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I came across an interesting question on Quora recently.

Online Commenting: Why do both Disqus and Livefyre suck so bad?

I used to think Disqus was good but the # of sites with failed implementations of their service grows by the day. Similarly, if a premier tech blog, Techcrunch, can’t even implement Livefyre given several months of catastrophic bugs, clearly there is a problem.

Because the “customer is always right”, the blame has to rest solely on Disqus/Livefryre, right?

It took me a while to write an answer but I think it is an interesting perspective. So here is what I think and I answered.

Both Disqus and Livefyre grew organically and replaced traditional online commenting systems by offering better service, community, spam control, etc.

Livefyre has many more offerings now and they call themselves “the engagement platform”. Disqus calls itself a “global commenting system” and it is pretty good too.

But unfortunately there won’t ever be a day when all websites on the Internet will have Disqus or Livefyre installed. The market of online commenting will always be fragmented as it is in the hands of website owners whether to install certain commenting system or not. Thus all your conversations (as readers) on different websites will always remain scattered across Disqus, Livefyre, Facebook, WordPress, Email, etc.

Now what if we give the power of owning a conversation in the hands of readers instead of website owners? Because at the end of the day readers started it, right?

And when I say “owning a conversation”, that means…

  1. I, as a reader, will decide on which part of the article I want to start a conversation and with whom.
  2. I, as a reader, want all my conversations at one place.
  3. I, as a reader, want to know what others are discussing on the same article.

With this new powerful perspective, we are creating ReadBoard.

ReadBoard’s browser extension allows you start a conversation on any part of the article with people you know. You don’t have to rely on a commenting system of that article to initiate or join a conversation.

ReadBoard brings the power of conversations in the hands of readers.

ReadBoard is still in private beta but if this thinking intrigues you, here is a special link to sign up for all Medium users.

ReadBoard — Change the way you converse on the web

Following video (< 4 mins) explains What is ReadBoard and Why we created it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xPLhARgM90

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. You can help me build a better product or stop me from making a product, which nobody wants!

Abhishek
  • Posted on March 25, 2016

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