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Updated: Automattic Acquires Intense Debate For Blog Comments; Sharethis Buys Madkast

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imageThe past year has seen a surprising amount of activity in the area of blog commenting systems, as companies like Disqus and Intense Debate have looked to improve upon the standard old system of leaving comments… Now comes word that Automattic, the company that commercializes the WordPress platform, has acquired Intense Debate for an unspecified sum. In a blog post, Intense Debate CTO Jon Fox explains that the platform will still work just fine on other blog systems (Movable Type, Tumblr, etc.) but that there will now be tighter integration between it and some of Automattic’s other owned systems, like anti-spam tool Akismet and Gravatar (avatars for blog comments). Intense Debate hasn’t announced any major funding (though Disqus raised $500k earlier this year from various investors including Union Square). It’s not clear how this will change the playing field, although it obviously doesn’t hurt to have the team behind WordPress pushing one over the other. Read more in the announcement.

Update: And for the second bloggish acquisition of the day, Sharethis, which helps people share blog articles is acquiring MadKast, which… lets folks share blog articles (we’ll see if the FCC freaks out about the consolidation in the blog post sharing sector or not. Boulder, CO-based MadKast has raised $300k from investors including EONBusiness Venture Capital and Brad Feld. The company is an alum of the TechStars startup camp, and the deal was announced at a TechStars event. See more at VentureBeat.