About a month ago, William Mougayar, an AVC regular if there was ever one, emailed me about an idea he had to create a web service to make social conversations easier. We went back and forth on the idea. I pushed him to come up with a simple name and a simple UI. I told him "make it like gmail for social conversations."

Over the past month, he and his crack team of something like two or three developers did just that. And today, I'm pleased to tell all of you that William and his team have built something pretty special.

He calls it engag.io. It's a good name. An io channel for social engagement. Here's what my engagio inbox looks like this morning:


My inbox is dominated by AVC discussions. For most people, their inbox will have a multitude of conversations from many services; Twitter, Foursquare,  Hacker News, Facebook, and hopefully AVC too.

There are a few other nifty features shown on the left sidebar. Engagement shows who you are engaging with. Shared links stores all the links being passed back and forth in your conversations. And Sites shows what sites your friends are having discussions on. So engagio is not just your inbox for social conversations. It is your dashboard for social conversations.

William's got a blog post up on the engagio blog explaining his vision for the product. It's a good read.

Engagio is offering 100 invites this morning to AVC readers. The first 100 users will get in. The invite code is avcengage (lower caps). Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Just In Case You Were Wondering: Neither me nor USV has any financial interest in engag.io or eqentia, it's sister service.


Comments (Archived):

  1. LIAD

    @wmoug:disqus  – dude you did great!instant utility, clean design, unique value prop….Exciting times!Intra-comment multi-platform sharing a nice touch. Kudos to Disqus & others for having such lovely open API’s.

    1. fredwilson

      yes he did and you nailed the reasons why

      1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        Open APIs FTW. When I synced up all my services and it was flawless and “just worked” was a “aha” moment for me. 

        1. William Mougayar

          Exactly. Frictionless & implicit. 2 big words that guided us.

          1. panterosa,

            Frictionless and Implicit.I love those terms and together they imply a very zen state of use and synergy. Like the Japanese term shibui.I saw Edward Tufte demo his book’s animations on the iPad. It was frictionless and implicit. Thanks for the concept of the day, William, and hopefully that concept is so light and beautiful I can infuse it into every part of what I’m doing now. And bring it forward into more nows.

          2. ShanaC

            If you are active on the web in other places, you’ll use it.

          3. John Revay

            Hi William Pls have GREAT luck w/ your launch – looks like you are on your way.Ditto – Friction less & implicit !I plan to keep coming back.

          4. William Mougayar

            thanks John.

    2. karen_e

      Damn – I missed the first 100 boat. I did sign up to get the word for the second batch. Can’t wait to try it!

    3. William Mougayar

      @liad:disqus  Belated thank you for your great comment. 12 likes is not too shabby, so I’ll take that as an endorsement 🙂

      1. Mark Essel

        Once you save me from my inbox William, where do I send the check to avoid ads. I’m sold on a single front end for (a)synchronous messages. Once engag.io jumps to my phone you’ll have me hooked for good.

      2. jason wright

        William,What’s the best way to contact you please? I have some ‘engaging’ information for you.Jason.

  2. Mordy Kaplinsky

    @wmoug:disqus you did some awesome work here.  I would like to suggest that if you can figure out a way to turn this into a tab of some sort within gmail so that all communication in is a central panel and interface it would be even cooler.

    1. fredwilson

      i think that should be a gmail plugin that should be offered by engagio but honestly i don’t want my social conversations in emaili am sure there are plenty who do

      1. Mordy Kaplinsky

        Fred,My intent was more of a plugin as you described it, and that it should not be within the gmail message flow but the ability to switch within a single communication interface between different modules.

        1. fredwilson

          yupwilliam should engage you in a discussion about how you’d like it to work (no pun intended)

          1. Mordy Kaplinsky

            If it helps i’m in.

      2. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        Agree, it should be separate from email. Email = work; social = play. (And yes, email is social and work can be social. But social should *feel like* play, and email feels like work.)

        1. William Mougayar

          Good points. We should be more fun that email. Email is a chore. Social engagement is not.

    2. William Mougayar

      Thanks Mordy. We did think about a plugin, but there are pros and cons to it. We’d like to take the product further than a plugin could handle.

      1. Mordy Kaplinsky

        There are ofcourse limits that will be placed on what can be done by Google, and I assumed that’s why you did it as a standalone app. You also have the fact that many users don’t use gmail as their primary email.I can only comment about how I would love to use it in a perfect world 🙂

      2. Ivan Vecchiato

        I like it William. Do you plan to release a mobile version too? Not necessarily an app, but a mobile HTML5 webapp is well suited for this service.Never too early to think mobile.

        1. William Mougayar

          yes, prob html5/mobile browser before a native mobile one. we’ll see.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

            JUST HTML5.

          2. leigh

            do an app!  i’d download.  seriously.  i’d use it ALL THE TIME on mobile.  the amount of times i’ve tried to post and fail on mobile devices is kinda crazy.  it’s been really frustrating and you know, i haven’t really even thought of how much a problem it is until @twitter-201652762:disqus  made his comment above.  

        2. leigh

          that would be so good. replying on mobile devices to blog comments or on facebook is painful painful painful painful. i usually try and fail

      3. leigh

        Better to get bought by Google and let them do that but not as gmail 😉

        1. William Mougayar

          For some strange reason, I like this comment. ^2

        2. ShanaC

          Honestly, I would rather Disqus.  This is much better than their internal panels

          1. William Mougayar

            We’re not fussy, at the right price 😉

          2. Cima

            Yeah, I thought Disqus would have come up with something like this by now.  There were other non-Disqus platforms where I’ve commented using the same username (Cima) but it wasn’t my Disqus acount. I thought there would be a way I could link it to my Disqus account but, apparently, there was none.Kudos to @wmoug:disqus  and his team.I also liked @fredwilson:disqus ‘s comment that if it’s a worthwhile product that gives personal value, he’d be willing to use and recommend it.

  3. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    I like the idea, and the execution is certainly great. Some off the cuff thoughts: – I get an error syncing with HN (I changed my password thinking I’d misremembered it and tried with the new password; always get “There was an error.”)- Maybe he took your idea of “Gmail for social conversations” *just a bit* too literally as the design is scarily reminiscent of Google’s new design language. It’s not just that it’s a bit of a boring design, but it makes it feel like email, and therefore work. It should feel more interactive and playful, like Twitter on iPad (without the bugginess). Then again, it’s a beta.- There’s some work needed on conversation threading. This morning I posted a tweet that generated lots of responses, and back and forth with different people. All those interactions are shown as separate items, when the value add would be to show them as one conversation with multiple threads, not as several conversations as engag.io does, and not as a single linear conversation (as Twitter’s apps do). For some it does that, for others it doesn’t. It’s fiendishly hard (perhaps impossible) to solve that problem well, but it’s exactly the type of problems that app is meant to solve. – This is obviously a niche product but if it grows into itself it could be very useful. 

    1. fredwilson

      HN is flaky and not supported well. it would be great if HN users pinged Paul in support of engagio. i don’t think he quite gets why this is great for HN.

      1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        I’m sure the problem’s on HN’s end. From the end user’s perspective, that doesn’t matter, though.(For all their greatness, that’s one problem with using APIs, and partner dependencies in general.)

      2. William Mougayar

        Yes. In our tests, authentication took the longest with HN because we’re waiting on them. Any HN user can help as Fred suggested.

      3. LE

        HN has performance issues. (ironic given Paul’s skills and resources). It’s slow most of the time I visit that site. From Paul, recently about a post that HN was no longer the first google result for “hacker news”l:”A couple weeks ago I banned all Google crawler IPs except one. Crawlers are disproportionately bad for HN’s performance because HN is optimized to serve recent stuff, which is usually in memory.”http://news.ycombinator.com…From how I’ve interpreted things he likes the discourse on the site as it stands now and isn’t necessarily interested in it changing into a free for all and allowing just anyone into the cult. It won’t be special and will turn mainstream.  It’s the hidden restaurant you have to find to get in. Hence the news.ycombinator.com URL for a site that has come to be known as “Hacker News”.

    2. William Mougayar

      Merci Pascal-Emmanuel. HN is giving us issues because we have been blacklisted on/off. I have been emailing with Paul Graham to whitelist us for good. That’s what I suspect happened. I will email you as soon as we’re back there. The gmail utility is only a start, not an end point. We have a rich / long roadmap in mind along what you mentioned, and would love to refine it along the way with your feedback. With Twitter, the starting point has to be a message that you initiated, and we track replies to you. So we’re not sucking your twitter firehose, but only where there’s conversation.

      1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        Thanks or your comment!

    3. Paul Gailey

      some of your thoughts about engag.io resonate with me Pascal. Have you tried http://exquisitetweets.com by the way?

      1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        Nope. Looks interesting!

  4. tyronerubin

    @wmoug:disqus what a truly great concept William.Hope to see it reach mainstream adoption.I am locked and loaded and using it already, cant wait for it to add value to my life and hopefully is something I use and need every single day.Thanks!

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Tyrone. I’ll see u on Engagio. Have you discovered yet the envelope feature in the Engagement folder where you reveal your email 1:1 to your contacts by toggling it?

      1. leigh

        no?ps. some contacts had an email there and some didn’t to toggle. what does that mean?

        1. William Mougayar

          In the engagement folder, click on interactions to sort your contacts. It will be there. Hover on the envelope.

      2. Guest

        Oh that is really useful.  Nice job William!

      3. tyronerubin

        playing with it now. An amazing tool like twitter and FB that bring you closer to people. help create and enhance relationships and online interactions. Feel the tough part is mainstream adoption, if you want it that is. Its another whole service and site. twitter I use the mac app and its frictionless I click, boom done. evernote I click chrome extension and done. then it gets entered into the whole wonderful world of evernote syncing to all my devices.I do need this product but dont know if I will log into a separate email interface just for comments. Again I NEED this and feel its important to use something daily, like I do with all my daily products without exception. Even FB I dont log in or check daily but know its always there with me. I wonder how this can be integrated into my life and I can use it easily everyday. Gmail is the perfect example as this interface is identical (in a good way) to gmail. Gmail I log into everyday. This, again, not sure. Can elaborate more on this, but with this wonderful launch I am certain you know whats up. Hope to use this everyday of my life. Love what you have done sir! All the best!

        1. tyronerubin

          taking back a lot of what I have said, might be really easy to use this everyday. Not integrating into gmail. Something separate. They say it takes about 3 times to use a product until you find its magic. Its happening William. You have something really special here!

  5. Dennis Buizert

    Im not an active poster. But if I was, this is a smart and brilliant way of combining all the API’s.But I agree a lot of the UI is looking like Google, Facebook, Twitter.Not that nothing is wrong with that, but still 🙂 Let see what the next update will look it! Definitely a product to follow.  



  6. Dan Kantor

    Looks pretty sweet. I created an account, connected Twitter, Tumblr and Disqus but my inbox is empty. So I am commenting here to see what happens 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      it takes a little bit of time to fill up the first time. maybe this will make you a more active commenter dan, which would be a great thing

      1. Dan Kantor

        Looks like they are starting to come in. This is very cool!

        1. kirklove


      2. awaldstein

        The more you comment the more connections you have and the more valuable it becomes. Encouraging engagement happens by default.

        1. Dan Kantor

          One thing I didn’t realize was it only shows the part of the thread that you are involved in. I like that (I think)

        2. William Mougayar

          Yes! Network effect. One cannot fake engagement 🙂

        3. Tereza


    2. William Mougayar

      There is a 10 min delay & we will try to improve it. But if you haven’t engaged in the past 2 weeks, it will be scant. In essence, we give you visibility about your social engagement.

      1. John Petersen

        Seems to me like a much better way to measure social engagement than.. let’s say.. a certain highly valued highly debated company that rhymes with “flout”

  7. Joe Yevoli

    Very cool!  Just got in.  William, would love to give you feedback as I use it over the next few days.

  8. Humberto

    LIKE.i like how it aggregates commenting through threads. but i don’t want to pollute this with facebook or multiple accounts, other wise i’m going to end up having to link every single service I use out there…if indeed the tool is about social ENGAGEMENT, and certainly William’s vision points to that, the most value I see here is of actually discovering top comments and commenters, and the search feature – features described in his vision on the linked engagio tumblr post.I’m still struggling with the fact you mostly still need to go to the original content Site (tumblr, foursquare, …) and only after you comment something there your activity gets hooked on to engagio. So theres some serious friction here to me, having multiple sites, potentially mutiple apps.. bilharc.Maybe i’m just being a selfish consumer (isn’t that the purpose of a perfect product?), but I’d love to see an upper layer of content inflow before My Discussions, say, a blog reading/ rss agregator/ etc, from which I would start commenting and engaging with both users and content.Or maybe i’m just longing for Google Reader’s former social interactions, which Google happily killed. I guess this depends on the seriousness of the content we are dealing with. If this will be focused on Facebooks or Foursquares type of content (mostly social), Tumblr’s (social with the excuse of being artsy) or Disqus (opinion)Anyhow, congrats and thanks for the invites. I’ll follow this for a while!

    1. Rohan

      I don’t know about the reader functionality but if I am right, what is being worked on is for you to be able to find blogs your friends are reading and commenting in.eg: engage.io will tell you about blogs I’m commenting on .. and thus give you more recommendations. 🙂

      1. Humberto

        sure, i got that, the thing is, you will never cover all the newssources with APIs. Plus, That would be too easy. We don’t want that, do we? Example: I just checked Fred’s Top Sites. While it must be a clear image of many things he reads and comments on, I’m sure maybe there’s plenty things that don’t fall under his discuss, twitter, …, accounts.And then, you find and interesting Source through engagio. You still have to bookmark it somewhere, engagio doesn’t let you “follow” the source – that’s in the linked-APIs world.Commenting can happen in any form, in any source. Again, I doubt anyone will ever make a great product using mostly APIs only. There has to be independent content, links, amazing product.but my words are definitely of encouragement. I feel so much potential in this..

        1. Rohan

          You and me, both! 🙂 I’m sure William will read and respond to your notes. 🙂 



      1. William Mougayar

        You’re seeing it right :)Agreed.

        1. Humberto

          don’t disagree. data is all more important.maybe surfacing the lists of sites where people comment is good enough…though i’d love a reader thing.

  9. Rohan

    William.You the man! 😀

  10. Rohan

    ‎’Constructive’ criticism tends to be constructive only in the mind of the giver.’ –QOTDHave a nice Tuesday folks! 😀

  11. JimHirshfield

    Nice one William!

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Jim. It was hard to keep it a secret the past few weeks 🙂

      1. JimHirshfield

        Secrets like this are worth the wait. Can’t wait to see iterations on the secret. 😉

  12. PrasannaKrishnamoorthy

    Signed up and posted a reply on avc post from a few days ago. Seamless, and neat.Mind boggles at a meta product for a meta product like Disqus 🙂

    1. PrasannaKrishnamoorthy

      @wmoug:disqus hashtag #eio perhaps, for posts using engag.io ?

      1. William Mougayar

        Good idea. Thanks

        1. PrasannaKrishnamoorthy

          @ tags are not coming through from Disqus -> eio…Will use uservoice for next one :)#eio

    2. fredwilson

      yeah, i thought of that too

  13. Anne Libby

    Neat, can’t wait to play with it!   (I’d love being able to connect my business FB page.   I suspect that’s a FB problem, as there are other services that this doesn’t work for…)

    1. William Mougayar

      Ah! Good one Anne.On FB we’ve only considered personal accounts.But this takes the use case in a slightly different direction. Eg for community management using the brand identity. So basically you would reply as “Coca-cola” or “Toyota Canada” rather than as a user. This is a possibility. Need to confirm against the FB API.

      1. ShanaC

        I really want that to happen.  Their is a huge amount of potential for centralizing those services in a lightweight version of Jive.  Nix tons of permissions and drama, find ways to actually communicate if you represent a business (or are a business)


        PRO TOOL. CHARGE $.

        1. William Mougayar

          Yes. Can do. Good idea.

      3. Anne Libby

        Thank you, and exactly.   As a small consultancy, the business FB presence helps me to be where my clients are, and avoid oversharing all around.  And I love your service so far!   It was so easy to see the whole conversation and re-enter it.   Win!

  14. RichardF

    Love to try it William but all the invites are used up.  Slow to the party today.Congratulations by the way and I think that it’s awesome that Fred is pimping an avc members product.

    1. Trish Burgess-Curran

      Same thing here…  🙁

      1. William Mougayar

        Please bear with us an hour or two. We got overwhelmed & are catching up, pulling 30MB of comments / sec now. Please leave your email in the box & we will open more up. Thanks.

    2. panterosa,

      Would be cool to do a “Pimp My RIde” post every now and then with things AVCers come out with….

      1. RichardF

        Loving that idea!

        1. panterosa,

          Fred, Do You like this idea???

          1. fredwilson

            i do, but i want to curate it. keep the quality high. william worked with me over the past month to get this to a place where i was proud to showcase it.

          2. panterosa,

            Of course you should curate! It should really only be what you find interesting. What is the most efficient mechanism to gather submissions? The digital hat in which to put ideas? 

          3. Tereza

            After much resistance from moi, we’re going open with Honestly Now to the public this weekend. We have much more to develop after that but this will be a big shift and I want to see what happens to the community first. It’s been a very mature cocktail party until now and super-easy to moderate. But I look forward to that changing, whatever direction it goes.Disrupting ‘Dear Abby’ — eBay for personal problems.

          4. William Mougayar

            My advice is you have to take the plunge at one point, and let the users do an Honestly Now on Honestly Now,- then iterate like crazy til it sticks like mud in the face.

          5. Tereza

            Starting Sunday!

          6. Pavel Dolezal

            @Tereza:disqus  don’t worry. It will be OK. You’ve worked really hard on this one and users will LOVE it !

  15. leigh

    oh so funny – was just over in engage to see if i had any replies to yesterday’s comment (so much more efficient then email notifications from disqus) and then came here to see this post.Looking forward to seeing it evolve.  congrats @wmoug:disqus !

    1. William Mougayar

      Bingo. I found that I was seeing replies to me that I had missed via email notifications & it beats fumbling thru 300 comments on a busy day.

  16. Tom Labus

    Congrats, William.I look forward to getting my “invite”.

  17. awaldstein

    Congrats William. Really well done. It feels early but very focused.Some thoughts on where you can take this @http://arnoldwaldstein.com.

  18. kirklove

    Congrats William.It seems I should have checked Fred’s blog before going to the gym. All the invites are gone. Very happy for you. Excited to check it out when more become available.Best.

    1. William Mougayar

      We will open more shortly. Don’t give up. Leave ur email. I will send u one Kirk.

      1. kirklove

        Thanks much William. I see the invite. Congrats again!

    2. baba12

      It is the Europeans who must have logged on ahead of the EST folks, now those on the west coast will probably wait for William to release more invites, I am guessing they are using a cloud service. William is probably inundated with comments and is trying to find a way to  breathe.

      1. kirklove

        Everybody knows the Europeans have that six to eight hour window into the future and use it to their advantage. #jealous

  19. Dale Allyn

    Missed the invite window, even though I was sitting here at my computer long before Fred’s post. Just too many things going, and didn’t get over to AVC as quickly as planned. It serves me right. ;)@wmoug:disqus congratulations on working through an idea and executing. I look forward to the next opportunity to try your new project. Cheers!

  20. panterosa,

    So cool, like 6 degrees of separation in action. Even though it’s never 6 degrees anymore, more like 2 or 3.I’m bummed – I didn’t make the invitation either.

  21. Andy Werner

    Nicely done, love the concept. On the waiting list, FOMO.

  22. Gonzalo Arzuaga

    Thanks for the invite Fred, pretty cool service. I’ve been using it for the last hour or so, and it seems promising. Thanks for sharing. Great suggestion “gmail ui”. P.S. for William: I couldn’t connect with Hacker News.

  23. Wesley Verhoeve

    Very interesting! We operate a high engagement business at Family Records and I’d love to see if this simplifies things for us. I have applied for an invite code since they ran out. Thanks for sharing Fred.

  24. JLM

    Well played!  Thanks.  Knock them dead!

    1. William Mougayar

      JLM- have you noticed the Share Comment feature? That one was designed especially with You in mind. Now, any one can share your wonderful comment quotes with one click to Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr. We code named it – the quote machine feature.

      1. JLM

        I had a sandwich named after me at a famous Austin restaurant, so I wish you had called it the “JLM”.  I do have considerable vanity.

        1. William Mougayar

          I literally burst out laughing LOL

        2. Rohan


        3. ErikSchwartz

          The vanity is a Texas thing?

          1. JLM

            Bigger than freakin’ Dallas, pardner!

        4. ShanaC

          what is in this sandwich, and how did that happen?

          1. JLM

            One of my Wrightsville Beach faves is a fresh crab cake sandwich from Dockside on the ICW.  I could sit and eat crab cake sandwiches and drink cold beer and watch the yachts go by forever.I was great friends with a woman — Sharon Watkins — who owned Chez Zee in Austin, an iconic restaurant in NW Hills in Austin, and always got her staff to make me a crab cake sandwich by ordering a hamburger bun and a crabcake.I used to eat there fairly often and whenever the kitchen got that order she would know I was in the house.So she put it on the menu and called it “Jeff’s Crab Cake Sandwich”.  It apparently sold like crazy.I used to be a contendah!

          2. ShanaC

            That actually sounds delicious. Now I want to try it…and I am not in Austin

        5. Aaron Klein

          We’re actually building a feature called “the JLM” into Riskalyze.If you build a portfolio that is up more than 5% in a month, we animate a guy driving by in a vintage red convertible who says “those are Texas size returns, partner…well played!”

          1. JLM

            That’s stronger than an acre of garlic in W Tx.

          2. William Mougayar

            Somebody should come up with a Christmas toy doll that looks like JLM, and when you press its belly, it says “Well Played” in a Texan accent.

        6. LE

          I’m a fan of naming rights for anything and everything. The local deli has ads for businesses on the menu (or on a placemat) and also on a LCD behind the deli counter. No reason why they can’t name sandwiches after people and businesses and bring in revenue that way. Or maybe rolls at sushi restaurants.

          1. JLM

            You want some grub?  I’ll show you some grub.  Here!Monument Cafe, Waco, TX chicken fried steak.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

          2. LE

            Looks awesome. (I never heard of “chicken fried steak” before today.)

  25. Yalim K. Gerger

    For what it is worth, there is another startup from Switzerland taking a swing at the same problem. The startup is called Joinbox (www.joinbox.com). So, those of you who missed the 100 invites can ask for one from Joinbox.I first met them at Seedcamp Ljubljana. Unfortunately, I was not in their mentoring sessions and never had the time to meet them after the event. However, their idea stuck with me.Admittedly, I am a little skeptic about the utility of engag.io and joinbox. While these tools give you something, they take something away: You lose the experience of using the platforms. I am not even sure if the problem exists at all. The smart phone, the smart phone notification system, the email notification system or a combination of these (along with other stuff I forgot to add) seem to be enough for the average user.But hey. I might be wrong. :-). I am sure the guys behind Joinbox would love to have your feedback, too. I already asked for my invitation from them. I hope they can make a convert out of me.Oh by the way. In case you are wondering. I am in no way affiliated with them at all. I just thought what they do is very relevant to this blog post.

    1. Brandon Burns

      taking away something is fine, if it’s replaced with something else you want.if the utility of aggregation isn’t it, there could be something else these platforms can use the data for… something new and special… perhaps…

      1. Yalim K. Gerger

        After reading the comments here, I started to think that maybe engag.io and joinbox can provide value to organizations that use social networks professionally. Then again, this area is not my expertise so I can’t really tell. I am skeptic about utility for the regular user though.

      2. William Mougayar

        True. Aggregation is only an enabler to other things. More value beyond aggregation. It’s what you do with that data.

    2. ShanaC

      As the movie line goes ” Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”If you do any sort of community management, you need products like these, because your email inbox will fill up and distract you from other parts of your job.  Even better would be this with moderation settings included, and maybe some lightweight twitter monitoring.This would make an excellent social crm.  An actual friendfeed that works (sorry friendfeed)

      1. Yalim K. Gerger

        Yes, after reading comments here I started to think that these kind of tools may be used for professionals. I guess Joinbox was pitched like a consumer product and that got stuck with me.So, in the absence of products like engag.io and Joinbox, what do community managers use?

        1. ShanaC

          I’m not sure.  I see a lot of cobbling together, I see stuff like buddy media, and there reallya dearth of good sentiment analysis tools that are affordable that allow for quick decisions about what to say online.(if only because I wrote reports on the subject)Umm, anyone?

  26. andyswan

    I think just the “links” area alone could be worth the price of admission….but I won’t know until @wmoug:disqus says “OK fine, 101”.Very happy to see two things here:  An AVC reg pushing out a sweet product (business???) and Fred using his soapbox to help tell the world about it.  

    1. JimHirshfield

      It’s so many things wrapped up in one. It’s also like instant beta testers and focus group too! 

    2. fredwilson

      You know I will do the same for you and others. I just need to use the product first and get personal value from it so I can make an authentic recommendation

  27. Brandon Burns

    8:30am and the invite code is all used up? the perils of a popular blog. sigh…

  28. Laurent Boncenne

    came to avc too late to get in (doesn’t surprise me tho 😛 ), added my email already, @wmoug:disqus you’re onto something with this! Thanks!I understand that you only have 2 or 3 devs on this, but will/might this be spun off from Eqantia or will this forever be a side-project??

  29. ErikSchwartz

    This looks awesome. I’d love an invite.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      But it seems I am too late. The drawbacks of being in PT and only getting going at 6:30 AM

  30. William Mougayar

    We just opened a few more invites….first come first served 🙂 Thanks for the overwhelming response. The first 100 were used up in less than 1 hour, and am seeing 150 on the wait list.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      Yay. I am in.There’s a lot here.

    2. ShanaC

      Congrats William (sign of a good things to come)

    3. matthughes

      Looks terrific @wmoug:disqus I also strolled in late on the West coast today – looking forward to an invite.(Signed up on the site.)Way to go!

  31. ErikSchwartz

    “Neither me nor USV has any financial interest in engag.io”Yet   🙂

    1. awaldstein

      avc incubator you mean 😉

      1. panterosa,

        you mean the bartender is a pappy? 

    2. William Mougayar

      Fred’s involvement and advice/support is priceless. I’m building that factor into our valuation 🙂

  32. Ben Apple

    Yeah!  I got an invite!  

  33. stephenfshaw

    This – this is a fabulous thing. Just got logged in and I’m excited to see where this goes. Thanks very much for the invite code, @fredwilson:disqus . I’ve been looking for something like this for a while, tried hootsuite and tweetdeck and a couple of others which work great for ‘publishing’ – but this might hit the ‘engagement’ nail on the head.

  34. Jonathan Berkowitz

    where’s the mobile app 😉 

    1. William Mougayar

      Ha…of course you want your cake and eat it too? It’s in the roadmap- but html5 first prob.

  35. William Mougayar

    We’re staggering them in batches of 20.40 were gobbled up in 10 mins…

  36. howardlindzon

    william is scrappy and scrappy with talent generally wins.  go william.

    1. fredwilson

      toronto for the win. we’ve got two portfolio companies in the toronto waterloo corridor. it’s an up and comer. you turned me onto it howard.

  37. RichardF

    I really like it William.  There is one thing that I have always wanted to be able to do and that is follow specific comment threads and you have given me a way of doing it.  Thanks very much

    1. Simon Le Pine

      Agreed, I made the mistake of clicking the “notify me of future comments” on a blog the other day. Since then I’ve been getting 10-15 emails/day about comments.

  38. Bruce Wayne

    Very good app…..Community created content that gives most of the value to FB, Twitter, and Google will now be leveraged to create monetary value for engag.ioI think that an app like this should be decentralized and be as close to being “Open Source” as possible. The tech is not difficult to build….so for me the value is clearly in the community content that is injected into and distributed by enaga.io

  39. Simon Le Pine

    I was just bouncing something like this around with a buddy, I was thinking of calling Filtr – Filter your life. My idea is/was more along the lines of:1. Apply “magic sort” to all emails, twitter messages, Facebook, etc. similar to Gmail.2. Auto and manual tagging to sort conversation by topic, sender, etc.I was thinking something built on Thunderbird/Lighting might be cool, you could then use the Lighting calendar to “step into a day”. For example, if I know I read an email or blog post last Wednesday I can go and see all activity from that day.

  40. William Mougayar

    Thanks Howard. Coming from you, it takes one to know one 🙂 I’ll send you a special invite code by email.

  41. Magnus_Soderberg

    Dang, invites all used up. Looks like an awesome tool though.

  42. Ben Apple

    Now all I need is some actual engagement to really check it out- but this is why I love being a part of the AVC community!

  43. reece

    congrats on the launch @wmoug:disqus !missed the first 100, but hoping to play with it soon

  44. markslater

    you had my attention….i cant get in……next.

    1. awaldstein

      Invite code on my post this morning if you don’t have one yet.

      1. markslater

        thanks arnold – i am in now. trying to figure this out – so its my inbox for my comments on the web? i thought that was what disqus was for?

        1. markslater

          why would this not just plug in to gmail like raportive does – i would use alot more as part of my dashboard rather than it be yet another destination for me to go to. looks good. nice and clean and simple.

        2. awaldstein

          Yes, cross networks conversational inbox.Connections through this conversational network build on it.Dashboards for discovering dynamic conversations by topic, by person maybe also.Hit most of these and few more in my post this morning.

        3. William Mougayar

          It includes Disqus & the other networks.

          1. markslater

            yep i am seeing that – have you seen the rapportive implentation in GMAIL William? it really fits natively in to the overall experience – i am reading a conversation in gmail and i can view details on those who are participating – i would see engag.io as a similar tool that augments or improves my overall conversation experience in gmail. this most definitely has value – its just super tricky how its implemented.but thats why we do start ups right!

          2. William Mougayar

            I’m with you. I think there could be an Engagio slice that we make available as a Gmail plugin. Perhaps something about your interactions with them specifically. Rapportive just shows you their timelines. We’re more specific about you and them.

          3. markslater

            i’d engage with it alot more william if it was right there next to my google conversations (GMAIL). In fact thats exactly how i would like to use it

          4. William Mougayar

            Duly noted.

    2. Rohan


  45. daryn

    Looks pretty slick @wmoug:disqus , congrats!P.S. Of course Fred likes the UI, that’s Twitter Bootstrap isn’t it? 🙂 

    1. Mike Jarema

      Good eye @daryn:disqus !It’s tough NOT to use frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap when time & resources are scarce.Bootstrap is gorgeous out-of-the-box and provides all the hooks necessary to carve out a strong identity as the product grows.

    2. fredwilson


  46. Aaron Klein

    Congrats, William. Engag.io is such a cool service. Amazing what you and your team were able to pull off so quickly. Kudos.

  47. Elia Freedman

    Congratulations, William, on a more public launch! I hope you are very successful with it!

  48. LE

    “Reveal your email to users that are allowed to contact you (peer-to-peer permission)””Tag users you want to nurture relationships with”Something I’ve thought about for some time that would be applicable to engag.io and a potential revenue source is:The ability to send a gift to multiple people. So let’s say I want to send  some swag or a holiday card (postal or virtual)  to a bunch of AVC conversationalists. I don’t have any easy way of contacting them Even those that are public in some way it’s to much work to compile a list and get delivered. And it’s not even possible for those that show no contact details @fakegrimlock:disqus . And there is to much friction to do that on a  large scale.  

    1. ShanaC

      Don’t remind me.  It’s funny, my relationship with all of you is much different than say some of my friends in person (I can’t say IRL, this is real, just different real)Getting contact info, “doing stuff” means something much different to me in this context.  I haven’t figured out the manners for doing all of this.

      1. LE

        “figured out the manners for doing all of this”Best practice is if you want something, say something!  Not everyone is a connector so you have to be proactive in making things happen for yourself (if I understand what you are saying and maybe I don’t?) This applies to IRL, “different as you put it” IRL, personal and business relationships.

        1. ShanaC

          I was thinking more to the point that in the context of online versus real life, the sense of contact info is very different. Not everyone here is comfortable posting names, email address, etc. So I was more agreeing to your comment. How to develop these sorts of organizational lists are just very different (and you are right about reaching out)

    2. laurie kalmanson

      sounds like a list feature for the equivalent of paypal, tied to identities, which can be pseudonyms, tied to fulfillmentthis already partially happens on ebay: you have your ebayid, which might be your name or a pseudonym, but the shipment goes to your real name at your real address, which the vendor seesthe fulfillment piece would be the opportunity

  49. andyidsinga

    congrats William!

  50. Fernando Gutierrez

    Argh! too late today and no invites left! anyway, big congrats to @wmoug:disqus !

    1. awaldstein

      I have a couple left that are in my post “Conversational rant’ on my blog.

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        Thanks, I’m already in!!! BTW, amazing post!!!

  51. FlavioGomes

    Bummer access codes all used up.Pretty please? ;)Edit:Just left my email for the potential next batch of invites.Well done William…no better launch pad than AVC!

  52. ShanaC

    Hey, Congrats William!One really strong piece of advice, buy engage.io, since I wanted to try using it this morning and kept getting pointed to a nonexistent domain.

  53. Jorge

    Would love to try this out! But too late to the party 🙁

    1. William Mougayar

      If you left your email, we’ll re-invite you. thanks.

  54. William Mougayar

    Thanks Shana. Someone else has that domain actually 🙁

    1. Rohan

      your replies are coming in as individual comments. 🙂 Not sure those intended are getting them.

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks Rohan. That is weird. I made these as Replies on AVC.com. Let’s see where this one lands.

        1. Rohan

          Landed right. How can it not. It’s me after all.. haha 😉

      2. William Mougayar

        My Chrome browser messed up the CSS from Disqus and I had a wacky display of Comments. I’m using FF temporarily now.

  55. William Mougayar

    Hmmm. 1:1 messaging with blind address. Interesting idea. Keep it coming. Thanks.

  56. falicon

    @wmoug:disqus congrats on getting this started!  I really like the general idea and think you can do some really special things with it…will be fun to watch where it goes from here.  Now the fun really begins 🙂

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Kevin.

  57. Tereza

    Hey William, awesome! And great props from Fred. Well-deserved my friend.

  58. Robert Thuston

    Sometimes you don’t know you want something, until someone shows it to you. William, awesome job – and if there is anyone fit to solve this problem, it’s you. This looks really well executed – much respect!

  59. Tom Labus

    Received invite, thanks.

  60. peteski

    tooooo late 

    1. William Mougayar

      it’s never too late! If you left your email, we’ll re-invite you. sorry about being oversubscribed for now.

  61. RichardF

    William, I’d be really interested to hear on your blog or maybe here on AVC about any technical challenges that were created by the traffic to engag.io from the AVC publicity

    1. William Mougayar

      We’re monitoring via our built-in stats the various processes, namely fetching the new comments, updating them, etc… We use Relic for app performance, in addition to other native parameters. I wouldn’t say they were challenges- rather things we can deal with gradually. But I like that idea of doing a post-mortem- probably on our blog. By EOD, I’ll post other stats here in terms of traffic, users, etc… 

      1. RichardF

        great, look forward to it

  62. PapaBear

    Sounds good. Pl send a invite

  63. obscurelyfamous

    Congrats @wmoug:disqus !Was just checking this out a couple weeks ago (courtesy of @ro:disqus ). Love the Disqus integration so far.

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks @danielha:disqus. Coming from you, it means a lot. We loved working with the Disqus API.  You guys set the standard when it comes to Commenting APIs. Looking forward to pushing the envelope a bit further 🙂

  64. RacerRick

    Sorry I missed the trial.I hope it has the ability to manage comments from disqus when it runs on multiple sites from multiple disqus accounts.  That’s a problem my customers have.

  65. James Lopez

    looks awesome… waiting for more invites to open up… 

  66. Steve Poland

    Congrats William! I missed the invite, but it looks great.I love disqus, but I never go to http://www.disqus.com. This clearly looks like what I would imagine a Disqus dashboard to look like. They “aim to improve conversations online”. I realize that was comment-centric at the beginning, but now with social, conversations are happening all over the place.#acquire 😉

  67. Ro Gupta

    Echoing the group, very nice job @wmoug:disqus . Has come a long way in a short period of time. Will be great to see where you guys take it from here.For anyone else who may not be aware, engag.io is making use of Disqus’ recently released OAuth2 support: http://blog.disqus.com/post…. Feel free to check it out  if you’re interested in using it for something you’re working on as well. Questions or feedback can be sent to the Disqus Developers group http://groups.google.com/gr… or [email protected].

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Ro. We’ll attest that it was a pleasure working with the Disqus API and team. I think we were the first out, using your OAuth2 that extensively?  

  68. goldwerger

    Looks awesome! but I’m too late to the party.hey guys, any chance you’re opening up the beta little more, I’d love to join… :)Eyal

  69. Jose Colmenares

    Very nice.As I see it, it’s like a google Buzz, but that could actually work.It’d be great to access stackexchange!nice work.

    1. William Mougayar

      StackExchange is front and center of the roadmap. Definitely. And Quora too.

  70. Alexander Close

    That screen shot only makes me want to dive in and try engagio even more.  Stoked for when a few more invites release.  Nicely done William.

  71. Mvaloatto

    No more invites? ;(Btw, it seems pretty useful! Can’t wait the public launch.Matt ValoattoCurioos.com/matt

    1. William Mougayar

      Pls do register your email on the entry page. Sorry for the wait…we’re trying hard to open it to more users.



    1. William Mougayar




    2. fredwilson


  73. Brad

    The one day that I did not check the site earlier!!!!!! Would love to see it.

    1. William Mougayar

      No prob. If you leave your email, we’ll contact you.

  74. jason wright

    Nicely realized William. Here’s to a large network of engag.io users. Congrats.

  75. jason wright

    Have you applied for a trademark?engagio.com is for sale.

    1. William Mougayar

      🙂 piano piano

  76. John Revay

    William,Are you able to comment on the platform you used to build the site – re: rails, etc.

    1. William Mougayar

      Nginx + Rails + MySQL on AmazonAWSRedis for managing various facets of our comment aggregation + caching Mix of open source & inhouse API adapters for the commenting networks Solr + sunspot for searchTwitter bootstrap UI frameworkElbow greaseSorry can’t reveal the type of elbow grease- that’s super secret.

      1. fredwilson

        the modern web tech stack minus mongodblove the use of twitter’s bootstrap framework!

        1. William Mougayar

          Definitely it was a big boost. We’ve been looking at MongoDB actually.

          1. John Revay

            Hi William,Thank you for sharing – not sure if you are the idea guy or one the of developers.That said – I was wondering your thoughts using something like Dot Net Nuke ( Open Source CMS built on top of the MS stack) – I am thinking about building a social site/app relating. One of my long time trusted friend who is somewhat also acting as my CTO thinks DNN would be a great way to prototype/ build an initial app.Comments & thoughts would be appreciated.Minor Engag.io feed back – the txt box to reply to a thread is fairly small ( top to bottom, only 3.5 lines of txt.Thank youJohn.

  77. render

    not good enough

    1. William Mougayar

      elaborate ?I hope it’s not good enough, or our job would be done & boring.

      1. panterosa,

        William, I am charmed to hear you say this. I totally agree. I have to almost beg/bully/bother people to give me criticism on my latest prototype. They are kind people, wanting to speed the love, but they have critical faculties, which I want them to use, to really engage with my product. Just loving it is not enough!!!After all, how will it get better if they don’t tell me what they want?I sort of feel it’s like cajoling a sex partner into telling you what really turns them on, but they’re being shy. Hey – I’M ALL EARS, ready to listen to you…I can’t deliver what you don’t order.

      2. Rohan


    2. Rohan

      Constructive feedback…What a concept! 

  78. Aviah Laor

    Awesome. The only inbox which is happily filled.A donate button please?

    1. William Mougayar

      You just donated with your generous comment. ThanksBut donations are accepted if from VC’s.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Let him pay!. Congrats, btw. 

  79. Steven Goldman

    Looks awesome from the post – missed the invite. That Is what happens when you get caught in meetings all day and don’t check AVC first thing in the [email protected]

  80. Prokofy

    Sorry I was too late with this. It looks sort of like the dashboard for stuff that I have long dreamed of.Elsewhere in the news, you can vote for Fred Wilson as best VC of the year here:http://crunchies2011.techcr

    1. fredwilson

      please don’t do thati hate lists, awards, all that crap

      1. Prokofy

        I’ve never let what you like or don’t like guide my thinking and positions on the Internet, Fred.As you know I’m one of your critics, and even quite severe critics on your copyleftist tendencies.However, as I look over the range of what’s out there for the Crunchies, I think I’d have to pick you because you are the Thinking Man’s VC and you care passionately about ideas and technology and that’s all good. I’m all for lists and people voting and for me voting because otherwise, other people decide everything, you know?All the other people being nominated are putting up badges and links and telling Facebook friends to vote for them. You should do the same thing on this blog and stop this faux modesty. You will be happy when you win, believe me.

  81. Paul Gailey

    this looks quite interesting. i’ll sign up. any chance of Quora inclusion?

  82. William Mougayar

    I promised some fun stats by end of day. But first, thanks everybody for your priceless feedback. It’s a real treat to get it all in one shot from a group of really engaged users. We let 200 early risers users in, but 700 are on the wait list. Sorry again, but we’ll gradually release more seats. Quantitatively, we have a small microcosm of the commentsphere with fun stats. 200 users are connected to 12,000 others via comments. Therefore, the commenting network effect is X60 on average. So, if you have more than 60 Contacts in your Engagement folder, you’re above average. Of the 45,000 comments we quickly analyzed today, here’s the comments distribution breakdown, and the average # of comments per full conversation thread for each of the networks:Disqus: 73% and 67 comments/thread Facebook: 11% and 33 comments/threadTwitter: 10% and 3.3 comments/threadHacker News: 3% and 50 comments/threadGoogle+: 2% and 3.3 comments/thread (I expect G+ to gain ground)Foursquare: 1% and 1.7 comments/threadWe’ll release regular stats over at the Engagio blog.

    1. kidmercury

      looks fantastic, too bad for me i missed the signup. i do think this type of service (aggregate your social activity) has great potential. looking forward to when it’s opened up. 

    2. Luke Hristou

      Awesome stuff William,Congrats on your opening launch!

    3. fredwilson

      i gotta get more of my friends commenting on foursquare!

      1. William Mougayar

        Also, what might help is if we could go back to your previous checkins & comment. Otherwise, if you do 3-4 per day, each one is only available for a few hours & the window for commenting passes. That’s on the mobile version.

  83. Cam MacRae

    Great work! It looks fabulous. That said, my phone is my social hub, so until it’s on my phone it holds little allure for me.

  84. Barabare

    Awesome. I had this exact idea last week, glad someone made it!

  85. Dave W Baldwin

    Thumbs up William and team!

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Dave.

  86. spider09

    This is such a great — and “a ha!” inducing — product. Can’t wait untilI get to use it.

  87. BitStarter

    Hello William,I believe you’ve shown interest in Bitcoins before?  you should add a little bitcoin button to allow  people to give a few “bitcents”  if they like the engagement or content passed around to them.  Let me know if you do this and great product!Thanks!

    1. William Mougayar

      Interesting idea. How do I do that? Can you point me to a link or contact me directly?Thanks.

      1. BitStarter

        I’ll look into it more but I believe http://www.btcinch.com just requires an email address to send/receive bitcoins (no software needed to be installed)  I’ll reach out to the community to find out how to implement it and get back to you. Looking forward to it!

        1. Ira Miller

          William,As BitStarter indicated, btcinch.com allows you to accept Bitcoin tips for free. Every account comes with a unique URL, which can be given to anyone wishing to send you Bitcoin. An example page (for the Free State Project) is: https://www.btcinch.com/sen…. Once the Bitcoin is in your account, you can send, spend or convert to USD.If you need any help with the process, I’m happy to assist. Simply go to https://www.btcinch.com/con… and I’ll get your message.Sincerely,Ira MillerCTO – BTCinch

      2. BitStarter

        I emailed Ira (btcinch) he should be touch with you shortly.

  88. Mark Essel

    Can’t believe I missed this launch announcement while in St. Thomas. As an alpha user I enjoy the service but haven’t made it a regular pit stop since most of my messaging is done via the iphone. Looking forward to the slick app when resources allow @wmoug:disqus and congratz to you and team on the terrific launch. Hope you can keep pace with the user spikes 😀

    1. William Mougayar

      Thanks Mark. We’re bending a bit with the user spikes, slowly adding a few more each day. Over 2,000 on the wait list…yikes. 

      1. Mark Essel

        nail it, then grow.May have been a bit premature for the media rush, but you’ll make do!

        1. William Mougayar

          Yup..It’s a balancing act.

  89. Dmark

    I love the idea for a central location for all social commenting activity. Can’t wait to see this progress.

  90. baba12

    I would have thought you would have had several beta accounts  ahead of anyone of us… 

  91. William Mougayar

    That’s a valid question. But we thought that starting with a familiar territory makes it easier to get adopted. It can go into different directions from there I think. Would love to hear more about your ideas. See you on Engag.io, the interaction network for engaged users.