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JS-Kit Acquires Haloscan; Rolls Out Game Changing New Features
Yesterday I spoke with JS-Kit CEO Khris Loux who briefed me on several major updates for JS-Kit and their product roadmap. The first update is that JS-Kit has acquired comment replacement service HaloScan for an undisclosed sum. Loux says that HaloScan was actually the first comment replacement system and has over 500,000 active blog installations. He says while the new crop of comment replacement services including Intense Debate and Disqus are getting some press lately, HaloScan is "magnitudes larger". This size was the reason that JS-Kit has acquired HaloScan. Loux believes that these comment replacement services must have very large scale to be successful – and that HaloScan gives JS-Kit that size.
The acquisition is an IP-only acquisition and JS-Kit bought the distribution and customer base. They are currently swapping out the widgets in place that are branded HaloScan to use the JS-Kit widget and it should be transparent to the blog owners. They are 20% done with the swap so far and currently are replicating all comment data into both systems to make certain that nothing is lost. The new JS-Kit is adding sites at 300/day and will have over 8 million users.
As for the new features, they include a portable comment profile, comment synchronization and search engine accessibility. The portable comment profile screenshot is listed below. Loux noted that unlike Disqus, JS-Kit isn’t redirecting users back to their site – everything goes back to the content creator.
The synchronization feature which is called "sync" is game changing I believe for comment replacement systems. If you’ve read my previous posts around this technology, one of my concerns is what happens if the company goes out of business. Your site’s comments are gone forever as well. JS-Kit believes they have the answer using Sync. What Sync does is pull in comments from your current platform and then back updates live to the blog software you use. So let’s assume you put JS-Kit on your blog, tomorrow a person makes a commment. That comment is sent behind the scenes back to your blog commenting system along with the JS-Kit powered comment. This means that you can turn off JS-Kit anytime and still maintain your complete comment base. Sync currently works with WordPress and Blogger blogs and Loux says more platforms are coming.
The other update is that now there’s SEO (search engine optimization) support for your comment data – everything will be indexed properly.
Loux concluded by saying that they don’t compete on lock-in like the other comment replacement services do. He believes they must keep innovating to keep your business.