Blog Comments using GitHub

I’m building this site using Jekyll, the simple, blog-aware, static site generator. While it’s a great tool overall, it comes with a major drawback when it comes to blogging: There’s no out-of-the-box support for comments. Some folks even maintain the view that a blog without comments is not a blog.

I’ve been searching for a reasonable comment system for a while. The most wide-spread solution seems to be to use a third-party service like Disqus. However, this approach is not really an option for me, mostly due to data protection and privacy concerns.

Don Williamson put up a short investigation on how much tracking the use of Disqus involves. Luckily, he directly proposes an enticingly simple solution based on the GitHub issues API:

  1. Each post gets an associated issue on GitHub
  2. Users can leave comments on the post/issue
  3. Some JavaScript pulls the comments from GitHub

The advantages are compelling:

  • No tracking
  • Users keep control over their comments
  • Moderation
  • Markdown support

There are some obvious drawbacks as well. Users need to:

  • Leave the site
  • Have a GitHub account

While this certainly raises the entry burden, it also provides some protection against comment spam. Anyway, I’m gonna give it a try.

Thanks to Dave Compton for providing a Jekyll reference implementation.

Now, feel free to leave a comment below.

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