Vator Box


A look at aggregated perspectives

CBS Interactive Mike Marquez is our guest host; Disqus, Trusted Opinion

Innovation series by Bambi Francisco Roizen
June 1, 2008 | Comments (8)
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/26e




There's no question about it. Comments do more to enhance than take away from an article. “Comments are rapidly part of the content… The more people contribute through a comment, the more valuable the entire piece,” according to Vator regular Ezra Roizen. “Comments in and of themselves are valuable… I like anything that helps enhance community and engagement,” said Mike Marquez, our guest host for this week’s Vator Box. Mike is the head of M&A for CBS Interactive. Given both Ezra’s and Mike’s favorable views on the phenomena of comments, it’s not surprising that they liked Disqus, one of the companies discussed on this week’s Vator Box. Disqus hosts comments across 15,000 blogs, and recently integrated Seesmic’s technology to support video comments across its partner sites. The company competes with coComment and SezWho. (Read related stories: Long live comments and The new genre: Comments.

The next company we zeroed in on was Trusted Opinion, which calls itself a social recommendation engine. Trusted Opinion competes to some extent with Wize, Bazaar Voice, Retrevo (for electronics), Flixster (for movies), Yelp (for local) and Aggregate Knowledge, which makes recommendations based on behavior. We all agreed that discovering and learning about new places or things to buy is often best discovered through friends. To that end, there is utility in Trusted Opinion. But the business model and scaling is a big challenge, according to Mike and Ezra.

Note: As always, I'm not going to give away all the commentary in the video. Please watch and let us know where we were off. Again, Vator Box is more about starting a dialogue than it is about giving you expert analysis - though we try! Also, please let us know which companies you'd like us to review!


This Episode of VatorBox Sponsored By:


joaquin pochat, on June 2, 2008

Thanks for the post, another interesting piece on the comment aggregating industry, and thanks for mentioning cocomment as a player as well.


Danny McGowan
Danny McGowan, on June 2, 2008

in the card game of comments "the wisdom of the experts always beats a full crowd." comments will become so intense in the future that everyone will be on a grading scale 24 hours a day 7 days a week. get ready for open social radically transparent human comment rankings. in the future everyone will have a online comment score just like we have a fico score today. http://www.ReputationLocator.com

Bambi Francisco Roizen, on June 3, 2008

Thanks, Joaquin
Do you agree or disagree with our analysis?

Aylon Steinhart
Aylon Steinhart, on June 3, 2008

An interesting company you guys might want to review is AdYouNet (http://www.adyounet.com/). I like the ideas they are going with and would love to see what you guys think about it.

Jacob Mullins, on June 4, 2008

We, at VentureBeat, are currently using Disqus.

Commenting as a whole is a very powerful way of understanding your readership and what they want. Additionally, commenting turns your blog from a "media outlet" to a discussion forum where you get some fascinating thoughts and points of view which only add to the richness of the experience.

As for monetization....interesting question. We're in the world of the "free" business model, so forcing people to pay for commenting systems would be a shot in the foot. I'm going to have to think about this one...

Bambi Francisco Roizen, on June 4, 2008

Thanks, Jacob. Commenting is definitely powerful. And, I do believe they significantly enhance an article. The big question these days is who owns those comments. That's the discussion going on over at Intense Debate. On that site, they ask whether the commenter, publisher or both own the comments. I think the publisher owns the content since they're providing the forum. But I think that may change or be tweaked in the future. I do agree with Brad Feld that there should be a comment etiquette - that is no one should edit their comments. That's not cool. On Vator we don't edit anyone's comments. We will disable inappropriate comments though.

Sid Mohasseb
Sid Mohasseb, on June 5, 2008

I 100% agree with the group’s analysis. Also, it is not about aggregation, it is about relevance and timeliness – and those are difficult to achieve. The winners are those who can build applications that takes aggregation to the next level of usability.

One of our portfolio Companies (www.WiseWindow.com) has built an open access platform that may be useful for all the folks that are interested in building applications around sentiments and attributes of qualitative information: reviews, blogs, message boards and also internal corporate data. Sid

Demian Entrekin
Demian Entrekin, on June 8, 2008

See my discussion on this topic here: http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/pm/ppm/archives/comment-on-comments-25230

john le, on September 29, 2008

This interview hits home for the folks at Artiklz as comments in the blogging and social media space converge to become one stream of conversation across the extended Internet! Since the introduction of commenting capabilities to blogging platforms and websites, there has been much dislocation and fragmentation of comments on the web. This has resulted in the lack of dynamic conversations from igniting into full-fledged conversations, where ideas and views are exchanged. My personal take on a good blogging platform is one where the publisher’s post act as a moderator or catalyst and the readers of the blog or website are participants in a panel. The real value of the blog or website then becomes how effective the moderator or the platform is at creating an environment where they promote these exchanges and hence the continuity of conversations. Unfortunately, this is where the current breakdown occurs. Enter Artiklz, a platform to “disaggregate” (to borrow Mike Marquez’ buzz word) and bring relevance and context to the comments being made and thereby creating a catalyst to drive conversation. I’ve provided a demo link to our initial alpha widget for publishers/bloggers to try out. Bambi, give it a whirl and let us know your feedback.


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