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:
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”:
http://cocomment.com/rss2/cocomment/steph.rss (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.
technorati tags:feeds, tagging, cocomment, users, tags, explanation, features, links
*[Initially posted on the coComment blog.](http://blog.cocomment.com/2006/09/14/feeds-for-tags/)*