Tired: Bloggers New Hotness: Commenters

    February 14, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Blogging is easy to start and hard to sustain. Perhaps the next rise in consumer-generated media will come from those who provide the conversations that most blogs seek.

The debut of CoComment and the subsequent buzz about the service highlights what could be the next wave of user-created media.

Call it the coming of the commenters. What CoComment will eventually do once it opens for public use is permit the tracking of what one says on blogs. The site explains more about the concept:

Display all the comments you make (across) the blogosphere on your own blog. In one easy step you can show your readers where you’ve been commenting recently. Don’t lose the value you create on other’s blogs, benefit from it!

I actually had a blog entry from Valleywag in the back of my mind when I suggested to my fellow writers the next big thing in consumer-generated media would not be a blogger, but a sort-of meta-commenter.

“What’s the business model for that?” one of them sneered. And then I remembered the CoComment chatter.

To use a boxing term, some people are counterpunchers. Throw the straight right and the counterpuncher slips it and delivers a crushing left hook to the body. Without the first punch, the response doesn’t have an opening. But with an opening, watch out.

For many people, writing works the same way, much like the old BASF commercials that said how they didn’t make the product, they made it better. Comedian Bob Zany gets a lot of mileage out of his Fix The Joke feature, where people can look at jokes he’s written and suggest improvements, with the best ones getting a moment of fame and some nice parting gifts from Zany and the Bob and Tom radio program.

Will bloggers, particularly the so-called “A-list,” approve of such a model? There shouldn’t be a problem with that, as many sites support TrackBacks today. Functionally, trackbacks and comments are pretty similar; their main difference comes from trackbacks being generated by a blog entry in response to a post on another blog.

CoComment and whatever competitors follow should look better than a trackback on a blog. They will have to, in order to develop a following. Maybe the next A-lister will be a comment ninja, slipping into and out of blog quickly and quietly while laying the groundwork for someone to follow him or her back to the meta-comment site and the revenue opportunities posted there.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.