Laurent Haug Talks About coComment at SHiFT Conference [en]

Here I am in Lisbon, Portugal, trying to finish packing before my plane takes off. I was here for two days to attend the SHiFT conference. Before I leave, however, I’d like to mention the great talk Laurent gave about the lessons learned from the launch of coComment last February. It was very instructive (I was surprised to learn things about that period that I didn’t know!) and inspiring.

Laurent Haug and coComment logo at SHiFT.
photo by Mark Wubben

I’m not certain, but I think that a video recording of all talks made at SHiFT will be put online (they were recorded, in any case), and I’ll let you know when that happens. For the moment, check out Laurent’s slides and notes on his blog.

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

Using coComment's Social Network [en]

John Cass tells us how coComment is making him discover people. Here’s what he says:

As I write comments on various blogs and track those conversations I start to come across the same people on different blogs. The value of CoComment in part is in helping me to quickly identify those people who share many of my interests. CoComment really is a social network that you can use to find people who share your same demographics and psychographics. In fact I’d suggest instead of calling social networks, demographic search engines, call them psychographic search engines.

What about you? Have you had a look at your coComment community? Has coComment encouraged you to get to know bloggers who participate in the same conversations as you better?

At coComment, we make a distinction between:

  • your neighbours, who comment on the same subjects as you;
  • your favourites, people you have explicitly chosen;
  • your subscribers: those who have marked you as a favourite.

Do these distinctions seem relevant to you? Do you use them? We’d like to hear from you.

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

Integration Page Updated [en]

Here we are! The page explaining how to integrate coComment into your blog has just been updated. You’ll see some changes in the javascript integration code — but not to worry, the old code still works.

Let me take this occasion to clarify again what this whole “integration” thing is about. When coComment captures comments left on blogs, it needs to catch all sorts of information: blog name and URL, comment author’s name, comment content, etc. Clicking on the bookmarklet or using the extension tells coComment to do that.

When coComment is integrated into a blog, two things happen:

  • the different variables coComment needs are given to it directly
  • coComment is given the power to catch the comments.

Consequence: if you integrate coComment into your blog, coComment will have the correct data (blog and post names, etc.) and will know to capture the comments made on it, be they by coComment users or other people.

If you don’t integrate coComment into your blog, then we still try and catch the comments (if a coComment user requests it by posting in the thread or simply choosing to track it) with the coCo-crawler. This is, however, a less precise way of capturing comments for the moment.

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

Two Updated Plugins For WordPress [en]

WordPress users, this is for you! Two useful plugins for coComment have been updated:

  • coComment Enhancer by David has gone up to version 1.2.3b, with bug fixes as well as French and German translations.
    This plugin will integrate coComment into your blog. This means that it will ensure that coComment gets accurate data (post name, blog name, post url, etc.) independantly of the way you set up your template.

    It is definitely the easiest way to make your blog friendly for coComment if you’re using WordPress, and it ensures that coComment gets the right data even if you change your template.
  • Show coComments by Pablo has now been bumped up to 0.2 stable release after some bugfixes.
    This sidebar widget allows you to easily display your comments or conversations on your WordPress blog. It also works as a normal plugin if you don’t have a widget-enabled theme.

Thanks a bunch to David and Pablo for taking our feedback into account and updating their plugins. If you don’t use WordPress, all is not lost: check out our Integration page for instructions about integrating coComment into your blog (the little imps tell me it might very well be updated soon, so keep an eye on it). To display your latest comments on your blog, use a blog box which you can customize to your liking.

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

Feeds For Tags! [en]

Specially for you today, something that will make tagging comments really useful: feeds by user and tag. Let’s look at an example together to see how it works.

First, a reminder: you already know you can subscribe to a user’s comments or the conversations that user has participated in. For that, you use the RSS feed links that are displayed on every user’s page. For example, mine look like this:

  • conversations:
  • comments:

You can also subscribe to comments identified by a given tag. This has been around for a while, but for some reason the link to the feed wasn’t visible on the page. It is now. Thus, to subscribe to comments tagged “coComment” you would use the following feed:

  • comments tagged “coComment”:

OK so far? Ready for the juicy part? How about subscribing to all the comments one user makes on a particular topic, identified by a tag? For example, maybe you don’t care much about the comments I usually make, but you want to keep an eye on the comments I tag “coComment”. If you’re on somebody’s conversations page (or yours!) and you click on a tag there, you’ll see an extra feed (labeled “Tag”) in the user feeds. For example:

  • Steph’s comments tagged “coComment”:

Pretty neat! But we didn’t stop there. We’ve added a little extra special something for when you want to subscribe to your own tags. You see, subscribing to my own comments tagged “superimportant” isn’t going to be very useful. It would be much more interesting if you could subscribe to the conversations in which you once used a given tag, wouldn’t it?

Well, you can do just that. If you go to your own user page, click on a tag, and subscribe to the “Tag” user feed you find there, you’ll see that it actually subscribes you to the conversations in which you used that tag.

This opens up all sorts of exciting doors about using tags (and creating tags!) to track certain conversations and not others. I have that problem all the time: I leave comments all over the place, but I’m not as interested in tracking certain conversations as I am others. For me, it’s really important to track my conversations tagged “coComment” seriously, so I’ll subscribe to this feed and check it regularly:

  • Steph’s conversations tagged “coComment”: (to be precise: conversations in which I posted a comment tagged “coComment”)

I could also use another tag called “important” or “priority” to label conversations I want to track more actively than the usual chatter that I just check once in a while on my conversations page. (I’m not doing it yet, but writing all this is making me realise this is the solution to my conversation overload problems!)

What about you? How do you like the new tag/user feeds? Are you using tags to help you track your conversations better? Share your experiences with your fellow coCommenters in the comments.

Happy tagging!

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

Haloscan Support [en]

Update 11pm: it seems I’ve been a bit over-enthusiastic posting this, and things aren’t yet working as smoothly as they should. I’ll let you know when everything is OK. My excuses!

We have great news for Sally and all of you who comment on HaloScan-powered blogs, or own one: coComment is now HaloScan-compatible!

Even if we don’t capture everything directly, the coCo-crawler comes along after a while and catches everything. Pretty neat, huh?

So, go on and comment happily on all those HaloScan blogs. Let us know if you run into problems, but don’t forget to give the coCo-crawler enough time to come along before thinking we’ve forgotten you!

Many thanks to Jeevan for his help and assistance in getting this to work.

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

ZoneAlarm with coComment: Here's the Fix [en]

A bit over a week ago, Lee Hopkins, an early coComment adopter, reported that coComment had stopped tracking his conversations.

The very next day, Christophe was at it to try and find what was going on. He quickly noticed that Lee wasn’t in fact logged into the coComment server (although Lee had been logging in as asked). Finally the problem was narrowed down to a cookie setting in ZoneAlarm, a popular Windows firewall that Lee was using. (The details of the one-on-one troubleshooting that went on behind the scenes have not been disclosed, so that part of the story will be left to your imagination.)

So, if coComment seems to have stopped tracking your comments, and you are using ZoneAlarm, click the Site List tab in ZoneAlarm and check the “3rd party” cookie control for

ZoneAlarm Cookie Settings

That should do it! Let us know if this was useful for you.

Disclaimer: I don’t have ZoneAlarm, so if you have trouble finding the screen depicted here, ask in the comments and we’ll get more precise explanations for you. Thanks to Lee for the screenshot.

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

Le coComment nouveau est arrivé [fr]

[en] With the new coComment extension activated, browse to this article by 24heures. Click on the coComment logo once. Don't spill your coffee.

Je parlerai plus longuement de la nouvelle version de coComment qui vient d’être déployée (après l’annonce officielle, par exemple), mais je tenais à vous montrer ceci avant de filer à Paléo.

  1. Avec un navigateur FireFox (ou Flock! muni de la magnifique extension coComment, rendez-vous sur la page de l’article 24heures sur les blogs. *Edit: version archivée ici on dirait.
  2. Remarquez que le logo coComment en bas à droite devient orange. (Au lieu de bleu.)
  3. Cliquez sur le dit logo, une fois, avec le bouton de gauche.
  4. Lisez et extasiez-vous!

(Je n’en dit pas plus, il faut essayer. Oui, ça marche partout. Dingue.)

Firefox Extension Can Work With Flock [en]

Good news for all you Flock users out there (for those who don’t know Flock, you should try it now, it’s great): the magic Firefox extension which lets you forget coComment exists as it silently records all your comments can be made to work with Flock.

The bad news is that it took me until now to realize that (I’m an avid Flock user and have been frustrated by the extension incompatibility for weeks, if not months).

The good news is that it’s dead easy: install the Flock coComment extension now!

A small word of caution, though, or two:

  1. I’ve been using this extension for a few days and it seems to work, but it hasn’t been extensively tested by the coCo-team. If you’re geeky enough to understand how converting an extension really works, be kind to leave a comment and let us know if there seems to be any risk of breakage.
  2. The Flock extension I’ve linked to is one particular version of the extension. Within the next weeks (or so I heard!) there will be a new release of the extension, and the link above will still point to the old extension (still with me?) I’ve also been told the Flock conversion may not be necessary anymore… let’s keep our fingers crossed and our eyes open.

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Initially posted on the coComment blog.

Your Conversations Page: How Do You Use It? [en]

How do you use the "Conversations" page? When do you visit it? Do you visit it at all? I find myself going there pretty infrequently, and the links I click on most are the little grey boxes on the right which take me to the blog article I’ve commented upon. What about you?

Do you use the other links? How often? What links would you like to have on that page?

What about the RSS feed? Are you happy with the links it provides?


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Initially posted on the coComment blog.