2008 Comment Challenge – Tracking Your Comments

31 Day Commenting ChallengeI’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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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9 thoughts on “2008 Comment Challenge – Tracking Your Comments

  1. I like your clear explanations here. It really puts forth a solid footing for those folks not sure of the vocabulary being bandied about. And that may allow others to enter the conversations.

  2. Thanks for visiting Kevin! I think the beauty of this challenge is that we are all kind of “gathered together” so that we can share our learning. By adding what we can, we are all making the network stronger. Happy commenting!

  3. Thanks for your explanation. iI will persevere with CoComment and see if I can get it to do what I want it to. I found the “Follow this conversation with email” function quite cumbersome as it often gives you a barrage of emails. Certainly gives me plenty to read. Looking forward to the challenge and lots more reading and writing.

  4. Hi Diane – I think we are all learning so much from this Challenge and I love seeing the increased connections/community building happening between participants. I’m thinking the tagged comment feature is excellent is in some ways better to use then the group conversations because provided everyone tags their comments using comment08 we will find them with no extra steps.

    Thanks for linking to my posts 🙂

  5. Hi Sue – nice to talk to you “in person”! After reading your comment I searched coComment for the comment08 tag and it looks like we’re doing a pretty good job of using this tag. We have three variations:

    Comment08 with9 comments
    cocomment08 with 3 comments
    comment08 with 214 comments

    Something to consider for the future. Any time you can eliminate a step it’s a good thing 🙂

  6. Hi Barb – nice to “meet” you! I visited your blog and love your byline – Dancing on a Shifting Carpet! Isn’t that the truth? The only thing that keeps us from falling off is our ability to learn new steps. Glad to be learning with you!

  7. Definitely doing a great job with tagging at cocomment but we having major issues with technorati and it could be that the solution to this will be to use the comment tagging to find all the posts.

    For some reason technorati isn’t finding all posts tagged or including comment08 which makes it hard to make sure everyone knows about these posts. Haven’t worked out the issue that is causing it with technorati, and Google Blog search is worse. So your comment has reminded me to see if the comment08 tag is a better option.

  8. Sue, I noticed the technorati problem at the beginning of the Challenge but I thought it was an idiosyncrasy of my blog. I never check technorati but I logged into my account to remind myself of the features. That’s when I noticed that nothing I had posted in the last month was showing up. I pinged my blog to no avail. I use the technorati tag generator plugin for Firefox which lists “tags: whatever”. This makes no sense but as soon as I went back to my previous posts and changed the “tags” to “Technorati tags” my posts appeared on both the Horizon Project and the Comment Challenge wikis where they belonged.

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