Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Blogging these days is still huge. There’s still hundreds of thousands of blogs popping up everyday, some hoping to strike it rich, some to simply get one’s opinion out or some just needing somewhere to document their life.
However one utilizes their own blog, they almost always rely on two things, readers and reader’s comments. Without any type of feedback from the reader, you typically lose interest in writing and regular posting dies like it does with many blogs everyday.
The problem is, most readers almost always need some type of motivation to provide the type of feedback you are looking for. Many times a user comments on someone’s blog, asking a question or adding a simple thank you, only to forget about it by day’s end. Without any real way of turning the comment into a conversation, the reader will not likely comment on their next visit. Some blogs, including MakeUseOf, do offer the ability to subscribe to a thread of comments and send notifications by e-mail. These however, can become an annoyance to many readers, especially when that check box is selected by default. Why not allow the user to control their own comments in their own way?
This brings me to today’s post. Back in 2007 we wrote about a couple of different comment tracking systems, one of which has died, that give you the ability to track your daily comments with responses, stats and adding more capability to the typical blog conversation. Since that original post, many more options have arrived on the scene and I’m bringing you a few of the more popular ones today. I’ve separated each of the sections into their own respective category.
Track Comments (For Blog Readers)
CoComment is a Firefox and/or blog add-on that not only follows all of the comments you’ve submitted on any compatible blog platform, but also opens you up to more conversations and may even garner you more traffic to your respective blog.
Compatible blog platforms include WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and Movable Type.
Different platforms will display the CoComment toolbar in different ways, but once it’s working properly, you’ll have the ability to track any comment.
After that, CoComment.com can track all of your conversations.
Commentful [No Longer Available]
is not all that much different than CoComment, in that it also includes a Firefox add-on for conversation tracking.
Commentful also supports all of the major blogging platforms, can track up to 200 conversations, and can track items up to 365 days of the year.
If you’d prefer not to install the FF add-on, you may also use a simple ‘Add to Commentful’ bookmarklet. However, with the extension you have the added benefit of receiving notification on updated conversations.
Manually add a URL to your watchlist.
Monitor your comment tracking via the Commentful website, or through an RSS feed.
BackType [No Longer Works]
With Backtype you not only have the ability to track your current conversations in real-time, but you also have the ability to claim previously written comments. They do this with their unique search system. Their advanced search algorithm also offers the ability to search by keyword and setup alerts for indexed comments.
A look at BackType trends. A summary of the most popular keyword searches that relate to you.
Setting up keyword alerts is very similar to Google Alerts, but by indexing comments only.
Commenting Systems (For Blog Moderators)
Disqus is a commenting system and an add-on that not only enhances your blog but essentially turns each post into its own forum for discussion at forumname.disqus.com. Once the code is implemented, Disqus takes over the currently implemented system for WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and more.
One of the great things about Disqus that just recently came about isintegration. It’s not enabled by default, but does have the ability.
A look at the Disqus integration about page.
Once enabled on your site, a user may easily connect to Disqus and monitor their profile in real-time.
IntenseDebate is another blog enhancement, compatible with all the major platforms that also takes over your present comment system. It not only converts your present system into threaded comments automatically, but also the ability to reply to comments by e-mail and through your RSS reader.
So essentially it not only takes over the commenting machine, but also your comment moderation machine. It also includes user profiles for worldwide tracking as well.
A look at the threaded comments on Intense Debate’s official blog.
A look at my empty dashboard on IntenseDebate
SezWho, another competitor to the previously mentioned two, but with somewhat different abilities. It does include user profiles, for comment tracking, and a similar conversation aspect, but its main feature is its rating system.
After SezWho is put in place, it creates a rating scale for each comment on your blog. These rated comments may then be filtered and organized to your liking.
A look at a blog with SezWho implemented.
A summarized screenshot of a user profile and their reputation for each comment.
As you can see, whether you are looking to implement something to entice more discussion on your blog, or you’re just simply looking to track your own comments, you do have some options. Try each of the tools out and see if they fit what you might be looking for. All of the above sites are well established and very easy to use, so you shouldn’t be disappointed with your options.
Let us know what you think. Have you used any of these products? Do you find them useful or recommend them for anyone specific?