3Bubbles and Live Blog Chat

11Feb06

There’s a really great discussion taking place over at TechCrunch about the soon to launch 3Bubbles, a chat interface that can be added to blog posts automatically and enables live discussion.

To be honest, this sounds really intersting, but a few questions come to mind — or should I say concerns. Many of these appear in the comments of the TechCrunch post as well.

First, and most importantly, how many bloggers will actually be able to sustain a live discussion about any of their posts? I know that with my readership being pretty low, with occasional spikes, I wouldn’t be able to use this service very effectively. A couple of people have mentioned that not even all of the Technorati Top 100 would be able to host live discussions. However, that doesn’t mean blogs like TechCrunch and maybe Micropersuasion and others wouldn’t be able to. Hm.

Second, I don’t know about anyone else for sure, but I enjoy having the comments section live within the post. Sure, 3Bubbles can, and most likely will, find a way to archive the live chat discussions that take place, but how many people want to read through innumerable lines of “yeah, but I like 2.0 technology,” and “oh yeah? well I don’t.” That could get old in a hurry.

And third, as one commentor asked, is this a company? For the 2.0 lovers out there this is just part of the wave, but how sustainable is their business model when it’s based on advertising? If you can’t guarantee that the vast majority of bloggers will use the service, and have readers partake, you certainly can’t guarantee, or shall we say ‘sell’, advertisers on the idea. Where’s the traffic to justify the placement?

All in all, great, fun idea, and undoubtedly useful for bloggers with mass traffic and opinionated readers — real-time interaction is definitely lacking in blogs — but I’m not sure I’d bet on this as an overly used option. I’d use it, but it would just be another tool built into the blog, like trackbacks, that I don’t seem to get too many of. 🙂

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