blog comments search engine

Many great insights show up in the comment thread of blogs, especially on A-list blogs [FYI, I’m B-list]. I’m surprised that with web technologies multiplying on so many fronts that a search engine hasn’t been built sooner to crawl blog comments. Plus, now a growing number of blogging tools are offering RSS feed for comments, e.g. WordPress, TypePad, Blogger. Those are the “big 3″, imho. I’d like to think that it’d be fairly easy to aggregate those RSS feeds and slap a search engine on it. Just like how a new blog post pings a server, so could a comment RSS feed.

Now there is one called BackType — a search engine that searches blog comments (finally!). Surprisingly, this blog post explains BackType better than its about page:

BackType is a website that lets people find, follow and share comments from across the web. Comments play an important role in social media; there are millions of comments written every single day. BackType’s technology crawls and indexes millions of comments so you can search them by topic or follow those written by the people you care about.

I’m not sure if it uses the algorithm I described above, or how extensive BackType searches the commentsphere (aka commentosphere). It looks like BackType does so much more than coComment, Disqus, or IntenseDebate3 great commenting add-ons that have been around a while to index comments for blogs and commenters that use their service. My guess is that a majority of commenters don’t. [disclosure: I’ve used coComment before, and currently use Disqus here.]

MicroPersuasion’s Steve Rubel had predicted a comments search engine would launch in 2006. I don’t know of one. [via lackofmotivation]

MicroPersuasion also noted these blog comment stats as Nielsen BuzzMetrics Quantifies the State of the Commentsphere:

… They studied 500 randomly selected blog posts and here’s what they found:

  • 80% of the sample posts allowed comments, but only 28% had them
  • The number of comments in the entire blogosphere is comparable to the number of posts in active, non-spam blogs. Therefore comments constitute up to 30% (150,000) of the daily volume of blog posts (700,000) …
  • Less than 2% of all blog comments are syndicated in feeds
  • The textual size of the commentsphere is 10 to 20% of the blogosphere

Even though 2 years late, I’m just ecstatic that you can search blog comments now!!

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