If you’re an avid reader of www.techcrunch.com as I am, you’ll know that the comments are always sometimes the very best part of the content. I would argue that most of the time they are even better. That’s no dig on TC, but rather a compliment to the community they have enabled over there.
So when a story breaks on TC that I am interested in, I follow the comments, and the trackbacks, very closely. TC doesn’t have a “subscribe to comments” feature, so I have to keep coming back to the site and refreshing the page. They do offer an rss comment feed, but I don’t use feed readers.
The other thing that I do is click on the commentor’s name to go to thier site. Why? Because it usually leads me to a blog that I find interesting.
WHAT I WOULD BUILD TODAY IF I HAD TIME & MONEY
What I want is a TechCrunch conversation tracker. I imagine it as a mini TechMeme.com. Not just a comment tracker, but rather a “conversation tracker”. A tool that would allow me to subscribe to a blog entry, then actively go out and find the conversations related to that entry, and here’s the key… it would bring them to me via email, or a landing page built just for me.
It doesn’t have to be a solution just for TechCrunch either. I would like it to be used for me on any content I wished to track. I wrote more about this idea at ReveNews a while back when I gave tips to Icerocket.com.
2. Bribe the bloggers with vanity. I would build a system that helps bloggers get noticed. The #1 thing that all bloggers want is attention, so give it to them. Build a solution that helps the blogger be found and rewarded for good quality niche content. Push that content in a Techmeme style layout out to vertical markets. Focus on the bloggers as your customers and solve their problems and stroke their egos while providing them, and their readers with a simple interface that pushes the discussions out to each interested party.