JS-Kit's Real-Time Commenting Widget Echo Captures The Pulse Of Comments On The Web

Comments are taking on a life of their own now as Facebook Connect and other modes of commenting communication become increasingly popular. Comments are evolving into what some say are “social gestures,” instead of conventional comments and these gestures are taking place all over the web, not just on a publisher’s site. Just look at the amount of reTweets a popular TechCrunch article gets on Twitter-it can reach into the thousands. JS-Kit, a company that offers an array of Javascript-based commenting, polling, and ratings widgets, is launching a new commenting product at TechCrunch’s Real-Time Stream CrunchUp that is designed to change the way users comment and the way publishers interact with comments. Echo, JS-Kit’s real-time streaming commenting widget, aggregates any Tweets, Diggs, or FriendFeed updates that a commenter is making about a webpage and pulls it into the stream. Here’s the live stream feed of the event.

I had the opportunity to demo the widget and it’s pretty cool. Echo’s technology will crawls social networks and sites including Twitter, for the url links to an article or post on a site (it even is able to discover shortened urls) and then reassembles the comments from the web into the widget’s real-time stream.

On the flip side, Echo allows hyper distribution from the actual widget itself. The commenting functionality looks exactly like an email. You first identify yourself either as a guest, your Twitter handle, your Facebook profile, your blog, and more. You the are given the option to hyper-distribute your comment to a variety of social net works and sites including Twitter, FriendFeed, Digg and Delicious. JS-Kit hasn’t added Facebook to the distribution channel yet.

JS-Kit’s co-founder and CEO Khris Loux told us that the startup has been using the commenting widget internally for some time now and it has changed the way people interact with comments. He says that the ability to use the widget to make a comment on another social network spreads the conversation and makes it viral. Loux adds that although commenting is updating in real-time in a stream, Echo has intense spam protection, community moderation, and filtering abilities to prevent spam or inappropriate comments from getting through.

This product is sure to bolster JS-Kit’s presence in the commenting widget arena. The startup has been steadily growing, acquiring fellow competitors SezWho and Haloscan over the past year. The company has also developed partnerships with a number of major companies, including Sun and World Now. But JS-Kit faces strong competition from Automattic, which acquired commenting system IntenseDebate, which is being incorporated into incorporated Automattic’s popular blogging platform WordPress.

Here’s the video of the demo of Echo at the Real-Time Stream CrunchUp: