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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 10, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Jobster vets about to launch Linebuzz

Seattle startup LineBuzz, which developed software for creating in-line comments on blogs, is preparing to launch Monday.

It’s the creation of Mark Maunder and Kerry Boyte, who met while working together at eToys.com before the bubble burst, according to this profile. They came to Seattle two years ago after selling their job search site, WorkZoo, to Jobster.

The service is still in alpha but samples are up on its Web site. To add the feature to a blog, you install one line of Javacript into the blog template. Then readers can click on words or a phrase in blog entries and insert comments; the commented upon text then appears like a hotlink.

Here’s how LineBuzz describes inline comments:

It’s when one of your readers drags their mouse over text in your blog entry, clicks a button and writes a comment about that piece of text. Next time the page loads, the text on your page is underlined with dashes (or other ways to differentiate the text) and readers can click to see the comment and reply if they’d like.

Sounds like a slick alternative to traditional blog comment systems. I wonder if there’s a way to moderate the inline comments?

UPDATE: Mark just gave me some more background. The company started about six weeks ago as a side project for their other business, GeoJoey.com.

“The idea didn’t really fit with GeoJoey, so we decided to drop everything – when you’re a two person company you can do that – and see if we could create another company in five weeks,” he said via email.

They think they’re onto a “monster business” because they haven’t found anyone else providing a way to annotate text on a Web page without requiring a plugin or browser extension.

If nothing else, they may set a new speed record for conceiving and launching a business.

Comments | More in | Topics: Startups

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