February 7, 2006



Euan says it better than I can:

OK, how much does it piss you off that you can't track comments you have left on other people's blogs?

Laurent, who organised LiftO6, has just shown us CoComment, the coolest thing since sliced bread.

I have just christened CoComment as "Technorati for Commenters."

The interesting thing is, you don't need your own blog to use it. Secondly, the startup was initially funded by Swisscom, a Telco [an industry not exactly well known for pulling off this type of enterprise].

Currently it's in Beta. To use it, you first need to be sent an invitation code from a current user.

[Trivia:] Apparently this enterprise was heavily inspired by Jeff Jarvis' post, "Who wants to own content?"

Distribution is not king.

Content is not king.

Conversation is the kingdom.

The war is over and the army that wasn’t even fighting — the army of all of us, the ones who weren’t in charge, the ones without the arms - won. The big guys who owned the big guns still don’t know it. But they lost.

[Disclosure:] I am writing this from Berne, Switzerland, at the CoCommenter office, brainstorming marketing ideas with Laurent and his colleagues. Intense stuff. Yes, it's a professional gig.

[Speaking of Technorati:]¨It looks like the bloggers are talking about it in great numbers already.

Posted by hugh macleod at February 7, 2006 1:32 PM | TrackBack

I think the idea is "Technorati for Commenters." and the best thing since sliced bread. But I have yet to see it function properly. I tried to use to track a comment on my podcast ( http://boetter.dk/podcast/ ) and it displayed my podcast as TechCrunch as first, then got it right later on. It still doesn't know the name of the blogpost I was commenting on, it just says (untitled).

Furthermore I used it to track a discussion going on at another blog, it displayed right, but I was only getting the comments I wrote and tracked back to coComment. Is that the intention? Will everybody have to use coComment in order for the system for work? Then I am not sure if I like the idea really.

Posted by: Jacob Bøtter at February 7, 2006 2:15 PM

Then there's the fact that it has to code itselfs for each blog host/type. So standards like comment RSS are escewed and replaced by a quick and dirty hack to edit the form you submit when you write comments. Not exactly scalable, nor easy to discover.

Now if they add a published API any blog host can use it would be a good start.

Heck Hugh it doesn't even work *here*

Posted by: Barry Dorrans at February 7, 2006 2:23 PM

Calm down, Barry, it's still in Beta ;-)

Posted by: hugh macleod at February 7, 2006 2:58 PM

Whee! great to know you're on the boat :-)

Posted by: Steph at February 7, 2006 4:17 PM

I didn't have to get an invitation from a current user (and I don't have an invitation to give away). I just requested an account via the website, and soon got an invite email.

Best thing since sliced bread? I think it's the best thing since... the breadknife that only works on certain types of bread. But maybe that's what a beta breadknife has to be like.

I just tried to coComment this comment, and was told that this (gapingvoid) page isn't supported. See what I mean?

Posted by: Andrew at February 7, 2006 5:14 PM

On a possibly unrelated note-- one of the reasons I never comment in blogs is because there is no threading like in a message board. Perhaps I'm spoiled by LiveJournal but I like being notified when people are responding to my responses.

That seems more like conversation than posting a message at the end of someone's blog entry and then trying to figure out what people are saying to whom.

Probably beyond the scope of this project but I've always felt commenting in general has been kind of a neglected feature. Anything to push that forward sounds great.

Posted by: Mike at February 7, 2006 6:23 PM

I've been trying to get it to work for a couple of days now - not much luck yet. A great idea though and I only hope it gets better so that it has a wide appeal.

Posted by: Patrick Dodds at February 7, 2006 8:54 PM

Invite me! alan@blogometer.com Invite me!

Beg, grovel, etc.

Posted by: Alan Gutierrez at February 7, 2006 9:07 PM

I've been playing around with it off and on today. So far I've run into a couple of glitchy things, but overall I think it's going to rock once they get all the bugs worked out. Boo-ya to the developers, I think it will be a hit.

(it doesn't much like the gapingvoid comments page)

Posted by: Keith at February 7, 2006 11:15 PM

And so a new hierarchy is created by the people who despised the old one.

"Meet the new boss: same as the old boss" I think Rodge said

Posted by: Steve Griffiths at February 7, 2006 11:47 PM

Once they get Haloscan working it'll have a lot more utility. I'm really interested in how far they take this.

Could be 06's 'killer app'.

Posted by: Tom Reynolds at February 8, 2006 3:11 AM

Hey, there. Yes comment tracking is a killer app. There is a need to have people magange their own conversations. There is also an important krewe of contributors that works the comments of thier favorite blogs.

I've met met people right here, in the comments of gapingvoid.com. There are blogs like annarborisoverrated.com where the reason to be there is pretty much the commentators, not the blog entires by themselves. The blogger herself, AAIO, is a master at moderation.

Hugh is a mix. His cartoons are fun, some of his posts are jems, but he always leaves room for comemnts by not saying it all. He leaves a lot on the table for discussion.

Okay, so now I get to test coComment. Thanks for the invite Tom!

Blast! coComment is not supported at gapingvoid! (Sorry if this is a double post Hugh.)

Posted by: Alan Gutierrez at February 8, 2006 3:33 AM

Steve, since when did bloggers despise hierachies? News to me.

Posted by: hugh macleod at February 8, 2006 5:40 AM

Hi there..is there any invitations left ? Throw one, thx in advance

Posted by: AGRADA at February 8, 2006 5:46 AM

The thing is they already said they don't crawl (which is why comment RSS isn't used by them, a really bad decision I feel, it would increase their scope greatly).

That's not much good to me then, as if they don't crawl how do I know if I have responses? (not that I've found anywhere I comment on that supports it yet)

Of course once they start crawling they end up in the same boat as technorati, they get out of date between the crawls.

Posted by: Barry Dorrans at February 8, 2006 9:16 AM

For me, the ability to be informed that a comment has been responded to is the killer app for the very reason that it facilitates the conversation. The other elements are to me less obviously attractive but then I guess they're things for which I've not been pining.

As for the hierarchy debate I'm indifferent, but I do recall many people espousing blogging as democratic and in some sense equalising so i think you'll find a lot of bloggers who do want a flat earth. And the cynic in me visualises that some "pet toys" would take great delight in seeing themselves at the top of some commenters league table.

Posted by: john at February 8, 2006 11:08 AM

Thank you for introducing us to coComment, Hugh. One glitch—it won’t work with comment boxes that pop up …

Posted by: Jack Yan at February 8, 2006 12:26 PM

Thanks for the feedback people! To work around the pop-up comment issue you might want to try the Firefox extension:


Posted by: Laurent at February 8, 2006 3:34 PM

I like coComment because it's part aggregator and part organizer: it allows me to create my own community of interest based on the content and posts I create and the feedback generated by others. I've anchored the presentation layer on my business site and will add it to my blog later. Very kewl... NOTE: I just wish I could coComment this page.
NOTE TO COCOMMENT DEVELOPERS: Use pop up window error messaging when "can't cocomment on this page" to introduce a generic upload bin so that users archive comments, core post, title, and page.

Posted by: Todd Tweedy at February 8, 2006 8:32 PM

Jacob Bøtter: That's exactly the problem, it seems that in order to get notifications of followups to your comment, the other commenters must be using coComment. With that in mind, it becomes yet another site you need to check in order to keep track of comments, thus saving you no time.

Sorry to be so negative, but it seems like this is the absolutely killer aspect of such a system, and coComment is missing it.

As it stands, it is no better than me just bookmarking blog posts I comment on, either in my browser or on delicious. Where's the value?

Posted by: Paul Farnell at February 9, 2006 4:21 PM

i wonder why someone said it doesn't work on this blog, for me it is working with no problems, and I agree is more like a dialogue than just scattered posts, which means that we are entering to a new level of communication here..so i think.


Posted by: botanik at February 9, 2006 11:52 PM

Cock on as we say in Yorkshire. Does the bizzo and then some. The interesting thing is why they might need you Hugh when the buzza round this is already reaching fever pitch?

Posted by: Dennis Howlett at February 10, 2006 10:42 AM