I wanted to get everyone's experience and ideas on the best way to encourage comments. We've recently moved to Disqus but have seen the number of comments from our users decrease.
If you have examples of sites that facilitate and encourage comments well, they would be greatly appreciated - whether it's a media site or not. Just looking to get inspired.
Or if you have or are using Disqus (and have some feedback on things that worked or better products), please let me know too.
Thank you in advance,
I'm no UI/UX expert, and I've never used Disqus, but I do know I've only ever commented under a few circumstances.
1 - The topic was interesting enough to comment on (not often)2 - Individual comments were interesting enough to reply to (tends to be more often)3 - I could comment anonymously or with minimal login effort (tends to be more often)
ixda.org is a good example. I have to log in to comment, and with a lot of sites I would not have bothered to do this. Posting anonymously often is easier because you can just enter text into a box and hit "submit". Of course, quality control goes out the window when you let people anonymously comment on your site.
People respond surprisingly well to requests. If you put a blurb asking for comments, that can get people to respond. Especially if they can see that you respond back. A feedback loop, in other words.
In your case, it may be worthwhile to simply ask the user base why they aren't commenting more. There may be something dropping their comments or otherwise getting in their way.