3Bubbles: Your Backstage Pass to the Rock Stars

Mike Arrington previews 3Bubbles, an Ajax based application that will let bloggers add chatrooms to each of their posts.

While I’m impressed with the technology, I tend to agree with Kai Turner, who had this to say in a comment:

I wonder how many sites (aside from your top 100 blogs) can sustain a chatroom for a single post, let alone an entire site?

The answer is exactly none of them. In fact, other than Mike’s site and maybe Boing Boing, I’m not sure how many of the top 100 blogs could sustain one. I can tell you from experience with ACCBoards.Com and other very popular sites I have developed that it takes a boatload of traffic to sustain a chat room. More than a truckload. And all that traffic has to arrive at roughly the same time.

Kai correctly points out that to have traction in a chat room you have to schedule chats. And there are other services that do that now. Why do we need a chat room for every post (sing that to the tune of a Beach Boys song).

The other problem with a chat room for every post (again, sing it like a Beach Boy) is that it will almost certainly reduce the number of comments and other forms of interaction at the blog. Plus, unless there’s some sort of logging feature, chat content isn’t archived the way comments are. And even if it is the noise to content ratio in a chat room is about the same as my links to Mike are to Mike’s link to me (much of the former; little of the latter).

Mike mentions in a responsive comment that it would be cool to have him and some of the developers hang out backstage in a chat room after a big TechCrunch review and answer questions from the unwashed masses. Actually, I agree that it would be nice to have a chat like that, but unless we’re going to hang out by the backstage door those chats would need to be scheduled. Plus some smart company will have to invent cyber-autographs we can get once we get inside.

Again, I think this is neat technology. But sometimes people confuse a blue ribbon science project with a business. And like all the stuff I ranted about the other day, the cash in this deal is based largely on advertising.

Blue ribbon, yes. Business, no.