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July 2, 2010 9:59 PM   Subscribe

Blog commenting system - self hosted & no logging in required?

I'm in the middle of teaching myself about websites, administering a server, etc. I decided to just jump in after studying procrastinating for a few months and am now in the middle of setting up a blog which will have a comments system.

OK. But the blogging platform I use doesn't have commenting built-in. I've pondered all the different alternatives I could find and was interested in Disqus but it just doesn't "feel" right to me. Very little technical info is available before you sign up for it. I'm not even 100% sure if it's free or you have to have a subscription or what.

Really the thing which has put me off though was that you apparently need to have a Disqus account in order to leave a comment? I was planning on just having something very minimal (like CAPTCHA or something even simpler) for verification. To be clear, as a user I hate having to sign in everywhere, manage passwords etc. I think for something like a blog this is overkill for any users I get.

My question, finally! Do I have my info correct re: disqus? If so, can any of you recommend me a commenting system which:

i) is minimalistic and simple to administer (no offsite dependencies, minimal verification, no need for readers to register)

ii) is Free (in both senses or at least open source).

Notes: I don't use Wordpress and don't plan to; I have full access to the server (well, not in-person physical access) so will be hosting whatever commenting system myself; memory and space are at a premium -- not necessarily a big deal but probably having hardcore databases etc. would be overkill.

If there's a system you can recommend which fulfils some of these bullet points but not all, I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks!
posted by blue funk to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: I use Movable Type, and I'm happy with it.

I don't know the actual details about Disqus, but I can say that I agree with your concerns on the consumer side. When I see a Disqus form, I quickly turn away.

And from long experience blogging, I don't like commenting systems that are hosted elsewhere. I used to use HaloScan, but they kept changing their model, and I had to ditch them and lose all my comments.
posted by philosophistry at 10:51 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: But the blogging platform I use doesn't have commenting built-in.

What the hell blogging system doesn't have comments on board? I ask this only because you want to make sure that it really is blogging software and not just a CMS before you sink a lot of time into bolting comments on to something that really isn't going to take you where you want to go anyway.

Comments are the easiest thing to build. It's just four fields in the DB and CAPTCHA is easily integrated. If database size is an issue for you, this is a small table you can bolt on to your exisiting setup. It certainly would be free.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:07 PM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I assume you're using Tumblr, since it doesn't have commenting itself and disqus is the third-party service most commonly recommended to fill in that gap.

Even though I think it tells you you have to register to leave a comment, I'm pretty sure there's a setting where you can make it so you don't have to, and I'm pretty sure I use it, although I'm not positive because I haven't left a comment on my own blog since I set it up over a year ago. My blog is here; go ahead and leave a test comment on any post if you want, and if you don't have to sign up to do it, you have your answer to at least that question (I'd do it myself but I'm not 100% sure I'm not "always signed in" or something like that).
posted by skwt at 1:11 AM on July 3, 2010

Best answer: Right, I've just added a comment to skwt's last blog post. It does use DISQUS and I did not have to register. I did have to provide my email address to post.

So: use DISQUS.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:50 AM on July 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all. I'm going to mark all as best answers, as they were all informative.

The blogging software I was / am using is Chronicle. When I first looked into it, it didn't have commenting built-in (either it hadn't been implemented yet or it was broken in that particular version, I can't remember).

Anyway on re-checking yesterday(!) I now realise that Chronicle does indeed now have commenting built-in. Also there's a blogspam-filter available so I'll be looking at that too.

Thanks again for making the effort to respond, I appreciate it.
posted by blue funk at 2:37 PM on July 4, 2010

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