Web Discussions: Leaving The Instigator Out

I know that this has been discussed in great detail already. And I have a vested interest in this debate with our firm’s investments in the disqus third party comment system and also twitter which is part of the problem. But today I saw something on FriendFeed that really got me thinking. Here’s a picture of it:


My brother, known as Jackson to the blog world, wrote a wonderful post on the rock band Mott The Hoople last week.  I saw it today and posted it to delicious. Which resulted in it showing up in my FriendFeed.

And the good news is that a bunch of people saw that post that would have never seen it otherwise. A few went to Blogger and left a comment for Jackson. And a bunch left comments on FriendFeed that Jackson will never see and never reply to. And he also won’t see Robert’s compliment which I know he’d appreciate.

So here’s the deal. Jackson instigated the conversation with that post. His reward is the comments it generates. That’s how bloggers get paid. And he’s not getting his due on this one.

It’s sort of my fault because I posted it to delicious and got the conversation going elsewhere. It’s also sort of the fault of the people who left comments on FriendFeed and not Jackson’s blog.

But mostly it’s the fault of the web services for not figuring out how to work together. Some have. Twitter and FriendFeed pass updates and replies back and forth. That’s good. Disqus passes blog comments to FriendFeed but I don’t think FriendFeed passes comments back to Disqus. If not, they should. And FriendFeed doesn’t pass comments back to Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress.

All of that should happen. Because the people who create social media content; the bloggers, the twitterers, the commenters, the youtubers, the flickrers, etc, etc are doing this for a reason. Feedback. And without their content, none of these companies would have a business.

So it’s time for aggregation to work two-way. You can suck it out. But you have to pump it back too.