One of the frustrating things about blogs as “distributed conversation” is keeping track of places where you have commented. People often reply but you never see their answers because you forget or lose where you have commented. There are a couple of low-tech ways of dealing with this and a new service that aims to solve the problem.
Getting involved in the conversation is essential to your blogging success. You need to network, get known, of course, but also you need to know if people are criticising you, commenting about your blog or service and engage in discussion about their points. Here at Performancing we have to track what the blogosphere is saying about us and Performancing for Firefox in particular.
What I tend to do is to bookmark (plain old browser bookmarks) posts and re-visit every once in a while. This is not optimal, particularly as I could be using any one of three machines at any time!
A better approach that I recently heard about is to use Del.icio.us and tag posts where you have commented with a tag that you use for following up.
These are ok workarounds, particularly the del.icio.us approach but still when you think about it pretty lame solutions compared to what is possible with the technology, it amazes me that nobody until now has addressed the issue.
coComment is a new service that aims to automate tracking your conversations, complete with real time notifications and RSS feeds.
Whether you’ve commented on a blog or you’re just following a blog-based conversation of interest to you, coComment can let you know what’s been added to a particular discussion in real time
Currently you need an invitation to use the service. Lucky me I got one! You will be able to find codes knocking around the web, I am sure this is an intentional “leak” to build buzz.
The service works using bookmarklets, just like those available for del.icio.us and technorati. When you arrive at a post you want to comment on you fill out the comment form as normal, before you submit though you click your bookmarklet. Once the bookmark has done its business you submit your comment.
So far the comments I tried to post haven’t shown up and a couple of times a message has appeared saying the blog I am trying to use the service with is not supported. Not a great start but I will persevere with it because I hold out hope it will help me a lot. Other people seem to be getting on with it just fine.
Each user has their own page that allows you to track your conversations, here is mine. You can also subscribe to your conversations with RSS.
How do you track your blog comment conversations? Is this something you can see yourself using?