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Liang-Bo Wang's Blog

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Change the blog commenting system to utterances

My blog is statically generated, so it needs an external service for commenting. I chose Disqus when I started my blog because it was a popular choice, and it is free and easy to setup. However, there’s been increasing concern about its extensive user tracking, ads, and therefore a toll on the page loading performance1. Heck, I don’t even load Disqus myself when I check my own blog:

What my blog looks like from my end, where Disqus is blocked by Privacy Badger by default.

Recently, I was finally able to look into the alternatives to Disqus. I landed on utterances, a commenting widget based on GitHub Issues. I like it for a few reasons:

  • Free and open source
  • No trackings and ads (for now at least)
  • Comments are tied to the blog’s code repository
  • Moderation using existing GitHub tools/interface

Switch to a new commenting systems can be hard due to the loss of the old comments. But since there are only a total of 75 comments on my blog, I don’t have a lot to miss :) I did back up the old comments because I enjoyed the discussions, and they are one of the main motiviations to keep me going. Disqus offers a way to export all the comments, and here is the frequency of all the comments over time:

Number of comments on my blog over time

Since this post, my blog will be using the new utterances comment widget. For comparison, I attached a screenshot of the old interface using Disqus below:

Old commenting widget using Disqus on my blog.

  1. There are already many summaries on these issues. For example: Replacing Disqus with Comments (Discussion on Hacker News) and Disqus, the dark commenting system (Discussion on Hacker News).