Acquia has just announced that it is buying content monitoring vendor Mollom. With Mollom,Acquia says it will be able to build the first social content moderation platform that will ensure the quality of content that appears on client’s websites.

If you have already heard Mollom mentioned in the context of Acquia, it may be because Mollom was co-founded by Benjamin Schrauwen and Dries Buytaert, who is also the co-founder and current CTO of Acquia.

In fact it was because of this link that the two companies were finally merged. In a  blog post by Buytaert, he said it made a lot of sense. Both he and Schrauwen were trying to raise capital for Mollom to help fund future product development and expand operations.

It was clear that it would require a long-term commitment of my time – just at the point when I wanted to focus more on promoting Drupal globally and driving Acquia's growth and expansion. By having Acquia acquire Mollom, I can still be a part of Mollom, and Mollom could receive the resources to accelerate our efforts and create an even more exciting future for Mollom," he said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the financial terms were likely to have been substantial given thatMollom’s technology is already used by anumber of really bigcompanies like Sony Music, Radian 6 and Twitter -- as well as more than 50,000 websites -- to ensure content is clean and spam-free.

In fact, according to Mollom, since 2008, it has managed to block almost one billion spam messages. It also says that 78% of all the comments on the sites it is used on are spam, which it has already dealt with.

Acquia, Mollom

And while spam-busting will undoubtedly attract a lot of customers the vision for Mollom is much broader than that, even if Acquia doesn’t go into too many details as to how this vision will be achieved:

Acquia's vision to transform Mollom from an effective spam-blocking solution into the first community-backed content monitoring platform will help our customers quickly understand the qualitative aspects of the user-generated posts on their site -- in addition to removing the unwanted spam," said Schrauwen.

In short, the goal is to provide a social content management solution that can track conversations for companies that possess multiple websites without having to hire a whole bunch of expensive employees to do so. And it seems as if both have already been working on a joint solution

Learning Opportunities

…This solution is already available in beta with general availability soon…The growth of the social web has carried with it an explosion of spam and malware, which has been estimated to be as high as 95% of all user-generated content. With Mollom, Acquia continues our commitment to the highest level of security for our customers, Erickson said of the deal in a statement,” Erickson said.

Social Content Monitoring

A blog post by Acquia Chief Marketing Office Ronald C. Pruett, says the solution works in tandem with CAPTCHA and scores user-generated content, based upon the scoring system you desire.The result, he says, is better quality content, ensuring better user up take, and better SEO results.

In this space it appears to be competing with Akismet, which filters for the company that backs WordPress -- Automattic -- but Acquia CEO Tom Erickson told TechCrunch that he wasn’t particularly bothered as Drupal tends to be for larger sites, while WordPress is used for blogs and small sites (hmmm, we'll let that comment fester for awhile among you).

And Mollom is designed to deal with all kinds of content, not just comments, which will be important for communities built around Drupal which include forums and other interactive elements.

The solution is suitable for all websites that have a social presence and is not exclusive to Drupal-based sites. It can also support workflow management for in-house moderation teams.