So Mike, Mark and I each enjoy using the Shoutmix service. Shoutmix is a shoutbox provider. They host the box, content, ect and all you have to do is place the embed code on your website. It only costs $6.00 for 3 months of service and it’s worked out quite nicely.
Now between the three of us, we each have our own blog. And on our own blogs, we each have our own Shoutmix shoutbox. We were thinking, how cool it would be, to be able to use the same shoutbox on multiple blogs. To be honest, this is already possible by the mere fact of placing the embed code for one shoutbox on multiple blogs. However, the design of one shoutbox does not meet the design requirements for every other blog on the net. So the biggest problem we are facing is that, we can use the same shoutbox on different websites, but we can’t configure the shoutbox design to configure to our blog’s design.
I sent in an email to Shoutmix to see if #1 this was possible and #2 will this be a feature in a future version of Shoutmix. Here is what I found out.
For now V2 does not offer a convenient way to do this so this feature is not supported yet. I am considering it for the upcoming V3.
Just to make sure we were on the same page, I sent a follow up email and garnered this response:
I get what you mean, a singular shoutbox being shared over different sites or blogs, sharing the same contents. I’ll try to make that available in V3. It will take some time before V3 will be out though.
So it looks like we’ll be waiting a little while for something like that to be built into Shoutmix. Now to get to the new business idea. If you have been wanting to do a Web 2.0 startup and want to tap into the blogosphere, here is an idea how. Develop a shoutbox type of service similar to Shoutmix. Call the service BlogChattr to go along with the Web 2.0 naming scheme. You can offer your service in a number of ways. For instance, embed codes, links, widgets, ect. However, the biggest feature you would need to implement is the ability for one shoutbox, to have multiple designs.
Think about how cool that is. Think of it as an instant messenger for bloggers. Instead of having to browse each bloggers site to send messages to their respected shoutboxes, we could (chat from home). The main shoutbox would be the central administration area for every other shoutbox that connects to the chain. I’d like to see the option to lock down the shoutbox, unless exclusive access was given to a particular domain. So that way, I could add in domains that I accept having the shoutbox displayed on their website.
To tell you the truth, what I’m basically proposing is the combination of Cliqin and Shoutmix. The widget/design implementations of Cliqin with the administrative abilities of Shoutmix.
What do you folks think of the idea? Because I’ll tell you what, If I had the startup cash, this is one idea I would jump on because I think it has the ability to be a hot item in the blogosphere.