Yesterday was a shocker of a day. Not only did the Cambridge countryside look like a scene out of Silent Hill, but my hopes and dreams of being a blogger came crashing down around me.
Okay, maybe I’m being melodramatic.
But when it all kicked off, it actually did feel like that. *Sniff*
Disqus: Helping Publishers Increase Engagement
I absolutely loved Disqus when I first came across it. I was trying to comment on a very popular blogger’s website, but couldn’t because she had this fancy commenting system that I had to sign up for.
So, I did.
And I loved it!
So much so that I downloaded the plugin for my site too. It looked good, offered great moderation access, and I reckoned it made my blog look really professional. As a newbie blogger, I wanted to fit in with the cool kids and get all the tech to make it feel like I’d been doing it for years. (Hah! I know what you’re thinking – trust me I have already thought it about myself)
Anyway, when people started commenting, I could reply swiftly on my phone, keep up to date, and really engage with people reading my content. I could upvote their remarks, and I could visit their pages and read their stuff too.
It was fab!
Disqus: Helping Publishers Build Loyal Audiences
In my opinion, there is more to just being a blogger than writing a bunch of blog posts. It’s hella important, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a vast amount of other stuff that goes into creating a loyal community.
One of the things I enjoy the most is just reading everyone else’s blogs; seeing what people are doing, what vibrant lives they’re leading, and being able to comment and share my experiences and point of view.
So, I obviously began using Disqus to do this on websites where the plugin was installed.
It was working fine for like a month or so until I started getting flagged as a spammer.
How the mighty have fallen! – 2 Sam 1:19
I mean, what the heck? Spamming people with what? My genuine thoughts?
Okay, maybe it was just a mistake on Disqus’ part. Maybe their algorithm didn’t like the link to my website at the bottom of the comment or something. But I’d seen most commenters doing this, so I thought it was okay.
I did some research and found this entry on Disqus’ help section:
“Awesome!” I thought to myself. “So, I will just stop putting a link to my blog, and that will fix everything. Right?”
Suddenly, every single one of my comments was being flagged as spam. Here are a few of them:
I even tried to comment on a discussion on the Disqus forum which was talking about the exact problem I was facing. It seemed I wasn’t the only one. However, THAT got flagged as spam too.
Then, I tried to create my own discussion, but this was marked as spam as well, and taken down.
All The Kings Horses And All The Kings Men…
I don’t know what it was about this whole fiasco which devastated me so much. I got incredibly upset.
I tried so many different ways of contacting people at Disqus, via Twitter and on LinkedIn to try to get them to stop seeing me as a spammer because, in my head, I wasn’t one. I was just an incredibly active commenter (I try to comment on every blog post I read because – call me old fashioned – I think the blogger deserves it).
I faffed about with this most of the afternoon, searching every nook and cranny of the Disqus website to try to find a real person to talk to, but even on the forums, people were having the same issues and having zero helpful responses. There were some that have been waiting months at a time for the ‘marked as spam’ flags to be taken down, and still, they haven’t been.
Also, Disqus had given me a “Low Reputation” tag because of the number of “spam comments” I’d apparently submitted. And I later discovered – after deleting my account and trying to create a new one – that they had flagged my email address too.
I posted the above by signing up to Disqus via my Twitter account details. It was immediately flagged as spam.
That’s when I knew it was either my email address or my IP address, so I deleted everything and used my other email address. Currently, the test comments I made on this new one haven’t been flagged as spam.
Many websites were saying that using Disqus is pointless for various reasons. And I kept thinking: why should I use this plugin if the same thing could potentially happen to others? And also, was I alienating my readers who DIDN’T use Disqus as a commenting tool? I suppose I was.
My Apologies To You All
I am still completely devastated to have lost all of the wonderful comments that you all have made to my articles and posts. At the time, my anxiety went through the roof, because I hate feeling powerless, and I hate injustice. Everything I wrote to each and every blogger was my true feelings, and it’s horrible when a robot essentially thinks otherwise.
After Alex called me and we talked for a bit (my problems must seem so odd to him sometimes, but bless him he helps me anyway), I started to feel a lot calmer.
I’m so sorry for losing all of your lovely comments by deleting Disqus from my site. And I’m sorry you have to use the regular WordPress commenting system if you want to leave me a message – I know it’s a faff to type details in – but I really appreciate it when you do.
I will try to keep commenting on all your posts – I love reading them – via whatever methods you use. And I will try to use the alternative Disqus account I set up with my other email, but I worry it won’t be long until this gets marked as spam too. I just couldn’t keep the plugin on my own site – I think it’s for the best 🙂
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