First Furl, now SezWho – I got this email last night and I’m going to share it here:
SezWho has been unable to continue our service and we need to shut down the site. Fortunately, our friends at JS-Kit are helping to keep the service up until March 31, 2009.
We strongly encourage you to Upgrade to JS-Kit Commenting Now!
We selected JS-Kit because they are the world’s largest distributed social network, connecting over 600,000 publishers with light weight, cross domain services, including Comments, Ratings, and Polls.
If you weren’t aware of it, SezWho was one of several comment platforms like Disqus and IntenseDebate. These platforms allow people to socialize their blog commenting activities by providing links to their various online identities and a place where all conversations can be aggregated into a single location.
Of course, all those links also meant a great way to promote your sites and even get a head start with the search engines. While I never got a chance to really get into SezWho, it was definitely on my to-do list.
Now, there is no real explanation in the email about why they’re forced to shut down, but I can imagine this is just yet another Web 2.0 application with no monetization model, a lot of overhead costs, and they probably managed to keep going as long as they did for the hope that someone would come in and buy up their software product. Unfortunately in this economy, there isn’t a lot of investment capital for web developers to count on and a lot of software systems we take for granted online are likely to vanish as well.
Now, SezWho isn’t going to completely disappear – the technology behind comment integration will now be a part of JS-Kit – a social network that I admit I know almost nothing about. They’ve got a lot of members – 600,000 they claim – and obviously they’ve got at least a little bit of cash to be able to acquire SezWho in a rough economic patch.
If anyone has experience with JS-Kit, I’d love to hear about it. With fewer and fewer resources available for us to connect with our audience and promote our sites, I imagine website owners are going to need to maximize every opportunity around.