H/t to Joel Garry for the AYB reference.
As I mentioned when I enabled the new Disqus Social Media Reactions feature earlier this month, comment aggregation is all the rage with bloggers. Commentary and discussion that used to be centered squarely in the comments on a blog can now happen in a bunch of other places like FriendFeed, Twitter, Digg, Identi.ca, Facebook, etc.
As a blogger, you can’t control where discussion happens, and you probably want to encourage people to talk about your writing wherever they like. Of course, as more services pop up, you have an increasingly hard time keeping up with the mentions.
Sure, we don’t have this problem too badly, but even so, it’s a bit annoying that I can’t see a centralized view of all the conversation out there in the ‘tubes.
Since we already use Disqus, I was psyched to see them release Social Media Reactions to everyone. There’s a catch though.
I’m not sure how the feature got announced as available when it wasn’t, but really? Fail. I’m not entirely surprised, since the FriendFeed integration never worked. I don’t know how many clients Disqus has, but it does seem like a heavy load to crawl all those services for links that could be shortened.
Anyway, it’s a free service, and I still like Disqus. This isn’t a flame, just an observation.
BackType is a YCombinator startup that provides a service called Connect (great name) that aggregates commentary from multiple services. The service was previously available via their site, and the plugin allows a blog to integrate the commentary collected by Connect directly into WordPress comments.
Sounds sweet, but since we use Disqus, not WordPress, for comments. I doesn’t work completely as designed.
It does work though.
I installed the plugin and activated it, and now, I can comments in my Dashboard. Sure, they don’t appear on the post for everyone to see, but this is better than nothing.
Here’s an example of what BackTypes comments look like within WP admin:
The BackType plugin seems to duplicate comments that were entered into WordPress directly, e.g. comments I made on the blog are also indexed back BackType and included. I’ve read a few places that BackType isn’t a replacement commenting system (like Disqus), rather a compliment to the WordPress system. So, there may be a setting to stop that from happening.
It looks like the BackType plugin imports older activity, a bonus feature.
Browsing through the comment logs, I found this exchange in FriendFeed comments around my IE6 post, or more accurately, John’s comment on that post. Ironically, the service on FriendFeed that provided the content was Disqus.
Now, if I cared about traffic here, this would irritate me. In a perfect world, or in 2005, John’s comment here would have driven all those other people here too. No Disqus. No FriendFeed.
Of course, they’d have to find the content first. So, services like Twitter and FriendFeed simultaneously help bloggers broadcast content and make them chase the reactions.
Bit of a Catch-22.
What do you think? Do you care if your content gets discussed other places? Do you aggressively track mentions on other services? If you comment, do you think about where the best conversation is?
Find the comments here if you want my opinion 😉