At the recent Real-Time CrunchUp 2009, Khris Loux, CEO of one of the web's largest commenting services, announced the
"death of the comment". This declaration was extremely significant as Loux's JS-Kit is currently installed on over 600,000 sites. He blames the death on social media sites like Twitter and Flickr and the rise of "parallel channels away from [the] product". In essence, dialogue has moved from a singular destination to a series of parallel but separate social networking channels.
For those who are widely loved, you'll see this as a blessing. For those who are widely loathed, you'll see the full wrath of the internet in colorful cross-platform commentary. Echo further transcends existing commenting systems with the incorporation of HTML, photo and video. This appears to be a truly amazing tool for mash up contests, political debates and global events.
Loux said, "When Robert Scoble saw this his response was, 'blogging is back'." Scoble's own Building 43 project aggregates comments into the Community 43 page from various social media sources using hashtags. However, where Scoble's community dialogue gets buried as new media comes in, Echo produces a live feed that stays visible with the source material. Chris Saad, VP of Product Strategy and Community, said,"We look for links back to the source page inside tweets/FriendFeed etc and bring in the related conversation - in real time."
This evolving stream of truth (good and bad) is about to stare us in the face every time we visit our pages. It will be interesting to see how this will affect blogging as we know it. Do you think bloggers will elevate their game to gain accolades or simply become gratuitously extreme in order to stir conversation? To reserve an Echo subscription, visit the JS-Kit site.