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Monitoring Blog Comments

Nostrich.net highlights 3 comment trackers, online programs which track comments you’ve left on blog’s as well as the comments in general from blogs you follow. The review of comment monitoring services isn’t promising.

First came coComment, which I used briefly before dumping it because it couldn’t track comment threads I wasn’t participating in. Not long after coComment’s inception, co.mments came along and I’ve been using that since – it’s not perfect, but it gets the job done. But today I’ve been trying the new competitor in the comment tracking game – Commentful. It’s pretty unimpressive so far, it has to be said. Then again, it bears the omnipotent “beta” tag and only launched yesterday, so it would be unfair to expect miracles.

But despite an area that now has plenty of choice, noone has managed to really nail it. All three services do different things well, but none of them do all things well.

I have to agree with Nostrich. Monitoring your blog comments, the blog discussions, is an important aspect of participating in the blogging community. I leave a lot of comments on posts, often providing information or asking questions, and I want to monitor them for a response. Since I really haven’t found any comment monitoring service that is easy-to-use and really tracks well, I keep the blog’s post open in a Firefox tab for DAYS. I will often have over 100 tabs open, depleting my laptop’s available RAM.

Like Norstrich, I want to know if you have found any comment monitoring or tracking service that really impresses you and helps you track blog comments. How do you track your blog comments on other other blogs? How does it work for you, and what do you like, and dislike, about it? Any recommendations?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

16 Comments

  1. Posted July 7, 2006 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    It’s so sad… I bookmark the post pages that I’ve commented on under a “Comments” folder in my Firefox Bookmarks bar. Then, I keep visiting those pages checking to see if new comments have been added.

    I haven’t checked any of the comment tools available. Trying to guess here, I’d think that if all CMS applications published comments feeds like WordPress, it should be just a question of aggregating feeds in one place… You’d just bookmark each post’s individual comment feed. But I’m sure it’s more complicated than that.

  2. Collin
    Posted July 7, 2006 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I don’t tend to blog hop much so do pretty much what Maria does above and bookmark them.

    There’s a lovely plugin called Subscribe to Comments that have seen on a few blogs. I just tick the button and when a reply is left on a blog I get a new email. I would encourage full version, hosted wp users to put it in, the latest version you have to do nothing except uplaod and activate. It’s just a shame that we haven’t got this facility here at wp.com.

    I keep meaning to have a look at CoComment (having read various reviews, good and not so good) but I never seem to have the time. :(

  3. Posted July 7, 2006 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Personally, I can’t stand the “subscribe to comments via email” thing. I REALLY hate it when it is checked by default and shown below the comment submit button, so I don’t see it until the page reloads after posting a comment. I then have to dig through tons of email to find an email from the blog, and go through whatever hoops have to be gone through to unsubscribe.

    I get just too much email to even think about the benefits of subscribing to comments via email, or even email announcements of blog updates. Overwhelming.

    And why should I go to my email, then click a link in an email, which opens a page in my browser, and then I have to scroll through the entire post and all the comments, hunting for my comment and looking for a response…time waster!

    If you get only a few emails a day, this is probably novelty enough to find it useful, but I am not a fan. I would rather put the comments feed in my feed reader than get another email and go through the email to browser dance.

    There has to be a better way, right?

  4. Posted July 7, 2006 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I’ve been using coComment for a little while – trial basis kind of thing. They’ve been promising a crawler for several weeks now, but so far, nuthin’. I agree, though – so far no one’s been able to really nail it. What I want is a quick and easy way to monitor ALL comments left in a discussion I’ve commented on, plus be able to monitor a conversation I’ve not yet participated in, all from one central location. There’s probably other features I’ll want, too; just give me time. :)

  5. Posted July 7, 2006 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve been using coComment for a few months, but only because it was the first one I found. It would be great if they would come out with a comment crawler like Jim said. That would seal the deal for me. So far it seems kinda hit and miss on tracking comments.

  6. Posted July 7, 2006 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been using co.mments for a while and it works for me. I simply subscribe to it and add it as a feed. I’m quite satisfied since I don’t really need much more right now.

  7. Collin
    Posted July 7, 2006 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Subscribe to comments:

    Well, I’m not as popular as some and only get around a hundred emails per day. Junk filters catch most of these which only leaves me about 30 mails.

    For the record I have the option un-ticked by default. I don’t see why I should force the crap on everyone by default.

    I agree that the option should be far more obvious and having just looked at my blog I’m just gonna nip off and figure out how to move it…

  8. Posted July 7, 2006 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just come across a new “tool” called Furl. It is an online bookmarking service that allows you to categorize links and assign key words and a description. There are a lot of other features as well. I have created a blog comment category and am using it to track the comments I am making. It beats the 100 tab thing and I can access the links from any computer.

    Cheers,
    John

  9. Posted July 8, 2006 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I keep my own comments in del.icio.us, at least the ones I might want to refer later to.
    In order to follow a comment thread, I subscribe to the comment feed – for this thread, that’s

    http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/07/07/monitoring-blog-comments/feed/

    I keep a comment feed in my reader till the discussion died, or went off-topic.

    Not all blogging systems provide comment feeds per posting, but most serious bloggers use a serious blogging platform that does :-)

  10. Posted July 9, 2006 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Good Post!!

    Was wondering about this topic just the other day, and now a post appears to think for me!!
    I used to save the page I commented on and go back and see if it got answered.

    I just went over and signed up to cocomment and finding it little tricky to find how to use.

    Thanks for the information on this!!

    Michael

  11. Posted September 5, 2006 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, like you I comment on others’ blogs frequently, and I tried various methods of reminding myself to check back for comments, but that is so information-and-task-overloading that it’s not worth it. I tried a couple comment-tracking systems, I even tried web-page trackers like Copernic’s tracker (which works, but it also notifes me when elements on a page change, so, more information overload again).

    I tried out coComment and, at first, I didn’t really like it. The service was spotty, a number of blogs were invisible to the coComment tool, and I couldn’t easily add an old comment to the tracker if I wanted to continue tracking it.

    However, I’m happy to say that coComment now has a crawler that works, I can add all my old comments easily, and I’ve been delighted at its ability to not only track new responses but to notify me in the status bar of Firefox when there are changes to my comments list.

    Further, it allowed me to grab the feed and post it on my WordPress blog so that all my own comments at other sites can be read while surfing my blog. This is more google juice, and allows people to “stalk” me from my own Website. Now, posting a comment is also adding content to my blog.

    Nice.

    coComment isn’t perfect, but it is improving. It’s worth a second look.

    Regards,

    Rich
    BlogRodent

  12. Posted May 1, 2007 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I am not sure if I like coComment so I’m going to try co.mments starting with this comment.

  13. Posted May 1, 2007 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The better question is do you modify your blog to include php snippets or plug ins to make it easier for commenters to track their comments or do you assume that savvy commenters know how to use their tracking service’s bookmarklet?

  14. Posted February 6, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    If you ever do find one, please post about it. I know me and many others would like to know!

    And as a quick tip, here’s a great business opportunity. There’s demand and no great solution. What more can you ask for?

  15. Posted November 5, 2008 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I tried CoComment for a while but an update caused problems and I disabled it. It was probably fixed very quickly, but I didn’t go back to it.

    What I do these days is subscribe to each blog’s Comments Feed (if I can find it). If it’s a WordPress or Blogger blog, I can usually guess it, and some other types of blogs let us know what the Comments feed is… but in some cases I draw a blank, and just have to go back every so often to see what the responses are. :-)

  16. Posted November 6, 2008 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    @ diddums:

    First, you should not judge a service in beta based upon single issue problems that are resolved during development. It might be worth trying again. There are a variety of products and services under development that will hopefully make it easier to monitor our blog comments across multiple blogs. Stay tuned while the rest of us test and suffer them during development. :D


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