Scoble suggests that a great way for websites and/or blogs with many comments to further monetize is by letting each comment act as a mini advertisement for the author. For example, Scoble himself would pay to have his comment closer to the top or highlighted in blue. Likewise, Scoble’s new employer, Fast Company, would be willing to pay for its logo to appear next to a well articulated comment.
Great idea Robert!
Another thought I had was that Techcrunch (and other big-time blogs) should post snippets of the day’s best comments in the sidebar of the main page. This would encourage smarter comments since the authors of said comments would be featured prominently, complete with a link to that person’s online presence. Sure Disqus allows you to vote on comments, but it’s not the same as having the best comments featured right there with a site’s primary content. This would also feeds into Scoble’s idea of monetized comments, or at least using comments as a form of marketing and PR. Personally I’d gladly have a logo marketed to me in exchange for a well thought-out and insightful comment.