Back in February, the twitter-verse reverberated with a post describing a system for using twitter as a replacement for comments on blog posts. Regardless of the effectiveness or shortcomings of that particular system, I think the author explains very succinctly the failings of blog comments and the potential of using a social network to overcome them. Recently another blogger noted that when it comes to popular websites:
I’d rather hear what any of my friends says on any topic, rather than what people I don’t know say about a specific article.
Sites such as Disqus and Intense Debate also try to address these problems but populating yet another website with ‘friend’ information seems like duplication compared to using an existing network like Twitter, or Facebook.
Facebook recently released a very simple Comments Widget which I have installed below as a trial-replacement for traditional comments. To leave a comment, click ‘Connect with Facebook’ and authorise toobusyto.org.uk as a Facebook application, then leave your comment in the box. Regular comments are available below the Facebook Comment widget for people without Facebook accounts but since the Facebook widget can be customised to support anonymous comments, if the experiment is successful I eventually plan to turn that off. Let me know what you think!
PS – The ‘number of comments’ stat on the front page will be inaccurate due to the new system.