Readers of this blog will be accustomed to my updates on the message board space, especially BoardTracker, and my conviction that there is far more data out there on boards than there is on blogs. They will also be aware of my belief that the blogosphere is following main stream media in an ironic development which sees the A-List bloggers getting delayed on their observations, insights and scoops.
I'm really excited to see that Rubel is finally giving some pixels to the message board space:
Finally there's now a way for all of us to search message boards, not just professionals who license the high-end tools. BoardTracker.com is tracking 16 million conversation threads in 26,000+ forums. They aggregate content into tag clouds too.
While these numbers are very small, I still think it's smart for these guys to be focusing on forums. There's plenty of value here and they're filling a void in the market. Take health, for example. Most of the conversation around health takes place in forums, not blogs - at least right now. I would love to see more innovation in this area of conversation monitoring. Better yet, they should find a way to aggregate blog comments too. Wither not the forum.
I'd love to see his data supporting the statement that health issues are more the domain of message boards than blogs (I'm not doubting it, I'd just love to know where this comes from). Steve - what message board analysis tools have you been using to date?
Steve's suggestion that forum content systems should aggregate blog comments is, however, ill-conceived. Blog comments need to be tightly integrated with blog acquisition systems to make sense of the thread of discussion.