Sunday, 05 February 2006

Co-comment-logoAll the virtual world's a-buzz with commentary and conversation (ironically, since a lot of the commentary is out of the reach of the service for now) about coComment, a coolio and not-yet-fully-released "Web-2.0" online service that let's you track comments make on blogs everywhere. Or at least it will at some point - only a few blogging platforms are supported right now (and the software this weblog runs on, dasBlog, is unfortunately not one of them), so it's very much hit and miss as to whether or not you can use it, but the promise of an interesting future is certainly there.

I'm using coComment now, and it's pretty cool. You can sign up at the site (look for the "Get Notified" section on the home page), and they're trying to get new invitations sent out as soon as they can.The coComment web site is well designed and the core feature/functionality is a sharp idea. I will say that it's a bit clunky in terms of how the actual user commenting experience works. You have to think about it too much, which is not so good... It puts an extra graphical "button" with your name onto the page that you have to click first, before you click the actual comment submission button. The new button falls to the right of the submit button, so it's a lot like being forced to read right to left and it just doesn't look very clickable - It's just counterintuitive.

You have to click the little blue icon with your name on it first

Brian Benzinger wrote a little GreaseMonkey script that automates the sign-in for FireFox users - It's very nice and you can get it on this page. Otherwise you have to use a "bookmarklet link" to activate the service on any given comment page - another layer of abstraction that would be nice to avoid somehow.

But hey, it is pre-v1.0, so... Anyhow, it would be especially nice if the authors and some creative blog software creators made it even more usable.

It does solve a few problems, mainly being able to find your conversations in the blogosph -- uh, on blogs. Two other things it does is, 1) it allows you to embed a little bit of code in your blog template to display comments that you've made on other blogs, and 2) it allows you to subscribe to a RSS or ATOM feed with all your tracked comments in one place. Adoption will depend on how many blog software authors get into the mix and how many blogs the coComment people decide to try to tackle themselves, I suppose.

Note that, while it's a great start, the real test will be whether everyone will sign up - since that appears to be a requirement in order to actually track everything that might matter. Is there not a better way to do this? Does the RSS comment capability/spec not go far enough?

From their site:

Coming soon..

For advanced bloggers who would like to more fully integrate coComment features in their own blog, coComment will offer:

The ability to add elements of the coComment service to blogs based on non-standard blogging platforms in order to ease the usage of coComment for commenters (automated capture).

The ability to customize the appearance (eg colors, fonts, etc.) of coComment elements, in order to better suit your tastes and needs.



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Sunday, 05 February 2006 13:21:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Referred by:
http://search.daum.net/ [Referral]
http://www.solutionwatch.com/313/comment-tracking-with-cocom... [Referral]
Monday, 06 February 2006 00:08:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I've been fooling around with this the past few days, and I was initially excited with it's value prop. However, now I'm less than impressed for the reasons you stated -- namely, it takes too much foresight to use it and it's interaction model is kludgy.

This is trying to solve the problem simply because comments become conversations (a 2 way dialogue, usually between owner and visitors). This embraces that these conversations are meant to stay as is, and no solution that the underlying blog software can provide.

I'm wondering how long it'll be until we see a "standard" established around comment notification, where we use something so Web-1.0-ish.. email! gasp!

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