For those who are not familiar with the ChatCatcher plugin for WordPress, the plugin allowed bloggers to be able to “catch” the Retweets and mentions for each article. The mentions would be published much like trackbacks, but for those who like to monitor their tweets from their own WordPress administration panel, this plugin was pretty handy.
In the past there were some rough times with the plugin and sometimes the configuration was a bit shotty. However, since March 2008, this plugin became a really great tool to add to any socially driven blog. To understand a little bit more on why this plugin is shutting down is the fact that the plugin uses a server to pull the Twitter comments and then send them to your blog.
Here is Shannon Whitley’s Shannon Whitley is the creator of ChatCatcher) letter:
Shutdown Notice: Chat Catcher will be shutting down November 1st.
This message is intended for users of the Chat Catcher service at ChatCatcher.com. If you are not currently using Chat Catcher, please disregard this message and accept my apology for the intrusion.
Q: How does the Chat Catcher Shutdown affect my blog?
A: No action is needed. Your blog will no longer receive trackbacks from Chat Catcher. You may want to leave the Chat Catcher plugin activated as it performs some formatting for existing trackbacks.
While it was fun to create multiple Twitter applications in 2008, Twitter’s extreme growth has made it tough for a single developer to manage this type of software project. Hosting, storage, and ongoing support costs are just too high to justify the continuation of a free service.
Thank you for using Chat Catcher. Your use of the service, support, and feedback has meant a great deal to me. There are many people who supported me throughout this endeavor, and I’m sorry that I can’t list everyone. I’d especially like to thank Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications for his feedback during the early stages of the project. Thanks to Neville Hobson for helping to save Chat Catcher the first time, and thank you to Ocasta Labs for generously allowing Chat Catcher to continue for another year-and-a-half.
A brief history of Chat Catcher:
February 2008: Chat Catcher was born February 2008 and operated as an experiment at Tweetrack.wordpress.com.
March 2008 – May 2009: ChatCatcher.com was created. Chat Catcher was deployed via direct trackbacks and Plugins to WordPress and Drupal sites across the web. Thanks to John Eckman for developing and supporting the Drupal Plugin.
May 2009 – October 2010: Chat Catcher + Ocasta Labs – Chat Catcher was scheduled to shut down, but it was saved by Ocasta Labs in May of 2009.
Although we couldn’t sustain Chat Catcher, I do hope that I can serve you in the future. I continue to work in the social space and love coding applications of all types.
P.S. – If you’re looking for a Chat Catcher replacement, there are several to choose from and one might not meet the needs of all. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you need help making a decision.
Will there be a plugin to replace ChatCatchers great services? Is there a way to bypass using another server and just directly “catch” mentions and submit them as trackbacks to your blog?