Cocomment is an interesting web technology that does some neat things but perhaps is not so wide it used to reach a next level of progress. It acts as a service of sorts, to tackle the age old (or 3 year old) problem of not knowing what happens to the “conversations” you leave as comments distributed on other blogs. It aims to register your commenting in a way that allows you to track it.

On first iteration, it required you to click a JavaScript bookmark tool for every new comment you posted. ( forgot to do this 9 out of 10 times. Then I got clued into a Firefox Greasemonkey script that automated it. I worked well for a few weeks, then Cocomment changed and the script got more wonky. Then following a clue from Amy G, I found coComment has developed its own Firefox extension that sits in the bottom of your browser, works reliably, and gives you a visual clue when your cocomment streams have some new additions:

Firefox-Tooltip-New-Comments

Cocomment tracks your comments, and those by other cocommenters who are in the same conversation in a public page, e.g. http://www.cocomment.com/comments/cogdog. I have it as an RSS feed in my aggregator too, but as you can see, my own stream is pretty much my comments and the ever prolific Gardner Campbell, a.k.a Dr. Glu (another story). So in the hand of a few users, you do not yet have (or I do not have) the Wisdom of Crowds thang.

Gardner is a grand commenter, with zest, irony, insight, and clever references, he comments all over the web… and he uses cocomment to syndicate his external activity in the top of the sidebar of his Gardner Writes blog

There is a new feature, where cocomment lists your “neighbours” (apparently this is a British feature?) – the co-comment pages of other users who have commented on the same conversations:

Cocomment-Neighbors

Potentially, it might provide that hop, skip, click way to find interesting content and people the same way surfing del.icio.us taggers does.

And “tag!” you’re it, you can now “tag” your co-comments (I have not even wrapped my head around how/why I might do that:)

Cocomment-Tags

Bottom line, cocomment does something neat, it aims to connect a strand of external content that are usually not connected, it is evolving new features, yet I am just not absolutely sure if it is finding the “sweet spot”, the so-called Tipping Point into Something Really Big (That Might Even Be Bought By Yahoo/Google/Microsoft/…..).

But I am using it, keeping an eye on it.

The post "Cocommenting On The Rise Or?" was originally rescued from the bottom of a stangant pond at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2006/05/cocommenting-on-the-rise-or/) on May 5, 2006.

9 Comments

  • D'Arcy Norman darcynorman.net

    You beat me to it. I installed the extension last night, and it’s working great! Seems to be much more reliable than the Greasemonkey script.

  • Alan, great description of coComment, thanks for it!
    And as we often say, don’t hesitate to share your ideas with us on how to improve the service for you as a reader, a commenter, ablog owner and your community.

  • Glad I gave you a useful tip, Alan.

    You wrote: “And ‘tag!’ you’re it, you can now ‘tag’ your co-comments (I have not even wrapped my head around how/why I might do that:)”

    Actually, I like that feature for a few reasons:

    1) I participate in an awful lot of conversations online. It helps to sort them out by topic or theme.

    2) I’ve been using del.icio.us to provide links to articles I’ve commented on as sidebar content to my blogs Contentious.com and RightConversation.com. This is because del.icio.us allows you to generate feeds based on tags or tag combinations. CoComment offers a sidebar box that feeds in your latest comments — I’ve already implemented that on Contentious. And I guess people like it, because they’ve been clicking on it.

    Now if only CoComments presented your list of tags as a pick-list, so I wouldn’t have to type all my tags every time… and if only they’d offer tag-specific comment feeds…

    Ah, patience, patience…. :-)

    – Amy Gahran

  • Easton Ellsworth businessblogwire.com

    Alan, I am a huge fan of coComment (I’m regularly on its “People” page as a prolific commenter) and I’m glad you’ve written about it. One reason you might want to tag your comments with a tag or two is not only to help you remember what you’ve commented about later, but also so that other people can visit your coComment page and see what kind of a commenter you are – that is, what you like to comment about.

    At BusinessBlogWire I’ve put up all three coComment boxes and I am trying to encourage as many people as I can to try it out. It’s made me more productive, more caring (because I realize that anyone can now snoop on my commenting so I really have to make thoughtful comments), and more generous in adding to conversations around the Web.

    The Firefox extension is reall the reason I fell head over heels in love with coComment. Before that, I was goingg throught the same things you were in terms of forgetting to use the bookmarklet or having problems with the greasemonkey script.

    I agree that coComment is definitely not yet at that magical Tipping Point where more seem to be using it than not, but I really hope that arrives soon, either through coComment or another similar service.

    The real genius of the extension is thsi: If you have coComment and respond to my comment here, I will know about it within a few minutes without having to do anything on my own – the extension notifies me automatically. So not only does your coComments page become almost like a blog of its own, but it enables chat-room-like behavior at blog posts if the participants have the extension.

    Just wait till coComment makes it easy to track all comments made on your blog REGARDLESS of who is using coComment on it or not – they are very close to doing this. Keep a close eye on them!

  • coComment Firefox Extension…

    Supertip van Alan Levine: coComment (een tool om je reacties op andere blogs te 'tracken&apos werkt nu eindelijk ook via een Firefox Extension. Je hoeft dus zelf niet meer telkens er aan te denken om op de coComment bookmarklet te klikken, je reac…

  • Amy and Easton are full bore co-commenters, so I’ll give tagging a go. What the heck?

    And this will be the test to see how quickly the bell rings for Easton, and if Pavlov pulls his string ;-)

  • Easton Ellsworth businessblogwire.com

    It rang as soon as I entered the room again! :)

  • Thanks for the intro to CoComments, Alan. I just installed the plugin and will be giving it a try over the nextt few weeks. Of course, like you I don’t forsee having large crowds of conversations yet, but that can all change :)

  • Alan — Just FYI, I ended up having to uninstall the CoComments Firefox extension today. It bugged out my browser.

    More info: http://contentious.com/archives/2006/05/10/why-i-had-to-uninstall-the-cocomment-extension

    Thanks,

    – Amy Gahran

    RightConversation.com
    Contentious.com
    IReporter.org

    Editor, Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits