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!