I have been busy preparing for HealthCampDC on 2010-11-12. To host pages about the event I decided to try out Google Sites (http://bit.ly/hcdc10site). We find Google Docs really useful for creating an online version of the wall at a HealthCamp event so I wanted to test the integration between Google Docs and Google Sites.
In setting up the HealthCamp site (http://healthca.mp)I had already attempted to integrate a UserVoice forum. The only downside was having to pre-define a space on the page for the widget. The problem with uservoice is that the at rest widget is a small tab. When clicked it opens a much larger page. I therefore resorted to just using a hyperlink to the Uservoice forum to allow people to post suggestions for HealthCampDC.
When looking at the Disqus problem I managed to add Disqus commenting to my Google Sites pages by doing the following.
- Goto Disqus and setup your site
- Goto the Google Gadget Editor and open the Hello World! example Gadget.
- Replace the Hello World code (between the CDATA[[ ]] sections) with the code in sections 1 and 2 of the Universal Code from Disqus.
- Use Save As to save the Gadget with a different name e.g. Disqus.xml
- Click on the file name you used in the top right of the editor. It will open the xml in a separate window or tab in your browser.
- Copy the URL of the Gadget from the browser window.
- Go to the page on your site where you want to add Comments.
- Edit the page and go to the bottom of the page.
- Choose Insert...More Gadgets
- Click on Add gadget by URL and paste the Gadget URL in to the address box.
- Set the height of the gadget to approximately 650 pixels and choose "include scrollbars on gadget when necessary"
- Save the configuration
- Save your page
This is not perfect but at 650 pixels any dialog boxes used by Disqus appear inside the gadget. With the right configuration this combination of Disqus and Google Sites lets you allow comments from anyone. Visitors can even use their facebook, twitter, Disqus, OpenID or Yahoo accounts to identify themselves when leaving comments.
If Disqus would tweak the layout in their code slightly this is not a bad solution. Some of the prompts for the settings and other menus that appear to the top right hand section of the Disqus layout get cutoff but that is really a minor niggle.