Intense Debate Now Automattic

September 23, 2008

Automattic, the firm behind WordPress, has acquired Intense Debate, the firm behind… Intense Debate. The ID comment system fits neatly into Automattic’s range of projects.

In particular, ID fits between the WordPress blogging platform and the Akismet spam-fighting system. There have also been requests for ID at the hosted WordPress.com service; however, if the support forums are any guide, there have been more requests for Disqus, a comment system that competes with ID.

Jon of ID is excited about wider distribution and about integration of ID with the Automattic offerings. To balance that, he emphasized that ID will continue to work on other blogging platforms, such as Blogger and Movable Type. Similar points come from the Automattic side of the deal, from Matt and from Toni.

ID will remain a stand-alone service that can be used with WordPress as well as many other types of web sites (similar to the way we run our Akismet and Gravatar services). In addition, some ID features and technology will be built directly into future versions of WordPress and Gravatar.

It’ll be interesting to see how competing firms react. I’m thinking in particular of Disqus, which currently uses Akismet. In other words, one of its main competitors has just been acquired by the developer of a service it uses. Mashable Adam contacted Disqus, and his post includes a quote from CEO Daniel Ha, but there’s understandably little in the way of specifics.

Finally, the timing of Intensomattic deal is such that it’ll be overshadowed by the Google/T-mobile circus. That’s a pity, because it’s a significant change to the social media landscape.

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