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backgound

I've been using Disqus and intense debate as a 'comments' service for a variety of my sites to great effect and love the fact that i get alot of the facebook/twitter integration 'for free', as well as the SEO benefits.

request

To this end, does anyone out there know of similar services that can be used to pull entire forums/threaded discussions into the app in a similar fashion (i.e. via ajax webservices). google has been at a loss to turn anything up on this front and i'm therefore wondeing if it's unlikely that such a 'service' exists.

respect

hope this stikes a chord out there...

btw - altho using this in asp.net mvc, I'm aware that this technology could be used on any platform capable of consuming javascript via ajax, thus the wide spread of 'tags'.

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And if someone doesn't have JavaScript what are you going to do? –  John Conde Feb 14 '11 at 14:01
    
Is Javascript an actual requirement here? Some forum apps can be integrated by doing a direct include of a template file, for example. –  Su' Feb 14 '11 at 16:14
    
Su, no not a requirement. it was just a thought as i mulled over the way that i was using disqus etc. what was your thinking?? –  jim Feb 14 '11 at 16:30
    
John - i should have explained straight off that it kinda was a javascript solution that i was wondering about - semi academically, semi cluelessly :-) –  jim Feb 14 '11 at 16:33
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 14 '11 at 13:50

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2 Answers

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Are you asking for a hosted forum that can be integrated into your site via JavaScript? Because it's unlikely that such a service exists.

The reason that there are services like Disqus and IntenseDebate is because this content/service model makes sense for page comments. You already have a site full of content organized into pages and managed via a CMS of your choice. Page comments are just discussions paired to a particular page. Therefore, each comment thread has a corresponding page to be embedded in. So it's easy to tack on a commenting system that simply attaches the discussion thread to the page via JavaScript. And the comment system can be separately managed from your main site content.

With a forum or messageboard, your main content are the actual forum posts. The page structure is therefore dictated by how the forum is sectioned and the forum threads created. Without the forum sections/threads, there's no page structure. You're not embedding the forum messages into pre-existing pages. So it makes no sense to create a hosted forum that you embed via JavaScript. Where would you embed it? How would users bookmark or link to a specific section or discussion? What would be left to manage with your CMS?

An embeddable hosted forum just doesn't make sense. The logical way to offer a hosted forum service is to just host a regular forum that webmasters can redirect to or point a subdomain to. This doesn't require users to have JavaScript enabled just to use a messageboard, and it allows the forum software to create its own page structure.

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Lèse - point well made, +1 –  jim Feb 14 '11 at 16:30
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Vanilla has an embed plugin that works via a script tag.

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Su' - looks interesting, tho just wondering if this is embedded via an iframe or similar. also, the js integration possibly isn't so great on SEO i suppose –  jim Feb 14 '11 at 16:32
    
It uses an iframe, pretty much necessarily. And yes, that impacts search. This is part of why I asked if JS was actually a requirement above. If you need your forum content to actually appear in-page somehow, then you need to look for a forum app that allows direct embedding, not this JS method. –  Su' Feb 14 '11 at 17:24
    
ok Su' - thanks for the clarification. i'll update with any thoughts/findings as and when they fall on me :) –  jim Feb 14 '11 at 17:36
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