Using FriendFeed for Blog Comments

So I’ve redesigned. It was time: there’s just so much purple a fellow can take. The new el-studio.com brings you all sorts of good stuff:

The GitHub guys made me do it. A couple of months ago they introduced GitHub Pages, which can publish a git repository online on their servers. On the way, GitHub Pages runs my posts through Jekyll, which translates my textile text into html.

Sadly, this is goodbye to Textpattern – for my personal blog at least. Textpattern is great, and I’ve got clients who love it. But I use git for version control anyway, so being able to go from text editor to git, saves me some steps. And I can leave the servers and publishing to GitHub.

There are tradeoffs, though. Jekyll produces static html, so I had to find another way of handling blog comments. Fortunately, there are now a couple of options that work by JavaScript alone. I tested Disqus, which works fine. Intense Debate would probably work, too.

These days, though, I’m spending time on FriendFeed – which has lively discussion of all sorts of web content. So I looked into bringing FriendFeed comments over to this blog. Turns out that with the FriendFeed API, that’s quite possible, even by JavaScript. I’ll save the tech details for another post, but here’s what my code does:

  • We show all FriendFeed items that link to a particular post. There can be more than one of these, we show them all
  • Each FriendFeed thread can have many comments. We show all of those, too
  • A link connects to the thread on FriendFeed, which is where folks must go to comment
  • While anybody can read comments, but to add one, you’d need a FriendFeed login
  • FriendFeed accepts FaceBook, Google or Twitter logins, though, so we’ll see how big a hurdle this proves to be

This is one way of dealing with comment fragmentation. While discussion may still be spread across multiple sites, we can see much of it – at least for folks on FriendFeed.

My big question is how well this will work for folks who don’t use FriendFeed.

Try it out, and let me know how it works for you.