August 27, 2008

BackType Goes Forward With Comment Tracker and Search

A little over two weeks ago, I reported on Disqus' platform updates, which brought new features, including the ability to show a "comment blog" that displays all your comments on the platform from around the Web. Today, a new service called BackType has opened up to go beyond Disqus, finding my comments (and yours) from many different commenting platforms and assigning them to a single stream. The service also lets you follow other BackType users, and search across the BackType community to find popular topics of discussion, no matter which blog, or which commenting engine, they take place on.

BackType Shows Comments from Those You Follow Around the Web

At times, reader comments can be just as thought provoking, if not more so, than the original author's blog post. Disqus made some noise this week with the introduction of the ability to "reblog" comments as individual posts, and last month, Fred Wilson of A VC openly wondered if there would come a time when comments were treated equally with posts on popular news aggregators, like Techmeme.

You Can Search BackType for Comments that Contain Keywords

With comments carrying so much weight, it's no wonder some bloggers are up in arms when they've seen their comments move to RSS feed readers or social media sites. But to date, no single service has given comments equal weight, until the arrival of BackType.

You Can Select People to Follow on BackType

When you register for BackType, you can add your blog, or your page on popular comment engines, like Disqus. You can also click on the "People" tab to see the most followed users of BackType, see their commenting frequency, and click through to see their activity. A few BackType users of note, at launch, include Andrew Weissman, Chris Brogan and the aforementioned Fred Wilson. On each person's page, you not only see their most recent comments, but you can also click on the blog icons on the right side of the page to see their comments on specific sites.

Like on Twitter, FriendFeed or other social sites, you can both follow BackType users, or be followed, and you can see the statistics on each user page. Given the site's new status, the most popular people barely break a dozen followers, but I can see how following someone's comment stream could be a lot more rich than their 140-character updates on Twitter.

If you like the idea of a comment blog, you'll really like BackType. If you like seeing what your friends and peers are doing around the Web, in full sentences and paragraphs, not just microupdates, then BackType makes sense as well. You can follow me at