As far as I see the initial adopter of social commenting was Google where they allowed users to comment with their Google profiles. With the introduction of the Facebook connect this became a total madness with many blogger and websites where everyone started to use it, including me which then proved to be unreliable and taking a long time to load. Then came twitter becoming one of the the early followers with many late followers to enter.
Then came the third parties such as DISQUS and IntenseDebate where they combined many of these social commenting providers to give a comprehensive solution with more interactivity and user friendliness. My first choice was IntenseDebete which I noticed an increase in the loading time of my blog after sometime, still the ongoing social commenting madness kept me away from reverting back.
Finally I gave up my love for IntenseDebete and made up my mind to move to DISQUS forgetting about all the difficulties I many face importing the comments and loosing the template I prefer. Even though I could not sync with Google I could import the comments after playing for a while with the exported XML where the Non-English comments didn’t show up correctly and I had to edit it manually before importing to DISQUS. I took IE6 as the base browser for IE as IE6 was always a pain in the web developments I was involved, DISQUS could not even load the main page of my blog on IE6 which was asking me to download the blog, which was quite comical.
My faith on both those platforms was lost and my last decition was to revert back to old school commenting and loose all the comments with these so called interactive and userfriendly commenting plaforms, which actually makes the conversations more complex and difficult rather than making it simple and easy.
Social commenting has its advantages for sure but having that on your blog actually may not give you the same benefit you are expecting because of the poor cross-browser support and heavy loading time and unexpected behaviors. As per my googling the WordPress users are not facing the same deal of difficulties. For me I guess I’m happy with the default commenting with the expectation of the twitter comments integration in to that will happen soon.
Some Related Links with comparisons:
http://tech.mahesha.com/ | IntenseDebate or Disqus?
http://www.lessannoyingsoftware.com/ | Disqus vs. IntenseDebate – Why we switched
http://www.gabrielkoen.com | Intense Debate vs. Disqus
Update: (14th January 2011)
This was written when I was using Blogger, now I have moved to WordPress. After doing my R&D for a while I figured out that most do prefer DISQUS over IntenseDebate for WordPress. No need to play around as most of the WordPress users have done that for you already so I have also moved to DISQUS.
I can sync the comments to my database (to WordPress) and keep them with DISQUS also and it seamlessly integrated with WordPress to access via the admin panel. The advantage I see is that most of the content related to the comments are actually stored somewhere else and the load to the hosing servers will be lesser by client scripting handling the load.