Fav.or.it: Automatic commenting for the people

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Fav.or.it Finally Opens Beta To Take RSS And Commenting Mainstream

Feeds and commenting aggregator fav.or.it has finally come out of the door into public beta, with a large number of new features aimed at simplifying interaction with news sites and blogs. Having realised that the site was being misinterpreted as a feed-reader in the style of, say, Google Reader, founder Nick Halstead has now focused on the core goal of making feed reading and commenting as user-friendly and mass market as is humanly possible. So RSS reader afficionados will be dissapointed by Fav.or.it, but then it is not aimed at them, and that’s worth keeping in mind. The original idea, of Fav.or.it – the ability to comment on stories and have the comment appear both on the site and the originating blog – remains, thus making commenting pretty simple. (Halstead explains more in a video I shot last week, below)

The question is, whether people well served by un-tailored news sites like Google News actually know that they want or need something more sophisticated. But certainly, Fav.or.it’s desire to make commenting on blogs a mainstream activity is a laudible one. And if you want to send a comment via your Twitter account, that’s possible too.

Fav.or.it has also made it possible to aggregate your IDs from a large range of services. You can add your IDs from Twitter, FriendFeed, or OpenID, amongst others. Perhaps the closest this comes to the mainstream is Blogger, though they say more are to come.

As promised when I first wrote about Fav.or.it in October last year (some months before the launch of the private beta) the site uses Javascript to gauge how long you read a post, which is very useful data (assuming you don’t just leave the browser open while making a coffee, of course) and they can tell if a window is open longer than would be reasonable to read a post. You can also vote stories up and down. Fav.or.it uses this data to start suggesting items it thinks you’ll like.

There are 2,000 feeds inside Fav.or.it, with 3,000 more to come, but Fav.or.it will add the feeds, not you. Interestingly there is also human powered search in that if you disagree with the category or tags that a particular post has, you can change it. If the community agrees then it gets changed.

What about the copyright of feeds? If content is marked as non-commercial Fav.or.it only shows excerpts. Feed owners can embed advertising into their feeds and Fav.or.it will display these without any alteration.

Developed using the Zend Framework on PHP, they have managing to build a pretty big product with just three developers – rather more than competitor Wikio with 34 people. Wikio’s main pitch is that it is indexing news sites and blogs and majors on new product reviews. It’s a sort of Google News meets Kelkoo meets Digg. Fav.or.it suffers from no such confusion and has developed a pretty amazing system, which is closer to putting the heat on other commenting systems like CoComment, SezWho, Tangler, Disqus and Intense Debate.

  • http://www.opensocket.org Dan Lester

    Congrats to Nick!

    My concern is there’s a contradiction between making something that’s deliberately aimed at a subset of blog users, and at the same time trying to build a standard in commenting systems which would be more likely to be adopted if it had universal reach.

    Would the first goal – of bringing blogs to the masses – be better supported by adopting an existing commenting system (Disqus perhaps) instead?

  • http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/17/favorit-finally-opens-beta-to-take-rss-and-commenting-mainstream/ Fav.or.it Finally Opens Beta To Take RSS And Commenting Mainstream

    […] and commenting aggregator fav.or.it has finally come out of the door into public beta, reports TechCrunch UK. It has a large number of new features aimed at simplifying interaction with news sites and blogs. […]

  • http://scrumster.com/alfabetic/2008/06/17/favorit-finalmente-se-abre-la-beta-para-tener-rss-y-comentar-mainstream/ Alfabetic » Blog Archive » Fav.or.it finalmente se abre la beta para tener RSS y comentar Mainstream

    […] y comentar agregador fav.or.it finalmente ha salido de la puerta en beta pública, los informes TechCrunch UK . Cuenta con un gran número de nuevas características destinadas a simplificar la interacción […]

  • Sam Sethi

    I really like favour.it but in order to jump the gap what they need right now is an A-list champion to promote their service. Friendfeed had Scoble, Discus has Fred Wilson and Sessmic has Loic.

    Many of these US based services would not have been so quickly adopted by the blogosphere had they been left to their own devices.

    Maybe Favour.it needs someone like Paul Walsh or Mike Butcher to heavily promote and endorse them to widely to his various audiences.

  • http://fav.or.it Nick Halstead


    Disqus are partners of ours, and as they grow will continue to support their efforst. But our platform already supports 40+ million blogs which dwarfs anyone else, although we only aggregate 2000 feeds right now, that will grow quickly, and you can bet on seeing some more API announcments in a few weeks.

    Mike has always been a great advocate, but now the service is launched I will be moving away from my technical role and getting back to my ‘blogger roots’ and getting the message out.

  • http://www.veedow.com Fabio

    I think it’s a great thing that favourit is targeting the mainstream audience because too many times I see exciting apps/services/plugins/whatever that are too geeky and techie to get a mainstream adoption.
    If your service is for a niche you can dream to be the ‘next-twitter’ but if your service is mainstream you can dream to be the ‘next-facebook’. What would you choose?

  • http://www.newscred.com Shafqat

    Congrats from the NewsCred team Nick! We share some common goals – bringing the power and benefits of RSS aggregation to the mainstream is definately something we should all strive for. Looking forward to NewsCred and Fav.or.it both succeeding in this space!

    BTW, what do you mean your platform ‘supports 40+ million’ blogs…?

  • http://jp.techcrunch.com/archives/20080617favorit-finally-opens-beta-to-take-rss-and-commenting-mainstream/ TechCrunch Japanese アーカイブ » RSSとコメントをマス市場に~Fav.or.itついにベータ公開

    […] フィードとコメントのアグリゲータ「fav.or.it」のベータ版がやっと一般公開となった。TechCrunch UKが伝えた。 […]

  • Javier

    Yes, not clear on the 40M blogs, have you integrated with them? I am now using one of the mentioned services, cocomment, and am pretty happy. Am curious to see how well it tracks across different blogs.

    Good luck!

  • http://scrumster.com/alfabetic/2008/06/18/favorit-por-ultimo-abre-la-beta-para-tener-rss-y-comentar-mainstream/ Alfabetic » Blog Archive » Fav.or.it Por último abre la beta para tener RSS y comentar Mainstream

    […] y comentar agregador fav.or.it finalmente ha salido de la puerta en beta pública, los informes TechCrunch UK . Cuenta con un gran número de nuevas características destinadas a simplificar la interacción […]

  • http://blog.fav.or.it/2008/06/favorit-post-launch/ fav.or.it | fav.or.it Post Launch

    […] Techcrunch UK […]

  • http://www.nickhalstead.com nick halstead

    Our platform is capable of distributing comments out to 40m blogs

    sent from: fav.or.it [FID197698]

  • http://www.techaddress.com/2008/06/19/video-content-scraping-and-a-new-way-to-make-money-online/ Video: Content Scraping and a New Way To Make Money Online  »TechAddress

    […] opened their doors this week and Techcrunch’s Mike Butcher couldn’t get enough of how great an app it is. Former Techcrunch writer Duncan Riley took the […]

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