I’m really enjoying taking part in the 2008 Comment Challenge! I’m meeting familiar and new-to-me bloggers all over the place (including here on my own blog)! And as usual when I throw myself into a challenge, I’m learning so much!
Today’s challenge relates to comment tracking. This is a critical element of commenting. When you make the effort to comment on someone’s post, it’s usually because the writer struck a chord and drew you into the conversation. It follows that you would have an interest in seeing where the conversation goes. A number of blogs have a “Follow this conversation by e-mail” function. That’s the first method I used to track a conversation and I have to admit I might still use it for a conversation in which I’m deeply involved.
About a year ago I started looking for a more efficient way to track the conversations in which I was involved. I was also coming to the realization that some of my best thinking and writing was happening on other people’s blogs, leaving my own looking a bit barren. That’s when I found coComment. It seemed to offer what I was looking for – a way to track my comments and aggregate them on my own blog through a widget. If you are interested in having a detailed look at how coComment works visit Sue Waters‘ blog. She has done a superb job of explaining how to use this tool.
I had stopped using coComment a while back because I was finding it cumbersome and felt it was slowing down my posting. I’m having a fresh look now as part of the Comment Challenge. There are features that I missed before or that have been added recently that I’m finding worthy of a second look.
- Tags. When you track a comment you can tag it with one or more keywords. Then when you view your comment page you can click on any of your tags to see just those comments. Love this feature!
- RSS. I don’t think I could function without RSS so I was pleased to see that I can pull in the feed from any of the conversations or groups I’m tracking. I’ve subscribed to the feed for the Comment Challenge group and am reading the comments in Google Reader. So far, I think I like this.
- Social networking. I had noticed before that coComment suggests “neighbours” and allows you to add friends and follow their comments. Personally I can barely keep up with the blogs I subscribe to; I’m not even going to try to keep track of other people’s comments! I do however like the “Group” feature. We’re using it to pull together the comments of the 100 or so people involved in the Commenting Challenge. I can see how this would be an asset in the classroom and in professional learning!
There are other comment tracking systems as well. Maybe I’ll have time to look at them during this challenge. Better yet, I’ll see what others post as part of the Day 3 Activity!