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Comments get a bad rap, and sometimes that’s fair: they can be unrelentingly awful. But sometimes online comments can make the web better — like when they prompt great conversations, point out great tools, or make something hilarious even better.

Today Cool Websites and Apps, a column that highlights software you’ve probably never heard of, explores five tools that make online comments better. Whether you want to find conversations related to any website or watch real-time Twitch comments for previous broadcasts, we’ve got you covered.

Kiwi (Chrome and Firefox): See Conversations About the Site You’re Looking At

You’re out there exploring random net stuff Random Net Stuff: 5 Ways to Randomly Find New Things Online Random Net Stuff: 5 Ways to Randomly Find New Things Online The web is a vast network of seemingly unconnected things. You could spend all day exploring it. These five sites bring back the feeling of serendipity we had almost lost. Read More when you find something amazing. You can’t help but wonder: is anyone else on the web talking about this? Kiwi can help you find out.

This browser extension lets you find discussions about the site you’re looking at. It currently searches Hacker News, Reddit, Product Hunt and Google News – the plan is to add more sites over time. If you want to find a conversation about any site, this browser extension can help.

AlienTube (Chrome, Firefox, Opera): Replace YouTube Comments with Reddit

We’ve gone over ways to improve YouTube comments 5 Ways To Improve YouTube Comments 5 Ways To Improve YouTube Comments YouTube's comments section is one of the worst places on the web. On an Internet already full of nonsense no sane, intelligent person would want to spend their time reading, YouTube's comment section stands out.... Read More in the past, mostly by replacing them with unrelated filler content. That’s one solution, but here’s another: replacing YouTube’s comments with Reddit comments about the video.

alientube

If multiple subreddits link to a given video you’ll be able to cycle between them; if no subreddit link to it you’ll see the standard YouTube comments. If you think Reddit does a better job at comments than YouTube, give this extension a shot.

Mini YouTube (Chrome): Read YouTube Comments Without Missing the Video

Not everyone hates YouTube comments – some channels have great communities with discussions well worth reading. If you love reading comments but wish you could keep watching the video while doing so, Mini YouTube can help. Scroll beneath the video and this extension will overlay the video over the comments, letting you keep watching as you scroll down.

mini-youtube

You can customize where the overlay video sits as well as its size, meaning you can make this work however you like. If comments are a big part of your YouTube experience you need to check this one out.

Uneddit: View Deleted Comments on Reddit

Speaking of Reddit: have you ever seen a deleted comment, with angry responses beneath, that made you…curious? Uneddit is a simple bookmarklet that can show you.

uneddit

Just click the bookmarklet anytime you see a deleted comment and Uneddit will scan an archive and restore the comment. It’s that simple.

It’s a lesson everyone needs to learn: nothing is deleted on the Internet, ever Nothing Gets Deleted From the Internet, Ever. Here's How. Nothing Gets Deleted From the Internet, Ever. Here's How. These people are trying to back up everything on the web. It's a big job, but you can help. Read More . Deleting something from a site like Reddit or Twitter doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, so be careful what you post.

Rechat For Twitch (Chrome): “Realtime” Comment Experience Without Watching Live

There are plenty of Twitch streamers worth watching 7 Twitch Streamers To Watch If eSports Aren't Your Thing 7 Twitch Streamers To Watch If eSports Aren't Your Thing If you don't like eSports and you've written off Twitch as "not for you," it's time to reconsider. These entertaining Twitch streamers aren't associated with eSports in any way. Read More , but you might not always be online while they’re broadcasting. You can catch up with streamers anytime by watching previous broadcasts, but you’ll be missing out on one bit of context: which comments the streamer is reacting to. Rechat for Twitch solves this by syncing archived Twitch comments with previous broadcasts, so you can experience the comments and the video in realtime.

rechat-for-twitch

So whether you’re catching up on Technophilia Podcast or any other show, you’ll be able to see the comments that hosts are reacting to.

Comment About Comments in the Comments

Maybe you don’t like comments. We showed you Comment Snob, which filters poorly spelled and other bad comments and Shut Up, which blocks comments entirely, and I’m sure there are other tools out there for avoiding comments altogether.

But should you?

Let’s talk about comments, and what purpose they have on a website. Are they just a place to yell at a given author, or is there something more? Are there any other great tools out there for exploring comments? Let’s talk.

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  1. Anonymous
    October 8, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    yeah reddit really? no thanks

  2. Anonymous
    August 31, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Do any of them get rid of internet trolls? Because that would be really awesome. ;-)

    • Justin Pot
      August 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      If only they could, if only they could.

  3. Anonymous
    August 30, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Devils Advocate Here.

    Unlike There Is Much Controversy, I Only Browse Articles In *Diagonal*.

    In Fact, Having No Comments, Is Almost A Sure Way For Me To Move To Another Article, In A Rush.

    Half A Dozen Comments Are Enough To Cover All Angles Related To The Article Topic.

    The Author Of The Article Has Only 1 Opinion ( So Many Times Biased ), But A Handful Of Opinions In The Comments Brings Balance To The Information I Am *Drinking*.

    GOD Forbid, The Author Was Biased Or Committed A Gross Mistake - The Comments Will Bury *It* In A Heartbeat - Bring The Popcorn.

    Cheers.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 30, 2015 at 5:30 am

      Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by "Diagonal". Could you elaborate?

      • Anonymous
        August 30, 2015 at 7:45 am

        You Know, Having Just A Quick Glance - Not Linear - Zig Zagging.

        Thank You For Responding.

        • Justin Pot
          August 30, 2015 at 7:20 pm

          I love what you're saying but I've got to add: The Capital Letter Thing Makes Me Dizzy. I don't know why, it just does.

        • Anonymous
          August 31, 2015 at 3:19 am

          If You Are Using FF Or Any CHROME Clone Browser, There Are Extensions That Convert Absolutely All Characters In The Page In *All Uppercase* Or *All Lowercase*.

          Sorry, Again And Again.

  4. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    I love AlienTube! Yesterday I was wondering how to get Reddit content for a YouTube video. Probably simple to do but this is better.

    • Justin Pot
      August 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Glad you found something useful!

  5. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Really?

    • Justin Pot
      August 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Yeah, really. Totally. 100%.

  6. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Replacing youtube comments with reddit comments isn't much of an improvement at all.

    • Justin Pot
      August 29, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      It really, really depends on the subreddit...but I get where you're coming from.

  7. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    LMAO! Now that I think about it - I've done the same think before!
    Holy hypocrite Batman!
    (Sorry man)

    • Anonymous
      August 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      ;)

      • Justin Pot
        August 29, 2015 at 4:44 pm

        You guys are awesome, thanks for stopping by!

        • Mihir Patkar
          August 30, 2015 at 5:49 am

          Seconded!

  8. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I hate redundancy.

    • Anonymous
      August 29, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Me too. It sucks. Like everything else. Especially irony.

  9. Anonymous
    August 29, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I hate comments on websites. They are the worst. Only idiots write them.

    • Anonymous
      August 30, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Is This Comment Of Yours An Exception ?

      • Justin Pot
        August 30, 2015 at 7:22 pm

        THAT'S THE JOKE

        • Mihir Patkar
          August 31, 2015 at 5:26 am

          STOP EXPLAINING JOKES, IT RUINS JOKES