Commenting

Before I begin, I will state that this is not me turning the comments back on here at Electric Weekend. It is instead about what has sparked me to begin commenting on other people’s blogs a little more.

When I began blogging I used to comment like crazy on people’s blogs, often because I could and sometimes because there was something I felt they had missed. I also had a lot more spare time to go back to each site individually to see if there had been any response to my comment. As I got towards the end of my degree this kind of time began to decrease and I was less inclined to comment. I tried some solutions to track my comments but it didn’t feel very convenient and I was reluctant to leave a trail on another 3rd party server.

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A few weeks ago I came across a possible self-hosted solution for tracking the sites I have commented on and for the last few weeks I have been using the public beta of Sam Brown’s Commented On. It’s proved very useful and I’ve found myself being a little more active when reading and subsequently commenting on people’s blogs.

Commented On is a great piece of software and method of tracking your comments. After I’ve made my comment, I simply highlight my comment, or the first paragraph, and hit cmd-3 to activate the javascript bookmarklet. It collects all the information needed and I just have to hit add site for it to be added to my database.

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All I have to do now is return to the main page and click on the links to the most recent comments and I can track any replies.

There are several things I like about Commented On:

  • It’s helped me to return to commenting on people’s blogs which is nice for interaction and makes it a little more personal.
  • It’s self-hosted. I like self hosted things. My blog and tracking software are self-hosted, I have Sidepath for shortening links rather than using another service. It gives me a little more control, and ensures I don’t leave a trail on another web-service.
  • It’s designed well. It looks great and is a pleasure to use, it’s appearance really enhances the user experience.

There’s really only one thing I wish that Commented On did, tell me when there has been a response (or additional comments) to one of my comments. Just something subtle on the main page like a badge in the Mail.app style maybe. I’m not sure how it could be done, maybe Commented On could grab the comment RSS for that post when you bookmark it and let you know when it gets updated.

Either way, I’ve really enjoyed using Commented On and highly recommend it to anyone who actively comments on people’s blogs.