One of the biggest topics in the tech blogosphere at the beginning of this year was ‘comment fragmentation.’ With services like FriendFeed, SocialMedian, Digg, Reddit, and others often creating unconnected conversations around a single blog post, many bloggers felt that they had lost control of their content and the conversation around it. Artiklz, which launched its private alpha test today, wants to put an end to this discussion. The company aggregates comments from a wide range of external sources, including FriendFeed, Digg, Mixx, Reddit, Yahoo Buzz, and Delicious, with more to follow very soon.
For FriendFeed, a number of plugins quickly appeared that allow bloggers to display comments from FriendFeed users on their own blogs, but similar plugins do not exist for most other services.
Artiklz currently directly supports Blogger, TypePad, Movable Type, and self-hosted WordpRess blogs, though you could theoretically install it on any web site. To install it, all you have to do is to sign up and put a short snippet of code into your site’s html code.
If you want to see what comments Artiklz would aggregate for your own blog, you can try this very straightforward demo here (you might have to reload the page before you see your comments).
The basic layout of the Artiklz blog widget is very plain, but you can add your own custom CSS to make it fit in better with the design of your blog.
Tracking and Notification
Another nice feature is Artiklz’ ability to notify you by email, SMS, or instant messenger (only Google Talk and Jabber are currently available) once a new comment is made about your post on any given service.
You can also add a badge to your blog that gives your readers the option to be notified when you post a new article, or when somebody leaves a comment on a given post. You can also track a specific person’s comments across the web.
One feature we really liked about the Artiklz FriendFeed integration is its ability to bring in comments from across FriendFeed, while other plugins often only aggregate comments from the first post on FriendFeed, but ignore those from links shared later on.
We like the fact that Artiklz tries to appeal to both bloggers and readers, and that it supports a very wide range of services. It does not directly compete with JS-Kit, SezWho, or Disqus, as it neither provides any reputation management functions, nor its own commenting or comment management features. Instead, it is squarely focused on aggregating comments.
In our tests, Artiklz performed just as advertised and if you are a blogger and concerned about comment fragmentation, we recommend you give it a try.