UPDATE: Look at the end for a disruptive idea on using coComment…
UPDATE 2: No wonder it didn’t show other comments. The flowing conversation of comments only appears only if other coComment members left comments on the same post. Unless coComment’s user base grows, it won’t be anymore effective than bookmarking comments.
A reporter from Wired News recently contacted me about my experience with coComment. While I had negative things to say about it previously (see coComment: Four reasons why I am disappointed…), I had to be fair by shedding some light on why a promising web service came under such intense fire. For your benefit, this is an abstract of what I told her…
From: Kevin (theory.isthereason)
To: Joanna (Wired News Reporter)
Date: 15th Feb 2006
Subject: Reporter interested in discussing coComment
The review you’re writing may end up on both extremes. It’s important to note that the case of coComment is really a story of startup that went into market too early. It shows how devastating the lack of corporate communication can be. Herein lies my experience and what other users have told me.
As written on my blog, I really wanted coComment to be the next big thing in the ecology of the blogosphere (which is currently dominated by Technorati). My expectations, however, fell short after I tried using it in early February. Here’s what actually happened:
1. After reading about coComment on Techcrunch, I was impressed with the concept and immediately signed up for their closed “invite-only” beta. I got the email invite the very next day.
2. I added the bookmarklet to my Firefox browser and started using it to tag comments I left on blogs I read. It was simple enough, except that it didn’t work for some blogs I visited and sometimes I would forget to hit the coComment bookmarklet. Totally forgivable.
3. I would check on my coComment rss feed to see where I’ve been commenting and whether there were any responses to what I wrote. All I saw were my comments, so I assumed no one commented after me. It was only after I checked the actual blogs that I realized there were indeed more comments posted and that coComment had missed them entirely. I was quite disappointed after that.
4. I blogged about my four main disappointments with coComments. The response I received for that article were interesting in that some experienced instant gratification (everything worked), while others were miffed like me. A fellow blogger, Stephanie Booth, gave workarounds and explained that coComment was released too early. Apparently Robert Scoble got first wind of it at the LIFT conference in Switzerland and blogged about it. The rest was history. See a coComment developer explaining the situation.
5. Let me add that I am now in the process of giving coComment a second chance by trying to make it work as it did for others. It was likely that I fell into the buggy end of their beta cycle. I feel that coComment has the potential for owning the “blog conversation” space which has been mostly resting on Technorati.
6. One more thing… There is one more potentially disruptive application for coComment which no one seemed to have realized yet: User Verified Comments. In this day and age of spam and message spoofing, it would be easy for anyone to leave a comment in your name. With coComment tracking your comments, publishing a coComment feed on your blog might help for readers/fans to verify your actual comments left on other blogs.