Techcrunch today changed from Disqus comments, like the ones I use on my blog, to Facebook comments. That decision was discussed on Techcrunch, including by me (see the comments).
They are hated by a lot of people, see the comments on this Techcrunch post, but I really love them.
Why? The quality of the comments went up 1000%. More on that in a second.
Plus, everytime I comment now I can shove that answer over to Facebook, which brings them more readers since most of their potential growth will come from Facebook.
So, why has the quality of the comments gone up?
1. Much less anonymity. I really hate anonymity. In 10 years of blogging I can only remember a few really great comments done by someone anonymous. But, anonymous people are far more likely to try to destroy the conversation and not be constructive. Even when they are constructively critical, you don’t know where they are coming from or who they are. The simple addition of a real name onto their comments makes their critique much more useful and interesting and more likely to be listened to, in my experience.
Think about it for a second. If someone anonymous says “your post sucks because it didn’t consider xyz point.” Now, what if Tim O’Reilly said it? Or Bill Gates? Are you more likely or less likely to listen to the feedback? Is it more or likely to lead to better conversation?
2. A provable social graph. On Facebook there are quite a few Bill Gates. Lots of people love to impersonate him. But I can pick the real one out because the real one has certain people in his social graph (his friends are people who match who his real life friends are). This means impersonators are easily thrown out of the system.
3. The font is smaller and more compact, so I can see more comments in one stream.
Anyway, for now, I’m sticking with Disqus. I’m watching Techcrunch’s experiment. Over on Quora Techcrunch’s MG Siegler explained more about why they switched.
What do you think? Would switching to Facebook help or hurt here?