Tiseme bills itself as a ‘browser-based conversation platform.’ In practice, what it does is bring all the social parts of Facebook and Twitter — news feeds, comments, status updates and all — to regular old web surfing. After a few weeks of behind-the-scenes tinkering, site founder Brandon Powell tells us that the Indianapolis-based web app is ready for its public alpha, starting today.

Tiseme (short for “adverTISE ME”) lets users attach comments to virtually any content found on the web. The setup is simple. Users just install the ‘Tisemebar’ (i.e., a basic Firefox extension), which sits at the bottom of the browser window. Once it’s set up, users can follow one another and attach text and video comments to the websites they visit. All it takes to get a conversation started is highlighting the text you’d like to feature, and then submitting your comment through the Tisemebar. The referenced snippet of text (as well as your pithy text/video rejoinder) will be broadcast in your Tiseme feed and shared in realtime with your followers.

Tiseme users can update their Facebook and Twitter statuses from the Tisemebar and push out comments to the those sites as well as to FriendFeed and Seesmic. Rounding out its capabilities is an in-platform direct-messaging system and a rudimentary email client for reaching contacts outside the Tiseme platform.

An early look at the platform reveals some real potential but also some limitations. The ability to “take my conversations with me” is novel, but a lot of Tiseme’s functionality relies on the Firefox extension. As an entry point to the platform that extension is intuitive and relatively discreet, but it could hinder the platform’s growth. For example, whereas both my parents have grown comfortable conversing via Facebook, it seems unlikely that they’d bother with a Firefox extension just to read my comments on a news story. Granted, Tiseme has partially addressed this by allowing the option to push comments out of the platform, but for the time being Tiseme’s sweet spot is the conversations that take place within its platform.

Want a peek behind Tiseme’s velvet rope? Use the invite code “VENTRB” to take the platform for a spin, and let us know what you think.

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