Home Echo Unleashes the Masses with Real-Time Comment Widget

Echo Unleashes the Masses with Real-Time Comment Widget

It was just a year ago that Khris Loux – then CEO of JS-Kit – declared the “death of the comment” at the hand of websites like Twitter and Flickr, announcing his venture with Echo. Today, it looks like Loux has changed his tune as Echo is announcing its real-time recent comments widget, a simple add-on that brings real-time, dynamic content to static webpages.

We have to wonder, however, if everything should go real-time, or if some things should be kept on a delay.

According to blog post, which shows off the new tool, the widget provides a real-time view of comments, tweets, diggs and “other social reactions from across the Web”.

The stream includes Comments, Tweets and other social reactions from across the web. Each reaction is displayed with the visitor’s avatar, linkable title to the article, the first few lines of the comment, and the source of the content (E.g. Echo, Twitter, etc.)

The widget is designed to be displayed on site sidebars and on home pages. It continues our mission to turn static web pages into vibrant real-time experiences, driving Facebook style engagement on our publisher sites.

While we are always interested in the Web’s continuing movement toward real-time interaction, we have to ask – is this something that publishers really want? Prominently displaying the latest comments on the front page of your website may promote reader involvement and interaction, but previewing each comment and tweet may inadvertantly put comment spam and other questionable content front and center. It seems that some settings are available to the publisher, such as choosing specific website sections to display comments from, but is there also a moderation feature? While this would make the service a little less than real time, it might prevent a focus on undesired content.

Static home pages may, indeed, “fail to show the vibrant, community activity on a site”, but they offer a whole lot more control. Real-time display of user created content, however, offers a whole lot less.

We realize, of course, that we have a “recent comments” feature on our own home page, but the distinct difference here is that is shows that a comment was made with a link to the article. It does not immediately publish the contents of the comment directly to the front page.

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