Conversation Notification

Album Cover: Various Positions

"Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya."
Leonard Cohen / Hallelujah

Posted on February 11, 2006 10:58 PM in Blogging
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

As I'm sitting here reading through all the Scoble posts I've fallen behind on, I've stumbled upon a link to myComments, a feed service for keeping up on all the conversations you participate in elsewhere on the web.

This seems like a pretty cool idea, given that it utilizes RSS, but it's yet again the fruition of an idea I've been storing in my head for a while now. One of the features I've been debating adding to my blog is the ability to opt-in for notifications (via email) whenever a post you've commented on has been responded to, either by myself or another visitor.

My idea has (or had) its benefits, given that sometimes you may participate in a "conversation" and not care about where the conversation goes from there. By opting-in, you state that you do care, and you could of course opt-out at any time in the future.

My idea has (or had) its weaknesses as well. Receiving emails from multiple blogs can be a bit cumbersome (this is why RSS seems like a smarter approach) and we all know that any mechanism for alerting people via email online is bound to be exploited by spammers.

Unfortunately, I don't think the RSS idea scales down to a per-blog level. The email approach makes more sense to me for a single blog. I guess it comes down to adoption. I can see several added features that could make my idea a good one for this site, but if an app like myComments or coComment becomes a de facto standard across the web, maybe it's smarter to implement that standard here.

Who better to ask than you, my blog's readers? What do you think? Is tracking comment feedback and rebuttals important to you? Would a Bernzilla-only implementation sound appealing to you, or do you desire a multi-blog solution? Do you prefer email or RSS, and why?


Janine on February 12, 2006 at 3:12 AM:

I was one of the lucky ones who got a working code posted on Scoble's site where I first heard of coComment [I don't know if you signed up for the service but I have an additional code they emailed to me if you need it].
The main thing I like about coComment is that Bloglines has a notifier in the systray that alrets me whenever the blogs I susbsrcibe to are updated. I would just rather track comments this way as opposed to getting a bunch of emails which, sometimes out of habit, I just delete without opening. And, since I'm going to be checking into my Bloglines notifier more than my email, it just makes more sense to use Bloglines for tracking.
There are, of course, a couple of drawbacks to using coComment. One of them being that you can't delete conversations you no longer want to track, however, I suspect this will change eventually. For example, when you sign up for coComment, one the things you are able to do is test the service on a (test) blog they have created. There are over 130 responses (other tests posts) from other users that I am unable to delete in my account nor can I unsubscribe to the test blog.
Myabe I don't understand the program fully yet but, from my understanding, the second drawback is that the blog (post) you want to track comments on has to be signed up for the (coCommnet) service in order for the tracking to work. I don't know if this would be possible but, coComment developers should really consider partnering with blog hosts and have coComment become a built in feature of blog services in order to grow coComment's potential. coComment is a great idea but I think it will be a while before you will be able to use one program over the other (coComment vs. email) to track all of the comments you want to keep updated on.


Yoel Roth on February 12, 2006 at 5:35 AM:

The threading of comments, and e-mail reply notifications, are some of the reasons why I use the admittedly more restrictive LiveJournal to run my blog (soon to be redesigned!). The style systems are garbage to learn, and JavaScript is expressly prohibited (how not Web 2.0), but the community aspects are unparalleled.


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