Topix.net was noted for making aggressive moves in 2005. The addition of a 'comments' link to every aggregated item 0n the Topix website coupled with adding blog posts into the mix were some of the more bold moves.
The Topix implementation of comments was done in an interesting fashion by placing submitted comments into a forum rather than attaching them directly to a story or post. The strategy behind keeping comments in a forum is now becoming more clear as I noticed today that Topix has added a map to plot the comment density
across the United States thus displaying comments in yet another unique
manner. This is a simple yet sexy feature that should produce
additional interest in Topix comment implementation. Topix.net also captures the location information (via Zip Code) of site visitors and comment generators which gives Topix the ability to serve up localized comments based on the assumed location of the a visitor.
The new "Forum Activity" icon can be found in the right rail any section. Upon clicking on on the map icon a pop-up window that resembles a heat map is presented. Comments are plotted on a U.S. map with different colors based on comment recency. A set of comments in proximity to your assumed local area are also listed below the map.
Check out Topix.net to perform searches, leave comments and put your conversation on the map!