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Preview: The Inquisitr - Latest Comments in Considering Shyftr

The Inquisitr - Latest Comments in Considering Shyftr

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 12:24:09 -0000


Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 12:24:09 -0000

Duncan, thanks for the thoughtful review. Nice to see it in video format too :). There are a lot of moving parts that come into play for us, comments being one of them. Balancing what Shyftr can be for everyone is difficult to say the least, and we are constantly listening to and revising how we do things to keep that balance. If what we set out to build works, it will create an opportunity for everyone. An opportunity for users to get that ideal experience, an opportunity for publishers to broaden their reach, and subsequently this becomes an opportunity for publishers to take advantage of that broader audience. Shyftr sits in the middle as we try and facilitate this experience.

When it comes to comments, we are discussing how we will handle them moving forward. Since we are a small team it is not as easy as flipping a switch and making things change. But we understand the perspective of giving back, and are supportive of this philosophy. We just need a little bit of patience as we work through how to best handle it. I think having these discussions help us understand the perspective of others and allow us to make informed decisions that will benefit everyone.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 08:47:44 -0000

This sounds like a problem that the Shyftr guys can and will fix. They have a nice product but if it doesn't give anything back to the content creators then no one will ever promote it. Without having bloggers on board I can't see how it will take off. So it is in everyone's interest that they do change the model.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 07:57:26 -0000

For what it's worth Matt, I was being tongue-in-cheek: I don't think what you do is scraping at all, and I really have no problem with what Shyftr does (and nice about the video: I'll have to take a look at Shyftr again).

I think you're right: it's kind of silly that blogs now maintain two sets of comments: their Friendfeed comments and their regular (or Disqus, as the case may be) comments. What about something like OpenSocial for Comments? Being able to declare an instance of comments for a blog post (or any content type), and having Friendfeed, Shyftr, and Disqus be all aware of that instance, and be all able to read and edit/add/etc. to those comments as necessary.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 02:17:32 -0000

Sorry, that last comment on Louis' comment, not Matt's.

Matt, I think the rev share side has validity.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 02:15:53 -0000

I'll disagree on this: it will never happen for the same reason there will never be ads on Google News: copyright. While Reader and similar services are ad free it's a personal utility play that's a value add as part of a bigger picture/ service, once it had ads they're profiting off other people's content. Under copyright law the line is probably very gray, but it's where everyone has stood now for years.

I can remember if it was Denton or Calacanis (or maybe both) who a couple of years ago actually blocked their full feeds from feedreaders who ran ads against (it has been tried before, at least once or twice). I think the resistance today would be less, but ads could have been added for the better part of 5 years and no one has so far for a reason.

The flip of course is that the lack of revenue has really stifled innovation in this space...well until now anyway. Bloglines nearly died a slow death, and even Reader has been only slowly developed.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 01:59:26 -0000

Something that tends to get overlooked but remains on option for any reader, not just Google Reader, is the ability to have an "opt-in" model for bloggers to display their Ad-Sense code (or other ads) next to their aggregated feeds within the reader... because at the end of the day, the "pageview" is partially about the "ad view" for the pro-blogger. It's something to consider... I believe any advertising by Google in their reader will be done on a rev-share basis... wether it's alternating placement, or a special Ad-Sense program... it will be sure to reimburse the blogger as well and it will be "opt-in". As Duncan correctly pointed out, it's just wrong to silo your own advertising against someone elses intellectual property (I think the term "morally repugnant" is perfect... hehe).

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 01:46:45 -0000

Not sure what the last line is saying (we are not "scrapers", we are an RSS aggregation service. We never come get any un-syndicated content or attempt to create syndication where it is not provided... that's what I think of when I hear the word "scrape".) ... :-\ for what it's worth... this post came through my Shyftr feed reader just fine and dandy (video and all). :-D

About the API thing... and we talk about this stuff a lot in house (so I certainly do not want to overstep my place by saying too much, lol) ... but don't you think that it's also a little unfair to expect bloggers to have to go get so many widgets to have all these conversations? Just how many "comments on XXX" widgets will people be able to stand before they say enough is enough? To clarify, I'm loving all the conversation around "the conversation" (that's a mouthful) but I still see the ideal "solution for everyone" as being elusive.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 01:24:01 -0000

Wow... thank you for all the nice things you said and for the extremely constructive and considerate review.

Please know that we are listening to all the feedback we've been receiving, from you and from the community. Dave and myself really do care about the same things you care about. I wish, at times, that bloggers such as yourself could be a "fly on the wall", so to speak, during some of our internal meetings covering some of the topics you covered in this video. We aim to provide a valuable experience for consumers and have never once wanted to get on the bad side of the hard working, creative people who pump the life blood into Web 2.0... we built Shyftr out of our love of the web, our love of blogs, and a desire to make an RSS reader that was more social where people could gather around their favorite content... sharing, discussing, and discovering new things. We're a small team that set out on a really big mission, and we will be the first to admit that we didn't do everything perfectly. But we've learned a lot in the past couple months and I hope our past actions have shown a willingness to act and work with people as opposed to against them.

Again, your feedback and patience is appreciated and I'm looking forward to having a lot of positive dialogue in the future!

P.S. It is, indeed, pronounced "Shift-er", a "Shyft" is the act of subscribing to a feed at the site. ;-)

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 01:08:27 -0000

On that note, regarding FeedBurner, I'll be shocked if Google Reader never does ads. It's a given. It's coming, and it should be interesting to see how the blogs react when it does.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Wed, 28 May 2008 01:07:40 -0000

Good video.

Not speaking for the Shyftr guys, it is interesting that they are among (can't prove first as I haven't done all the research) the first to try full RSS feeds with comments.

Back in 2007 and earlier, I openly said that Google Reader should add comments.
Earlier this year, we saw Assetbar debut with full feeds, and also, siloed comments that did not feed back to the blogs. While they haven't had wide-spread success, their policy has not changed.

Also, as of March of this year, Plaxo Pulse published full feeds and comments, but they subsequently did a tie-in with Disqus, solving that issue, where blogs did have Disqus. If they don't have Disqus, I believe the comments remain siloed on Plaxo Pulse.

Of interest, the Shyftr blog itself uses Disqus, so who knows? Maybe the team is thinking differently than first planned?

I think part of where the concerns have come up is how the team has transitioned from an unknown site originally built for a small group of friends to a more well-known service. That's partly my fault of course, as everything to date this year with the exception of Twitter's uptime issues has been. :-)

As a result of the increased visibility, what may have been "okay" for a small group of friends is considered less okay as they move to be more of a mainstream alternative. And while I personally have already said I don't have a problem with what they did then, or are doing now, others (like yourself) do, and I expect they'll listen. Definitely a space to watch.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Tue, 27 May 2008 23:42:32 -0000

This is why I - unlike a lot of other people - am fairly excited about if it ever launches publicly. It's building a community around an RSS reader, but also has the comments arrive back at the originating blogs - something Disqus is also working on and has already done w/ Plaxo.

As for monetizing RSS readers, Google kinda stole the best business model by buying FeedBurner so they can split revenue on the ads that show up in the feeds without pissing off publishers/readers. Everyone else is sort of screwed.

Re: Considering Shyftr

Tue, 27 May 2008 23:18:16 -0000

This was a great video that really made the Blog 1.0 viewpoint more palatable for those of us who think moving away from the blog is an inevitable (and ultimately good) thing. If Shyftr provided an API to create a widget like the Friendfeed widgets that are around, do you think that'd be enough for the sort of the giveback that's required in the social contract between services and content creators?

I couldn't help but note the choice of format for this post: a clever way to get around Shyftr's "scaping?" :-)

Re: Considering Shyftr

Tue, 27 May 2008 22:59:40 -0000

A fair opinion (which I agree with) and I must admit one of the few times I actually found a video post worth watching.