Over the last year and a half, PBS Engage has been proud to offer you an easy to use and customizable commenting tool for your websites. We also understand that there are alternatives available, including commenting built into your CMS of choice to power conversation on your web site.

Based on producer and station feedback, we began looking at how to improve the tool. In looking at the requests, and beginning to plan how to build upon the Comments Engine we also began to vet several 3rd party solutions that had begun to build up market-share.

After weighing the pros and cons of a buy versus build solution, we opted to move forward with a new platform called Disqus. We are committed to this solution for at least two years. 

The advantages of Disqus include:

  • Pre-made plugins and modules for a wide-variety of content management systems 
  • Integration with social sites like Facebook and Twitter 
  • Email notifications for users when someone replies to their comments 
  • Additional widgets available for your site (such as "Most recent comments" and "Most popular comments") 
  • An API to build your own custom interface 
  • Easy to use moderation controls that can live within your existing CMS admin.

The Disqus service is currently being piloted with several producers and will be widely available next month.  You can see a sample implementation of this new platform at The Buddha, and on PBS Teachers’ Media Infusion blog.

You can also learn more about Disqus on Producer Exchange at http://docs.pbs.org/display/PX/Disqus+Commenting

The PP&S team and folks from the Disqus team will be hosting a webinar on April 14th (click here to signup)to introduce you to this new platform, and will be standing-by to help with integration and implementation of the new tool. We will also discuss best practices around retiring the current PBS Comments engine.

Visit the Comments Engine Transition page for more information. To get started on this new platform, please contact your Program Manager.

-Jonathan