Tracking the Conversation

Recently I wrote about using RSS to keep up with your favorite blogs (education-related and otherwise). Some blogs publish additional feeds for their comments, but I have never really been interested in following an entire comment feed. Some posts I feel compelled to comment upon and want to know if others respond to my comments, but others I don’t, and I don’t want to have a bunch of comments in my RSS feed reader that I’m not interested in reading. I heard about CoComment from Bud Hunt, but I didn’t start using it right away. When I finally decided to try it, I was really happy with it.

CoComment has a Firefox extension that makes tracking comments really easy. When new comments have been posted in conversations you’re tracking, you will see a little red envelope (just like Gmail’s icon) in the lower corner of your browser next to the CoComment button. If you don’t use Firefox, you can install CoComment’s bookmarklet, but it doesn’t have the same notification function as the Firefox extension — you would have to go visit CoComment via the bookmark, whereas the Firefox extension notifies you when new comments have been posted.

If you choose, you can display your CoComment conversations on your website. I haven’t chosen to do that, but if you really care about what I’m saying, it should be easy enough to find. You might want to start with the guided tour so that you can determine whether CoComment looks like something you want to try. I personally have found it it a lot easier to keep track of comment threads, and it has actually encouraged me to comment more than I have in the past.

[tags]CoComment, commenting[/tags]

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3 thoughts on “Tracking the Conversation

  1. One warning — CoComment offers a javascript widget that can be embedded on one's blog that displays your comments elsewhere. I used to use this and it caused major problems with most web browsers, namely they would lock up when trying to load my blog due to some kind of exotic javascript issue. I would avoid using this part of CoComment.

    Actually, I've found it much more convenient to just subscribe to the RSS feed of any comment thread in which I participate. I've got a folder in Google Reader for all such threads and I clean it out every now and then to get rid of the dead comment threads. (Of course not all blogs use RSS on their comments… :) )

  2. Dana (or other teachers of English)

    I am going to be teaching In Cold Blood to my juniors in about a week. Any advice or websites I could use to unpack this book for my dearly loved Juniors?

    I love reading your site and comments. You all inspire me to keep at it (even when I want to quit and watch a CSI rerun).

    Thanks for all your ideas and willingness to share them with other teachers.

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