I’ve been meaning to write something about CoComments.com, the new comment-tracking tool that got launched with much fanfare (or blog-fare) recently. I got an invite and have been trying out the service since a day or so after it went live, and I have to say that I’m impressed. It is easy to configure and it makes nice use of Ajax on the site, such as expanding or collapsing the comment threads that you’ve taken part in on various websites. It was relatively easy to configure, and it wasn’t that hard to install the comment box in the sidebar of my WordPress setup (although just as I wrote this it stopped working – server issues?)
To use CoComments, you click on a bookmarklet before submitting a comment on a blog – or if you use Firefox, you can use one of the Greasemonkey scripts that are floating around, which removes the need to click a button every time. You can then track the comment thread on a single page, and load your recent comments into a comment box like the one I have (you can exclude comments on certain blogs from being displayed if you wish). Although CoComment doesn’t support all blog platforms, more and more are being added. The company also has plans to provide code so that people can add support to their blogs themselves if they run a modified version of one of the main platforms, or one that isn’t supported.
To tie the CoComments idea into another thread that’s going around about Web 2.0 and the “so what” factor, which I wrote about in relation to the recent launch of 3bubbles, I have to wonder if there is a longer-term business model for CoComments. Within days of the launch, word appeared of another similar service called MyComments, which appears to be the work of a single person, and now there is a third, called Co.mments.com, which gives you an RSS feed of any comment threads you want to be alerted about.
The speed with which these competing services appeared is definitely worth noting. Are they cool, yes. Useful? Definitely. And I like the idea that comments are becoming part of the larger conversation on the web, as I’ve mentioned several times in the past. But is this a business? Maybe not. Still, it is cool 🙂 Elsewhere on the web, Amy Gahran has some thoughts as well (bottom line: not there yet), and so do Neville Hobson and Kevin Lim. Kareem notes that it’s important to remember that users are lazy, and Pascal looks at both MyComments and CoComments.