What is Chat Catcher? ( (creator Shannon Whitley)

Chat Catcher is a simple Blog Plug-in Application that scans Twitter and FriendFeed for references to your blog posts. When someone links to your blog, their post will be published to your blog’s comments.

What stood out Chat Catcher the most in my eyes is the sheer ability to scan all URL Shortners instead of just one URL Shortner like Dan Zarrella’s Tweetsuite which only scans Tinyurl.  Another great feature was the amazing filter option where others lacked in only filtering one username.

Also Chat Catcher was more efficient and faster than the other competition because Chat Catcher posted the Twitter comments directly to your Blog comments section.  Feedback from the Tweetsuite was that it sometimes was a bit laggy.

I actually have used Chat Catcher just for a short while but as you can see in my previous posts it works amazingly and increases post comment count :-)



The Bad News…

Just as quickly as Chat Catcher was released and became increasingly popular, Shannon Whitley the creator has announced the shut down of Chat Catcher.

Via Twitter – Shannon has admitted that the cost of running Chat Catcher was a burden.

Having only 3 donations…..


Expensive costs of $10 dollars a day



This is indeed sad news especially with the release of a Drupal plugin.  It has however sparked some interest if the funding was there the plugin might stay.  Fellow competitor Dan Zarella seems to be engaging in conversation with the idea and who knows maybe Chat Catcher will be revived down the road…

Below is the actual E-mail sent out

“As Twitter has grown, so has the volume of data that needs to be processed by Chat Catcher.  I don’t have the resources to keep up with it any longer.

Thank you to everyone who pitched in last week when I requested donations to keep Chat Catcher running.  Unfortunately, it just isn’t enough and the server costs are quickly mounting.  Within the next few days I will turn off Chat Catcher completely.  All donations will be returned.

If you are running the WordPress plugin or the PHP script, you will not need to take any action.  You will still have the comments that were posted to your blog.  If you happen to be displaying the RSS feed on your site, you will want to remove it.

Chat Catcher represents a huge investment of my time and money.  I am not taking this action lightly.  I am also sorry to disappoint the many people who were happily using the service.

I do not plan to provide an open source version of Chat Catcher.  It’s just not that type of application.  I would be open to a purchase of the code or a sponsorship of the service if someone wants to step in as a white knight.  (Just so you know, I am not holding my breath.)

I will continue to work on my other projects which are not in danger of folding.  My Tweeple, Twit Connect, Real-time Chatterbox (and more) will continue to operate and will continue to be improved.  See for details.

Thank you for all your support and help.  I wish you the best.”
New Replacement
As far as what I am going to do to replace Chat Catcher, I will be looking at BackType’s new plug-in.
It does seem to have the same qualities as Chat Catcher and even more features as far as scanning websites and blogs.  This could be interesting but from here on it, I will be testing the new plug-in and see how it goes.
Below is an example….

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