Thursday, September 10, 2009

I want to be a hub

Disqus users such as myself are well aware that Disqus recently upgraded their service. Giannii highlighted one aspect of the upgrade:

Disqus Profile is not another social media account. Rather it’s the universal management tool for commenters and the most efficient way to integrate all your different online identities.

Under Connections you can pre-authenticate your Twitter, Facebook, or Open ID and reblog your comments across multiple services such as Tumblr, Wordpress, Movable Type, and Typepad.

This is a powerful capability...which is why just about everybody is doing it. Despite what Giannii claims, Disqus is, in a sense, just another social media account.

Just to cite a semi-similar example, look at SocialToo. I use the free set of services that SocialToo provides, including its capability (SocialToo Status) to post a message on my personal Facebook wall, on the Facebook walls of my various Facebook fan clubs, and on my Twitter account. Here's an example of a tweet that was generated in Facebook and passed via SocialToo to Twitter.

And I can also use FriendFeed as a front-end to Twitter, and I can use Twitter to populate FriendFeed, and my Google Reader stuff goes to FriendFeed, and my posts from Blogger automatically go to FriendFeed, Twitter, AND Facebook.

This is basically the new version of the same thing that's been happening since there were real bugs in computers - namely, everyone's trying to be THE HUB where you spend your time. Do you spend your time in FriendFeed? Facebook? Disqus? Twitter? Somewhere else?

In the end, it's a battle for mindshare, and in some cases advertising revenue. For example, if you use SocialToo to send Facebook content to Twitter, then you are spending your time in Facebook, viewing Facebook ads. Facebook likes that. Now perhaps my Disqus profile isn't monetized yet, but it would be very easy for Disqus to slap some ads on the page, or sell some special services to augment my Disqus experience.

P.S. Yes, the title of this post is a play on a Steve Taylor song title.
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