Creating Engaging Discussions

The ability to start your own discussions is new on Disqus. Knowing exactly which topics will spark an interesting discussion can be hard, but we have a few tips for getting off on the right foot. 

Make Sure Your Discussion is Relevant

  • This is the most important thing to keep in mind when starting discussion. If you’re posting to a community about beauty and fashion, make sure you’re talking about beauty or fashion. The same follows for communities about news, movies or puppies. No one visits a politics community to discuss the newest fall lipstick shade.

Ask a Provocative Question

  • While your discussion doesn’t have to be breaking news, it should prompt enough interest to get people to read it in the first place. There’s a lot of content on the Internet, and getting people to click through to read your question is the hardest part! But once you’ve got them hooked, things get a bit easier from there. 

Make the Headline Specific and Clear

  • In addition to making your headline enticing, it should describe, at least in part, what the content of the discussion will be. Cute and punny titles are fun, but when you’re browsing through articles deciding what to read, you want to have some idea of what you’re about to invest your time in (and if it will be worth it to you).Take these two headlines for a discussion about where and when your favorite fashion decade is as an example (we were talking about the 70s in particular). 

Headline: Can You Dig it?
  • This is a bit of an homage to 70s slang, and could be funny to people who recognize that, but it tells you nothing about the discussion. 

Headline: Fashion Time Travel: You, Me and LA in the 70s
  • This headline on the other hand, give you a good sense of the topics you might find in the discussion: fashion from the 70s, and what other people think about it. Can you dig the difference?

Keep It Short and Sweet

  • The meat of the story should be the discussion in the comments. We think hearing about other people’s experiences is one of the coolest and best parts of the web! To jumpstart discussion, keep the discussion starter short and to the point. Anywhere between 2-6 sentences seems to be the sweet spot. Using images as a jumping off point can be a great tactic, too.

Use Good Grammar and Spelling

  • This might seem obvious, but good grammar and spelling are really important (especially in the headline) to get people to join your discussion. Taking a minute to review what you wrote will help you catch silly mistakes!

What Not to Do

  • Don’t use the discussion as an advertisement — people will see right through it. Posting a link to your blog or to a product you partner with will deter people from commenting. They want to talk to authentic people!

 

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