Once in a while, you encounter a startup that jumps out because it’s such a stimulating concept.
BackType falls into this category. Dubbed the “Twitter of Comments”, BackType allows you to follow people that leave comments on blogs, also as look for comments about people, trends, companies, etc.
The reason it’s so intriguing is I’m trying to work out which feature will resonate more with users. To me, the search should be the “killer app” because it’s such a fertile opportunity that you simply could easily see many of us use to collect information, entertainment, etc.
In the wake of BackType’s successful debut, I fired off five inquiries to co-founder Chris Golda about the corporate and his involvement – alongside co-founder Michael Montano – with Y Combinator.
1. Are you able to mention the origins of BackType? What opportunity did you see and/or problems you’re looking to solve?
Our last start-up, IPartee, wasn’t doing well so we decided to return up with something new and apply for Y Combinator. We spent every week brooding about problems we’d been experiencing and existing solutions if any. The matter we had was that although we used Twitter, blogs, social networks, etc. to follow many insightful and interesting people, there were no thanks to following their comments. an individual might find something they read online very interesting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll write an entire blog post about it – instead, they comment.
It’s interesting to ascertain what people find worthy enough to discuss. In fact, what’s surprised us about BackType is that it’s an excellent tool for content discovery. Now I can find and skim the blogs that folks (that I’m interested in) discuss. Additionally, searching for comments by the author, searching by topic has shown to be very valuable also so we plan on doing tons more thereupon. We see tons of opportunity in comments; what you see on BackType.com is what we’ve started with.
2. Why does one think BackType is going to be embraced or resonate with blog writers/readers?
I think tons of individuals experience equivalent problems or hold an equivalent curiosity we do with reference to comments. Comments are often more interesting than the content they’re written in response to, but they don’t receive nearly the maximum amount of attention. we would like to spotlight a number of those comments and comment authors for the thoughts, insights, and perspectives they share. Attributing comments to their authors and giving them a home where they will be discovered, followed and shared help.
I think discussions are fragmenting and moving to services like FriendFeed and Twitter because that’s where people can find, follow and share them. Also, through BackType and a number of other things we’re performing on, we would like to assist bloggers to do great things with their blog’s comments and reward them if they need a lively community of readers.
Technorati Tags: BackType, blogs, comments
3. How does one answer the suggestion you’re scraping comments to create a business? Is it really anything different than Techmeme is doing, for example?
I don’t desire there’s anything wrong with what we’re doing. It’s very almost like what Google does, or as you suggest, Techmeme. I can find all of my comments on Google – it’s just that they’re on page 423843 and seemingly irrelevant. That’s because Google is organizing the world’s information. BackType organizes the knowledge in comments.
We’re getting to be very transparent about what we’re doing, especially with bloggers and other content owners. I feel it’s important to notice that we aren’t simply duplicating discussion from blogs, etc. BackType indexes comment so we will build additional value through search, also as attributing comments to their authors. On every comment, we link the blog or content owner in three places and encourage users to reply to comments at their original source.
4. As a part of the Y Combinator family, what quite an insight, if any, did you get from Disqus, which also plays within the comment market?
Y Combinator was a really intense experience for us, mainly because we started our product from scratch just weeks before we moved to Boston. We had little or no time to create BackType, both the service and its underlying technology. So, unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to figure with Disqus yet, although we do support Disqus-enabled blogs. We love what Disqus has finished blog comments – it really does improve the discussion and their new reblog feature helps highlight comments and comment authors. We support what they’re doing and hope to figure closely with them within the near future.
5. Finally (and you recognize I even have to ask!), what’s the business model?
Right now, we’re focused on building a useful service that makes value for our users. Once we start trying to capture value, it’ll be through with a service or feature that’s scarce enough to charge for.