coComment is a new service that’s been generating some healthy buzz in blogosphere over the past week. It started with Robert Scoble’s post last Saturday night and continued throughout the week as various bloggers weighed in.
If you haven’t heard, coComment sounds like quite a nifty new service…and it is. It’s a site that will help you keep track of all the comments you leave out there in blog-land.
Thanks to coComment’s Merlin, I was invited to beta test the service.
The idea behind coComment is simple, as as I’ve been commenting more lately, it’s something I was wishing before even before I knew it existed. Here’s the gist: coComment will save and contexualize all of the comments you leave out there on the web in one handy place for you.
The big question many people are wondering is, how do they do it? Well, it’s not fancy, but it does work…for the most part. How it works is you visit a site like normal. You type your comment as normal. Then, when you’ve finished typing- but before you click the ‘publish’ button- you click the coComment bookmark saved in your browser’s bookmarks toolbar. That step tells coComment to scrape the page, read your comment, and store it in your account at coComment’s site.
That’s a bit of a clunky process- I wish it didn’t allow for so much human error- but it’s simple, and it doesn’t require something far uglier like making you visit a separate site to leave comments.
Once your comment is saved, coComment does the rest. My favorite feature so far is the way the coComment site saves not only my comment, but the ones before and after it also, creating a contexual thread for me to view my comment within. If you leave multiple comments at multiple sites, you can already see the value of a site that collects all those streams into once place for you. I’m also a fan of the RSS feed they give me. Any service launching this year that doesn’t give me an RSS feed of my data, if it’s even remotely relevant, is not something I’d consider using. There’s just too much stuff out there to try things that I don’t think could become eventually uselful, and any service not offering RSS is ever going to fall into that category.
From what little testing I’ve done so far, I think the biggest drawback is that currently, coComment only works with a finite set of websites, mostly many of the top blogging platforms (WordPress, MovableType, etc.), along with some other notable non-blog sites such as Flickr and MySpace. This is a clear limitation on the service, as there are countless other places I’d potentially comment. As with its human-generated comment tracking method, here the service needs to expand not by adding more places, but by devising some method to cover any instance where commenting might happen. Not sure if that’s possible or not, but as the web itself gets bloggier, they might want to look into it.
In this early stage, I’m giving coComment a B. It’s getting crowded out there in social software land- I wonder if a service that does something as granular as tracking comments has enough relevancy to stick.