Catching up With Backtype [en]

[fr] BackType: pour voir les commentaires que je fais dans la blogosphère, l'impact "social" de mon blog, les derniers tweets qui le référencent, et un plugin WordPress (TweetCount) qui va remplacer TechMeme pour moi, simplement parce qu'il liste effectivement les tweets référençant l'article en question, ce que TechMeme ne fait pas.

Image representing BackType as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

A few weeks ago I read that BackType was going to discontinue the BackType Connect plugin that I had used some time back here on CTTS, which prompted me to (a bit hastily, I’ll admit) make a comment about how you’re really better off not relying on a third party for hosting your comments (which is not what BackType does, my bad).

The BackType Connect plugin took offsite reactions to your blog posts (tweets, for example) and published them as comments. I have to say I was never really really happy with the plugin: installing it made me realize that most mentions of my posts on Twitter were retweets (or spambots) and that I didn’t want to mix that kind of “reaction” with my comments. At one point the plugin really stopped working (or gave me some kind of grief) and I dropped it.

I actually liked BackType a lot when they started out, and I owe them big time for saving hundreds of my blog comments when I dropped my database early 2009. Even though I wasn’t using their plugin, I was unhappy about the announcement — and even more unhappy when I discovered that my user page had disappeared (yes, the one displaying all the comments I’d made on other blogs and this one, which replaced what I’d used coComment for).

BackType, however, did something I liked a lot, and wished TweetMeme had done: allow me to see all the latest tweets linking to Climb to the Stars. This prompted me to take a closer look at what BackType was actually still doing, and report my findings of interest back to you, dear readers.

  1. Good surprise: BackType actually does still allow me to track comments I make all over the blogosphere — but it uses my URL rather than my user account to identify me.
  2. Already mentioned: tweets linking to my blog. Including old ones.
  3. The social impact of any URL: tweets, comments and friendfeed mentions over time, complete with mugshots of “top influencers“.
  4. TweetCount plugin, which is probably going to replace the TweetMeme plugin I was using until now,  because BackType actually lists tweets linking back to a post (compare with the TweetMeme page for the same post). I’ve always found TweetMeme a bit too close to Digg and TechMeme (you know I’m no fan of the race for popularity or breaking news). TweetCount counts a few less tweets than TechMeme, and I suspect its results are cleaner.
  5. If you like displaying tweets mentioning your posts on your blog, you should also check out the BackTweets plugin.

Does BackType do anything else that seems precious to you?

Conversation fragmentation is still an issue in today’s blogosphere, but tools like BackType (and even the Facebook Like button!) are helping is stitch the different pieces together.

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1 thought on “Catching up With Backtype [en]

  1. Twitter mentions of a blog post have a much lower conversational value than “proper” comments, I agree, but in some contexts it’s just good to know who is taking an interest in a post.

    I’ve been experimenting with Disqus for a new Welsh language site. Online conversation is less saturated in Welsh than it might be for bigger languages. So part of its appeal for me is highlighting the little scraps of interest around a post. It might be true of niche topics as well – the value of knowing who is out there goes up.

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