The great folks at coComment sent me an invite this morning to test their beta. coComment is a comment-tracking tool for those who are frequent blog commenters. I’ll start off by saying the bottomline at the top, because I think it needs to be said: coComment is one of the best niche Web 2.0 tools out there.
I’m usually not a fan of niche tools. I believe in convergence and if one tool can do ten jobs greatly and 10 seperate tools can do 10 jobs superbly, I’d take the first one. Each individual, of course, has a different view on this, but that’s what I believe. However, this not to say I hate niche tools completely, oh no. I do believe strongly in niche tools as well and most of the times, it’s them who fill a gap and then, months later, the big ones adapt it. And coComment is just one of those ‘pioneering’ niche tools.
As far as I know, it’s the first of its kind, and it does a painful, never-possible-before, annoying job perfectly. I wouldn’t classify myself to be a very frequent blog commenter, but quite often when I have something to say, I’ll say it. And coComment is aimed at both audiences, you just have to be a blog commenter.
The good things about coComment are countless, but I’ll start with the UI. The UI is clean, easy to understand, and well-presented. As you can see on the homepage, it classifies its uses into three main features:
- Capture – Capture your comments and discussions into coComment.
- Share – Share your comments to your blog readers. For example, like your Flickr photos.
- Alert – The most obvious feature, be alerted when someone responds to the discussion.
coComment works with the use of bookmarkets, which could be known as a Greasemonkey plugin for comments, because that’s what it almost is. It supports most blogging platforms, and will soon open up its API to enable custom platform developers (e.g. Digg) to support theirs. This is excellent.
Another great thing, as you would expect from any Web 2.0 tool, is an RSS feed. Here’s mine. For me, this is what a real feature is. I don’t care about the “capture, share, alert” as long as you give me an RSS feed. RSS is by far the best way to get notified with things like these.
Of course, there aren’t awfully many bad things about coComment. Actually, most of them are just suggestions to make a better coComment.
- A video tutorial, please!
- Someway to pass through the ZoneAlarm cookie filter. I have to off mine each time I comment. That’s not good.
- An automated process (Firefox extension?). It’s pretty hard for me to click on a bookmarklet each time I post.
- Not just blog comments, everything! This is what would turn coComment into a great, does it all tool. I want to see it supporting forums, BB systems, USENET groups, news sites, and also small things like YouTube, that enable commenting, would be a plus.
I imagine that if the above things are implemented, coComment could be one of those companies to stick around. Overall, a great job though!