JS-Kit acquires HaloScan, but why trash talk Disqus?

Duncan Riley - Author

Jun. 18 2013, Updated 11:34 p.m. ET

Blog toolkit provider JS-Kit has acquired blog commenting service HaloScan. Haloscan offers a blog commenting system that competes in the commenting 2.0 space against Disqus, Sezwho, Intense Debate and JS-Kit itself. JS-Kit had previously partnered with Haloscan to offer JS-Kit’s rating tools within HaloScan powered comment threads.

JS-Kit isn’t often collectively bundled with the Disqus, Sezwho and Intense Debate as its commenting tools are offered along side a range of other inline blogging tools, including polls, ratings (placing it against Outbrain) and some in-blog referral tools. The move to acquire Haloscan would seeminly indicate that JS-Kit is getting more serious about its commenting platform at a time the 2.0 commenting market is heating up.

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Venturebeat (also source on the news here) reports that JS-Kit took the opportunity to trash talk Disqus, saying that “Disqus hosts comments on its own servers and site and in so doing, takes away all the benefits that comments could have on a blog’s search engine ranking.” While Disqus does hosts comments on its own servers, comments can be seen in search engines when users use the API based plugin, one of the biggest selling points for me when I decided to go with Disqus to power comments on this blog.

But why the need for trash talk at all? Isn’t one of the 2.0 fundamentals that we can all get along?

I know when I considered joining a 2.0 comment service that one of the things that impressed me immensely (and it still does) about Disqus was not only Disqus founder Daniel Ha’s commitment to reaching out to me during the consideration process, but also his ability to respond to my concerns with positive responses about his own product without the need to belittle competing products in the process. I’ve also seen Daniel respond continually when criticism has arisen by embracing the criticism and challenging himself (and Disqus) to do better. The product isn’t perfect, and yes, there is always room for improvement, but Disqus continues to grow for the better, while being trasnsparent, open and friendly in the broader space. I can even remember Sezwho trash talking Disqus, and Daniel responded with an open invite to Sezwho on possible interoperability and never once denigrated Sezwho in return (that I’m aware of).

As competition between personal services in this space continues, and when the feature set from one service to the next is fairly close, I know I’m more likely to consider a service provider when and where they are positive players in the space, selling the merits of their service based on their service, without trash talking others. This may not always be the case (particularly for large, non-blog related services), but if I’m putting a service on a blog I own, it’s something that makes a great selling point for me, and as I talk to others, I hear similar positions as well.


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