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Image representing Echo as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

In Early December, Chandler was kind enough to share a link to Rush Coil’s 8 Bit Christmas album with me. While Rush Coil’s record was great, I was more impressed with the little gem at the bottom of the page: a standalone commenting system.

Curious, I dug a little deeper to find Echo from JS Kit. I have worked on projects in the past with a WordPress back end that only provided comments on a page, and while not free ($12/year at minimum), Echo is a much easier approach to providing comments on any page.

Filed away as a great standalone option for comments and not much else, while catching up on Google Reader today, I ran across this article from Social Media Group. I spent some time watching Echo’s trailer video (embedded below), and it  looks to be a very promising comment replacement system as well.

Attracting comments on original posts is something that is becoming harder and harder to accomplish in today’s world of networks, aggregation, and conversational link sharing. Echo does a great job of capturing all of that conversation on the original post, in addition to providing an  authentication system via FaceBook, Twitter, etc.

Social Media Group’s article mentions a  TechCrunchIT pilot  regarding the quality of comments improving with this authentication.

When TechCrunchIT piloted the service they found that when they forced authentication via a social network before commenting was allowed, the quality of the comments increased considerably.

I do have reservations with replacing built in commenting systems with an external system, as this obviously presents an additional layer of moderation and maintenence, but Echo is definitely something worth looking into and experimenting with.

Update

Our friend Doug Karr from DK New Media is using Echo on his Marketing Tech Blog. Check it out and leave some comments!

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