Mobile IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

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Backtype : comment streams network

At the moment, all the comments I make in the blogosphere are bookmarked in a delicious account, which is a pain because I’m constantly logging in and out of both my accounts. Anyway this enables me to keep a collection or stream of comments I make elsewhere, I even feed this into Friendfeed.

I then track the comment at co.mments which is added to my co.mments feed, this way I can keep up with any new comments made on the same blog post.

I could do both these things at coComment, and more as you can follow other users, search and browse tag all comments in this system, etc…but I don’t because I find this service overwhelming with features, it just doesn’t have the simplicity and effectiveness of Twitter, delicious, Friendfeed, Google, etc…

In comes Backtype.

It seems to be a way to store all the comments you make in the blogosphere, but you don’t store them, instead it harvests them from the blogosphere itself by looking for the URL you leave in the URL field when you make a comment in a blogs comment form. It matches this URL with the one you entered in your Backtype profile. So it treats the URL you put in the URL field as your ID. Sometimes people have several ID’s, they may put the URL of their blog, Twitter, Friendfeed…personally I always us my blog URL. Anyway, the Backtype settings allow you to enter multiple URL’s as your ID.

You have to trust that it’s actually collecting all the comments you make (I do feel safer bookmarking comments, as I have comfort they are stored as I did it myself…but let’s see how we go).

If you search for your name in Backtype it may already have a page where you can claim comments you have made in the blogosphere, kind of like a pre-made account.

Not only have I got my User page (http://www.backtype.com/johnt) that I made, there is already a mirror type URL page (http://www.backtype.com/url/libraryclips.blogsome.com)…I found this by searching for my name, and it asked if I want to claim these comments.

What this URL page means is that whoever leaves a comment in the blogosphere with my URL in the comment form URL field, it will appear in my URL page…let’s hope I’m the only person doing this (I will surely find out now if people in the blogosphere are signing off comments using my URL in the URL field of a comment form).

Just say on my Backtype registered User profile settings I also entered my Twitter URL, as I may sometimes use that in comment forms, then these comments would appear in my user page stream, but not in my URL page stream…so there is a difference here.

Now you could say that anyone could make a comment in the blogosphere and use the URL of your blog, this would spam your stream with comments not made by you. The way around this is to go to your settings and turn on moderation.

So in a way Backtype is my comment blog or stream, from comments I make in the blogosphere, only thing I need to do is import all the comments I’ve been saving in delicious.

It could replace my method of bookmarking comments I make in delicious as Backtype saves me doing this, but I will still need to use co.mments to track others comments made on the same blog post…which is OK with me.


For each item (comment) in the stream you can launch to the original comment. You can also share that comment which lives in your Shared Items stream, it’s like re-blogging a comment because you like it.


Backtype is not just about me, I can search for people and see their comment stream, and I can “follow” them.

On a User profile we can see:

- their comment stream
- a link to who that person follows
- a link to their Shared Items page
- a link to who is following them
- a link to an RSS feed for their comment stream
- Backtype profiles from blogs commented on
eg. if I comment on a Read Write Web blog post, then their profile will be listed on the sidebar as a source I comment on

I’d like to filter my stream or a users stream by blog source commented on eg. filter my stream by comments I have made on the Read Write Web blog.

Types of Profiles - User, URL, blog

As alluded to at the start of this post you may not even need to create an account, as you may already have a URL profile that represents you (which people can follow to add to their network). But if you want to get network with people and create a dashboard then you need to register.
I still think two accounts becomes confusing, once I claim the comments of my URL profile it should no longer exist and be absorbed into my User profile.

It doesn’t stop there, there is a third type of profile…not just people have profiles, and not just URL’s have profiles, but blog’s also have profiles, check out Read Write Web.
This is a stream of every post made on Read Write Web…at least that’s what I think it’s doing. If the item (comment) is from a non-Backtype user the item (comment) will not have hyperlink to the commenters Backtype user page.

You cannnot follow a blog URL, instead they have a list of Top contributors (with an RSS feed as well).
This is great if you own a blog as subscribing to this feed will keep you in the loop of who your most dedicated commenters (fans) are.
For this top list type feed, I wonder if they would consider using an SLE feed (rather than a regular RSS feed)

Here’s an example of three types of profiles for a given user:

Louis Gray

URL/Louis Gray.com

blog/Louis Gray.com


My dashboard has a friendstream where I can see the latest comments from people I follow, with an RSS feed, and also a Shared stream from people I follow, which also has an RSS feed.

Subscribing to this feed is going to be a great addition to Google Reader, now I not only subscribe to a blogger, but I can also to the comments bloggers I like make in the blogosphere in one easy feed (or I could go to each profile and subscribe to these individually).
It seems like my Backtype profile page feed is going to be a handy source to put in my Friendfeed stream.

I wish my Dashboard also had a “me” stream, and a stream for items I have Shared, instead I have to go to my public user profile.

As always when finding a new promising service I’d like to run my buddy list through it so I don’t have to spend time searching for my usual friends.


Searching Backtype is like searching the commentsphere…Yacktrack is a service achieving something different in the comment space, but they both have a similar aspect of being the commentsphere search engine.

You can search for both people and comments.
The People page has a list of the most followed people (with an RSS feed)
The Comments page has a stream of Recent comments (Timeline), and Top comments (with an RSS feed)
The search results page also has a feed, and there is a nifty advanced search.
I’d like to search for a keyword by a user, but it lacks a user field.
- Reason being is this way I can search my comments
- I’d also like to search comments limited to just my network

It seems easy enough to work out top commenters (this can be based on the top comments), just not sure how these top comments are worked out.

See Louis Gray’s post for more.

Read the original blog entry...

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