When I find an interesting web app or program in Google Reader, if often just tag it to deal with later. Web apps and software usually take over 20 minutes to try out, and get a feel for. If I am just reading feeds for a short break though, this takes to long, so I tag it and save it for later. Yesterday evening I decided to go through some of the apps, etc. I had the pleasure of trying out coComment, which instantly captivated me for the rest of my time.
coComment is a new web service that keeps track of all your comments on other people's blogs. If anyone else comments, you are notified, so you can continue the conversation. This is the type of service that I have been longing for for a long time.
Why is it needed?
Sure, some blogs offer email notification of new comments, but I have always wanted to see the replies to many questions I have posted and then forgot about, or those witty comments on Digg. Besides, constant email notifications clutter up your inbox.
Again, I have seen some people offer comment feeds on the blog. The problem with this is, I don't want to subscribe to ALL your comments, just the one or two after mine, on a single post. The comment feed might work for very small blogs, but it could be major feed clutter with a large blog such as John Chow. Until coComment came along, there didn't seem to be any reasonably sane way to keep track of your online conversations.
Install the Firefox Extension
coComment comes with a Firefox extension, which automagically inserts a small bar onto the bottom of compatible text fields. coComment is smart though, and it has never placed itself on anything other than a comment. If you visit a blog and the comment field does not have the coComment bar, reload the page, and then try again. At first the bar did not appear on Digg for me, but I refreshed and then everything worked fine.
The extension also puts a small icon in your status bar, which notifies you of any new activity on tracked comments.
Viewing your Tracked Conversations
When you visit their website, you can see a neatly organized collection of all your conversations, sorted by blog:article. You can see the total number of comments, and when the latest comment was. You can even browse through the comments in a Gmail-like collapsing tab structure. If you are finished with comments on a certain article, you can simply select "stop tracking this comment", and it will be deleted from your watchlist.
Integration with Technorati
If you are a blog owner, coComment offers integratin of coComment into your blog via Technorati. I am not quite sure how this works though. I tried to set it up, but I kept getting errors at the last step. Has anyone tried this feature yet? It sounds like a cool toy to put in your blog's sidebar or posts to encourage more comments.
There is very little not to like about coComment. All it does is save you time, and make your blog life more productive. A must-have application and Firefox extension in my books. I am sure that this will improve any conversations I have with other bloggers, as hopefully with this, neither of us will forget about responding.