CoComment and Relevant Mind: Tracking the wisdom of the conversation

At DEMOfall 07, CoComment and Relevant Mind showed off products that tap into the wisdom of conversations. Both services crawl millions of conversations (comments, discussions, forum on more than 200,000 Web sites) to create searchable databases.

At DEMOfall 07, CoComment and Relevant Mind showed off products that tap into the wisdom of conversations. Both services crawl millions of conversations (comments, discussions, forum on more than 200,000 Web sites) to create searchable databases.

CoComment introduced version 2.0 of its service, which tracks 11 million conversations across 220,000 sites, according to company CEO Matt Colebourne. In true Web 2.0 form, the new version adds more social networking, allowing people to connect more easily with friends and groups. Friends can be added to conversations, private or public, via services such as Twitter, Digg, del.ic.ious and email.

For businesses and brands, CoComment plans to offer a research tool for companies to get a sense on how they are perceived across the Web. "It can be used to find the zeitgeist. You can find out what others are saying about a topic, across the hundreds of thousands of articles we are tracking," said Colebourne. "You can see what issues are bubbling up in the aggregate, how people feel about a company or product messaging, or how they feel on country, global trend or category of site."

CoComment is also launching a ranking system for users, a measure of their expertise in a category. However, the company is not building a team to provide analysis to companies. CoComment will apply semantic analysis to cull out sentiments, favorable or unfavorable, based on anonymized data from its database of conversations.

CoComment plans to generate revenue through display ads. The site has half a million users and about 100 million ad impressions per month, Colebourne said.

Relevant Mind applies the wisdom of conversations to the buying process. "People are talking about what they are passionate about. It goes on all over the Web--forums, blogs, wikis and in the offline world. They have done a poor job supporting people in the what to buy question," said company CEO Aaron Mann as he was teeing up his demo.

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In a search for a particular product, the service displays relevant "conversations." Relevant Mind is currently searching about 9 million conversations across 200,000 sites, Mann said. The company receives a commission on purchases made via the stores represented on the site. Relevant Mind is starting with road bikes and golf products, but plans to add dozen of other categories.

Both CoComment and Relevant Mind are in beta, and spotty in search results and site performance. Searching for the "best golf putter" on CoComment didn't yield any results. Likewise, searching on the Relevant Mind golf vertical for "best putter" didn't yield any useful results. The conversation clearly needs to be expanded.

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