The first I would like to talk about is co.mments, a method I am using to keep track of comments on blogs with posts of interest and those that I have left a comment on myself.
Bloggers who interact with their readers and develop a dialog, by responding to comments, can develop discussions that make a blog come alive. They are creating their own communities. I enjoy reading and participating in these commenting sessions because:
- they are helping me develop a social/friendship network
- they often contain valuable information that leads me to information/further research for this blog.
- They have been valuable for helping to develop my own readership.
Being informed when there is a reply to a comment that I have left on another blog, or new comments on a topic of interest, means I can go back and respond further if necessary.
I used to save the post page to a folder on my links toolbar but I tended not to look at the folder regularly enough. Where a 'subscribe to comments' feature is available I would use this but some posts generate masses of comments for a while after, crowding my inbox. These are normally the very popular blogs where I feel comments are left mainly for the purpose of leaving a link. To me these blogs, although having very large readerships, do not in general have such a community feel to them.
When I first read of co.mments my curiosity was immediately aroused and after using it to keep track of comments for a while now, I am a firm fan.
How does it work?Very simply and quickly (I love simple and quick!):-
- Add the co.mments bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar.
- Click this bookmarklet button when you are on a post page whose comments you want to track. co.mments works in the background with no more input needed. A little pop up appears confirming the bookmark along with a link to your personal co.omments page.
- This action creates a page at co.mments that shows post summaries and all new comments on the posts you have co.mment bookmarked.
- A 'conversations' page shows recently bookmarked pages of all the sites users.
- There is no need to visit the site each time you wish to read comments on your bookmarked posts as an RSS feed and email notifications are available. I have added the feed to my Thunderbird news reader so it is easy for me to keep up to date without getting masses of emails.
Other useful features:
- Make it easy for your readers to follow your blog's comments by adding a link to let them track comments on your posts. - you can see mine below just next to the comments link.
- If you use FeedBurner, you can add comment tracking to your feeds.
- For WordPress users the Sociable plugin includes support for co.mments
- Registration is not necessary as a cookie is used to track your bookmarked posts but I preferred to do so as I like to clean out my cookies from time to time.
- The option of adding a widget to your own blog allows others to see where you have been commenting.
I will post about the second application that can make the life of a blogger easier tomorrow.
(That was not a deliberate ploy to get you to return here tomorrow, I just did not have time to finish the post today. Many bloggers do use such teasers. I am wondering what you think about them?)