London based uberVU is about to launch a discussion-tracking product that will aggregate comments, Twitters, FriendFeed comments, trackbacks and other information about any URL (like a blog post) on the Internet.
There’s real demand for this. Any given blog post, for example, may have lots of comments and trackbacks (links from other blogs discussing the post). But the conversation can soon splinter off as side discussions spring up on Twitter, FriendFeed, or other blogs. uberVU aggregates all that discussion (even trackbacks on trackbacks, for example), and presents it via a threaded interface both on its site and via an API. The company is also creating plugins for various blogging platforms, allowing users to easily pull the conversation back to the original posts.
This is an area that startups have experimented with for years, either aggregating by user or by URL. CoComment was an early attempt at aggregating unique user comments across sites (Disqus, SezWho, JS-Kit, Intense Debate and BackType are more recent examples). Less has been done on aggregating discussions around a specific story or URL, but FriendFeed’s API allows publishers to pull in specific FriendFeed comments on a story, and Quotably has tried to aggregate Twitter discussions (it is now deadpooled).
uberVU is distinctly different from anything that’s come before, however, and may go a long way towards organizing the discussion mess we’re in now. It’s in private beta now, but you can sign up on their home page to get an invitation.
UberVu is a Seedcamp startup.