For those of you who do a lot of weblog surfing, and who frequently participate in discussions at those sites by posting comments, I think there’s a need for a centralized system to manage that content. I’m talking about a method of aggregating those contributions in a single location, ideally on one’s own Web site but perhaps also on a page hosted by a remote application, combined with some pinging intelligence and a facility for management by their original author — you.
Think about it like this; taken altogether, you can look at everything you’ve written on other people’s weblogs as a body of content that you’ve generated for free — it’s only fair that you should be able to maintain a centralized archive of it, and to be able to display the fruits of your labors. Of course, the archive would include abstracts or excerpts from the original weblog post, as well as a URL directly back to it. That way, everybody wins.
Everything You Ever Wrote
And why stop at weblog comments — why not aggregate comments posted to discussion lists and bulletin boards, too? Oftentimes, those contributions are at least as valuable as weblog posts themselves. If you’ve contributed several excellent passages’ worth of commentary to a particularly robust mailing list, they shouldn’t be lost to that list’s archives (no matter how accessible) for all time… they should be made available directly on your own Web site.
This Is a Job for…
There’s probably an idea for a revenue-generating line of business in here somewhere, and I’d do it myself if I could see it clearly. But right now, I only imagine this as an adjunct product for a company like Six Apart — it’s no accident that there are shades of TrackBack and TypeKey in this concept, but hopefully the final execution would be a bit more universal.
Ideally, it would be completely open source, and championed by one of those brilliant, industrious and frequently very young lone wolves that commonly turn the Internet on its head. Given my own relatively advanced age (!), limited time and insufficient technological capacity to overcome the nontrivial challenges of getting all of these various content platforms to talk to one another, I’m clearly not the guy to do it. But if you think you happen to be, and you can pull it off, I get dibs on designing the user interface!