This is a bit off-topic, but fits in well with some of the things I think about.
A while back I got all excited about coComment. To me, it was a way to track the conversations I contributed to.
Think about it, it's really hard to track comments on posts that you have commented on. Only recently have I discovered that Flickr does this (don't know since when), but it is a sure-fire way to rev up the interaction around a post or comment (sure has with me and Flickr).
I thought that coComment was going to be that glue that would allow me to track other comments made on posts I left comments on.
Nope. It was only tracking comments made by other coCommenters. Pretty lame, as, really, what are the chances or utility in that? It was a clear 'let's build a new community and ditch existing communities' thought.
I stopped using it and kept looking for that comment glue.
Well, lo! I wasn't the only one looking for the glue - coComment's number 1 feature request was just that: help me track comments from others made on posts that I have commented on. See the link below for some more comments. Or go here, to read it on the coComment site.
But it gets better: you can track a conversation around a post without even leaving a comment. Cool. And better, yet: you can track an invisible conversation around a page that doesn't take comments - they call it 'meta-comments' (reminds me of a Web page sticky-note service I once heard about).
Ok, so the upshot:
Posts are like micro-silos of conversations. The current way it is done, your comment, in your mind, is the last, unless you go back and read the post again later. Oh, sure you could track the comments via a feed, if the site has one.
We're supposed to be having a conversation. How can we be having a conversation if folks are doing drive-by commenting, never having an easy way to follow up on any responses to what they said or any further commentary on what they were interested in?
CoComment is a right step in that direction. It let's me keep an eye on the conversations I am interested in, either where I commented, or where I didn't, or where there is a separate layer of commentary*.
That will keep the conversation flowing.
The main coComment improvements are:
- The ability to track ALL comments left at a page, regardless of whether the commenters are coComment users. Killer feature.
- The ability to track comments at a page without making a comment yourself. Killer feature.
- The ability to converse with other coCommenters at any Web page that does not allow commenting.
*One idle thought: CoComment lets you leave invisible comments on pages, meta-comments. If those comments were restricted to a small group of people, then you would have something like a gossip area overlaid on the online world. Kinda reminds me of the IRC back-channels. Such meta-comments could be like permanent back-channel noise of conversation online. And only members of a certain 'select' group would ever find that meta-commentary, that invisible graffiti. Interesting to see if such behaviour evolves.