I searched for recent mentions of coComment in Technorati and carefully read all the reviews I could find of the updated comment tracker. Here's my quick take on what 22 other bloggers have to say. Hopefully this will help you decide whether to use coComment, and maybe even help the coComment team improve their software.
8 of 22 Bloggers Like The New coComment
Joseph O'Connell says, "I'm extremely impressed with [the coComment team], and like Feedburner, I wonder why their tools aren't being used more. Maybe I'm too much of a geek, but I love it." Joseph, you're not too geeky. I am also appalled at coCo's lack of popularity, given its incredible utility.
Joseph has some of the wisest words about coCo that I've seen anywhere: "Similar to del.icio.us, CoComment stays nicely out of the way until called upon, and doesn't require a separate application running or complicated plugin/extension to configure. By acting entirely as a service and a layer on top of existing software, they provide some really powerful glue for the distributed web."
Michael Specht says coComment comes "highly recommended" for making his Web conversations easier.
John Cass captures my excitement: "I immediately logged into my CoComment account, and noticed that my list of comments tracked was lit up with new comments. There were lots of comments from non-CoComment users. Hey this means I don't have to bother bookmarking a blog conversation when I comment once a comment track is started." Exactly! John concludes, "This is a great step forward in comment tracking."
Randy Thomas says, "If you have a blog or are simply a reader of blogs ... CoComment is a great tool that is very helpful."
Stegbeetle says, "It's well worth having a go with this."
Mark at Made to Praise Him says, "coComment is fast becoming essential if you're into the social aspects of blogging."
Andrew Fife especially likes the coComment comment tracking widget (Andrew, there are actually three!). However, he says coCo doesn't always work well at Blogger blogs. I've had occasional problems with coCo and Blogger myself. Hopefully the coCo team will fix that.
James at Right On! says, "To those of you who comment on a LOT of blogs as I do, and find it VERY hard to remember what you commented on and where… a valuable resource called cocomment just got a HELL of a lot more valuable."
5 of 22 Bloggers Dislike the New coComment
Garrett Fitzgerald says, "I think I need to see this in action a bit before I give it a try, but it looks neat." Garrett, watch my coComment page (or grab the feed) if you want to spy on someone before giving it a shot.
William Foxtrot boldly states, "Anybody who enjoys commenting on weblogs needs this tool." Like me, William hates "hit-and-run" comments. But the conversation changes completely when you can easily listen. I think the day is soon coming when it will be seen as rude not to respond to a blog comment - because tracking comments will be so much easier.
Aaron Hockley doesn't like coComment at all: "Bad software. Bad, bad software. coComment gets one chance to fix this, and then it’s going away." I'll see if I can help Aaron out - he doesn't like the fact that coCo installed a toolbar icon without asking. Aaron, the extension download page explains that when you install coComment, it inserts an icon in your status bar, typically located at the bottom of your browser. I don't see that as intrusive or impolite. However, perhaps coComment should consider giving users the option of moving or even removing the icon while still getting the tool's functionality.
Chris Clarke didn't like the email coComment sent its users announcing the improvements. He ho-hums the new features and concludes, "Go sign up for co.mments instead." Chris has had problems signing in to use coComment. Have any of you experienced this? Chris, give coCo a second chance, if only for my sake! coComment has several social features that co.mments doesn't - at least not yet (at Chris's post, co.mments guru Assaf promises "more great features" soon).
Side note: From emails we've exchanged, I know Assaf to be a very nice person who cares deeply about improving co.mments. I don't see coComment as being "better" or "worse" than co.mments; rather, I think they each bring a unique focus to the conversation tracking table. I use and appreciate them both.
Lloyd Budd uses coComment, but says the new features make him like it less. He says his conversations feed suffered from "a flood of junk" and is upset that the coComment team sent him his password along with the new features announcement, unsolicited and in unencrypted form.
And 9 of 22 Bloggers Haven't Tried the New coComment Yet
Of all people, Darren Rowse says he hasn't used coComment before. Darren, I invite you to try coComment for seven days! If you don't like it, I'll send you my priceless Yoda PEZ dispenser. Candy included. I'll even pay for the shipping.
Greg Kiernan says, "It all sounds pretty impressive and i am certainly interested in giving it a good try out as soon as i can!"
Phil Wilson says, "Finally! I gave up using CoComment after a few weeks when it became obvious that only other total nerds were adding any value to it, and not the people I actually wanted - people actually in the conversation."
Scott Schecter says, "For me the whole bookmarklet bit just took way too much effort to be very useful. Well evidently I missed that they now have a Firefox extension that does most of this for you automatically now. I'm gonna give the extension a shot, and see if it fares better. If it sticks I'll let you know." Please do, Scott!
Cherrie, one of the few female bloggers discussing coComment (why is that?), exclaims,"Excellent!!! I've been wanting this for ages!!"
The Technology Blog makes this great understatement: "I think this little program may lead to lots of more conversations on blogs."
Jordan Running says, "I used coComment for awhile when it was new, but it didn't take long for me to decide it wasn't really worth the trouble for me." Jordan then admits that the new features "may change my tune." I hope so, Jordan!
Fraser Kelton says, "When it first came out I was excited about a headache of mine that coComment was going to solve - tracking my conversations. I tried it out and found that it ... sort of solved my headache, but produced a number of other ones. In the end I decided the headache trade-off wasn’t worth it." But now Fraser says he'll give coCo another shot.
Finally, some guy named Robert Scoble says, "I have to try it out again. I lost interest after switching computers again." Robert, you'll like it. coCo has its flaws, but you're a busy man and a busy commenter, so it should save you some time.
Conclusion: Most Bloggers Like the New coComment; Some Say It Needs Improvement
Overall, 17 of the 22 posts I found expressed appreciation and/or excitement for the new version of coComment. The most commonly cited reasons for liking the new coComment were its ability to track comments regardless of whether commenters are registered coComment users and its ability to track conversations at pages where you choose not to make a comment. Several bloggers said they had used older versions of coComment and had stopped using the service, but are now excited to give it another go.
I personally think the social aspect of coComment has been largely ignored. I love being able to see what other people are saying about a given topic, at a given blog, or just in general. (Am I a spy or just inquisitive?)
5 of the 22 bloggers didn't like coComment. The most frequent complaints were technical glitches, lack of uniqueness, and a preference for co.mments. Also, Chris Clarke and Lloyd Budd didn't like the announcement email. Just some things to work on for the coComment team!