Seesmic expands video comments through Disqus

Bambi Francisco Roizen · May 14, 2008 · Short URL:

Pretty soon, video commenting will be a requisite feature on traditional media sites. And, Seesmic - in partnership with Disqus - hopes to be that underlying platform.  

Seesmic, a video Twitter with aspirations to be a 'worldwide talkshow in video, and Disqus, a hoster and aggregator of comments across blogs, are partnering in Seesmic's effort to be the video commenting platform across publishing sites. Disqus, a two-person team co-founded by Daniel Ha last year, hosts comments for 13,000 blogs, including my personal Bambi.blogs, as of yesterday. (Thanks Daniel for helping set that up on TypePad).  

It's a good partnership as Seesmic, which has $6 million in funding from some high-profile angels, like Ron Conway, seeks to ramp up its user base, which now stands at 15,000. As Seesmic CEO and founder Loic Le Meur will tell you himself, at this point, it's all about getting users, users, users! He's determined to reach 1 million, though he won't commit to a date he thinks he'll reach that milestone. (Watch Loic's Seesmic pitch in this video.)  

Given that the site is invite-only, once he opens it up officially in mid-June, I'm sure the adoption rate will accelerate, especially with partners like Disqus. By partnering with Disqus, all of Disqus members will automatically be part of Seesmic. That could be 100,000 new users immediately. Daniel says that he has an active commentator base of 100,000. An active user is someone who comments in the past seven days. Moreover, Disqus' approach to getting new users is pretty clever. Partner with the most active blogs that generate dialogue and claim users commenting as your own.

Both Loic and Daniel stopped by the Vator studios to talk about their partnership, and just to give me an update on their companies. Watch that informal interview on Seesmic's Vator company profile.  Since Loic and I first spoke, activity has ramped up. Loic says that doing a Webcam post is acually easier than writing a post. Indeed, sometimes, people actually prefer to hit "record," look in a camera, and talk. They're probably not as intimidated? Loic says that Seesmic sees one video posted per minute. That equates to 60 per hour, or 1,440 per day. And, the videos are actually kind of fun to watch, and definitely easy to create. I did one in a minute. 

I knew about Seesmic, but this was really my first introduction to Disqus, which Daniel says is just a year old, with $500,000 raised from some angels, such as Fred Wilson. Daniel and his partner do all the coding, with a third person soon to come on board. It's pretty impressive what Disqus has done in the past year. Already, his platform hosts 10,000 comments per day, which on average generate five to seven million pageviews. 

That's pretty impressive. But here's a concern for large publishers: Do you really want to lost those comments?  Sure, some of those off-the-cuff or irrelevant comments are like the tons of video clips on the editing floor. There's a reason, they're there. They don't add value to the finished piece. Dialogue or comments are a lot like watching CSPAN. It's not all good. But it's informative and entertaining for the passionate few. Still, some of the comments can be the best part of the entire dialogue, including the post that started it.

So, there's a trade-off when opting to use Disqus to host the comments. 

The upshot is the network effect.  For instance, Daniel Ha posted a comment on Vator. If Disqus hosted Vator's comments, then his comment on Vator would be published on Daniel's Disqus' profile and viewable by an entirely new audience. Daniel becomes a window or doorway into Vator via his comments. So, that's the upside. 

By integrating the video comment feature, Loic will be amassing a bunch of video commentary in a library.  He'll be one step closer to reaching his goals: Creating a worldwide talkshow, starting with the powering of video commentary thousands of blogs at a time. 


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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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