Primarily because of Twitter, information flow is now virtually instantaneous. And while that’s great, it can make it more challenging for Web publishers and Blogs (such as StarkSilverCreek) to stay in the game. How came we drive some of that conversation to the Web site, and increase engagement? In other words, how do we new media players remain new.
The guys at JS-Kit, a start-up I met at BlogWorld a few years back, are onto something. They’re focused on wiring the web into real-time streams for content, enabling publishers to deploy and manage them from their own sites. As they say: comments are dead.
At a press call this morning CEO Khris Loux made a few announcement that indicate the company is now laser-focused on this relatively new, strategic direction. Most importantly, they’ve changed their company name from the must-have-been-named-by-a-developer JS-Kit to ah-someone-from-marketing-is-now-involved Echo. Smart move.
I think the name is perfect. It reflects their purpose well: enabling a site like StarkSilverCreek.com, for example, to send out “signals” (we have new content!) to the Web 2.0 world, then draw people in to real-time conversations that are captured where rusty, static comments used to appear.
An early group of tier 1 publishers use Echo including Discovery Channel (news), Dow Jones, Hearst Digital News and Technorati. Also, in an example of “an extreme long tail,” Loux said that about a dozen publishers, with 10-20M uniques/month, represent approximately 98-99% of all Echo traffic.
We use JS-Kit for the Loreto Guide hosted on starkinsider.com. I’ve been piloting it for the main SSC site, which generates the most of our comments. I’m anxious to flip the switch at some point when I feel it’s ready to go here so that we can benefit from the real-time streams and all of the functionality they provide above and beyond stock WordPress.
Competition to Echo include pure play commenting plug-in companies like Disqus and IntenseDebate. However, neither of them appear to be innovating like Echo in the realm of real-time streams. Facebook (and possibly Twitter and Google at some point) is one to watch. They have a commenting plug-in that integrates Web site comments into the Facebook stream. It’s simplistic. But given that it is Facebook, the social network to end all social networks, it can’t be ignored… unless, of course, Echo is looking for an exit in the form of an acquisition.
You can learn more over at the Echo Blog: Announcing a New Brand, Mission and Customers