In addition to talking to the developers, some of the developers working at Disqus are (go figure) complete asshats to anyone who isn't a developer either. I'm not completely stupid; I know a good amount of HTML and CSS. Doesn't give some of these developers (namely, Matt Robenolt) the right to tell you that you are stupid and don't know what you're talking about.

I somehow automatically don't know what I am talking about because I bring up topics that do have valid reasoning. Here's one example: Why are there 3 parameters as a identifier for a thread? Look at the URL of the embedded iframe.

How about this: Why is your supposedly secure auth cookie transported in plain text when visiting comment threads? While a Disqus account is small time compared to other services an attacker would want to crack, an attacker at a public WiFi hotspot for example can just simply intercept your auth cookie, and you're screwed. Instantly, an attacker can start making/deleting/editing comments, all at the same time ruining your online reputation. Apparently I don't know what I'm talking about when I say that moving Disqus over to HTTPS entirely would be a good thing.

The support staff are puppets

This should be self explanatory. When asking about CSS support again recently, I got almost the same, recycled response that I have always gotten. In general, my support experience with Disqus has gone off of the deep end anyways for over a year now. My support requests never get answered unless I email Daniel Ha directly and tell him that I sent in a support request. Sometimes, I just don't even care to email him anymore because I know I'll get the same response anyways.

From my perspective, Disqus support staff are nothing but puppets that pay lip service to folks like me.

Disqus has lost track of who their friends are

Well..this should be easy to explain as well. You see, I got myself involved with Disqus back in 2010-2011 ish. Back then, the classic (Houdini) Disqus was still around and very popular. When 2012 came around Disqus 2012 was created and became a beta project and so on (I could explain more but I've already done this plenty of times). Back in those days I was friends with Disqus and they were friends with me. Ever since they got a lot of investments they've had to stop thinking about the people that care about them the most, and focus on paying those investors back instead.

On another note, their sponsored posts area of Discovery still sucks. Wherever I go, Disqus Discovery still feeds me very inaccurate advertising based on the article I am reading. I am glad to now have Disqus Discovery's ad part blocked by AdBlock.


In conclusion, these are reasons why I am no longer a fan of Disqus. There are probably more reasons that I can't think of right now when I was writing this.

As said before I'll still continue to use Disqus on this site....for now.