Co.mments has announced this morning that it will cease operations at the end of the week, one month before its 3rd anniversary online. The service was at one time reviewed favorably compared to similar services that have gone on to be acquired or funded by investors. A respectable number of users quickly bemoaned the decision in comments on the company blog.Conversation tracking service
Thousands of services are launched online every year and only a small number of those prove to have as much longevity. Today's new paradigm trailblazer will often be tomorrow's dead-end hassle for its developer. Such is the nature of a rapidly iterating web and such is the fate of Co.mments.
Co.mments had some trouble differentiating itself from competitors, but with the acquisition of IntenseDebate by WordPress parent company Automattic, the widespread popularity of Disqus, the innovation and war chest of JS-Kit and the hip new entrant Backtype, this market is as crowded as ever. Co.mments was compared most to CoComment when it launched; that company recently announced a partnership with JS-Kit.
There's a reason why so many people start comment tracking companies - online comments are filled with valuable user data and there's a compelling human element to keeping track of responses to what you've said on blogs. It's not hard to imagine Facebook Connect owning this space within a year, though. We're cheering, none the less, for open standards in the portable identity, data and contacts sphere.
Co.mments hasn't announced any plan for users to export their data. Update: The company just posted instructions on how to export your tracking data.