Adding Your Two Cents - Stay On Top Of Your Comments
Commenting is the lifeblood of a blog. The author feels a sense of recognition and acceptance when their audience makes the effort to participate by leaving their two cents. The potential exchange that can take place in the comments serves many benefits:
1. Increases content depth for the article: Search Engines will eat this up too.
2. Helps audience recognize the humanness behind the blog.
3. Develops sense of community through participation and encouragement.
4. Hones article's message to a collaborative "truth".
Here are the Tomato, we love to see people leave comments on our articles. It let's us know that people are not only reading, but finding value in our content. We also love following up on comments that have been left by other members of this community, letting them know we are here to engage. However, there is a challenge. How can our audience stay informed of updates to the comments that they are interested in following? We can't ask them to periodically check-in. Continuing the conversation in the comments is key to maintain audience participation, allowing for greater exchange and benefit. TypePad (our blog's platform) currently offers no way to have participators request to be notified of future comments, nor do many of the other blogging platforms our community utilizes. So, until it becomes a standard feature in all of our blogging platforms, consider these three options for a quick fix and/or to improve your own experience with the blogs in which you enjoy participating.
Our personal favorite is co.mments.com. Once signing up for an account, you can add a bookmarklet to your browser so that when you are reading an article in which you would like to track the comments, all you have to do is bookmark it and magically it will end up in your co.mments account. Using co.mments you can also receive new comment alerts by e-mail from all of the articles you are tracking. Or my favorite, have a RSS feed set up with all of your commented articles. Another cool feature is the ability you have to share the comments you are tracking with the community through a public site. Click here to see my personal tracker.
Another slick option is the site, commentful. Commentful is a service that watches comments/follow-ups on blog posts and notifies you instantly whenever a new comment is left on an article that you have some interest in. It comes as a Firefox extension and will notify you of updates by "blinking" in the toolbar. So while Southwest airlines may have the "ding," commenting bloggers now have the "bling."
A third option if you are a WordPress user, is to install a plugin that will add a check box at the bottom of the comments section allowing anyone to be updated of new comments through email. Filosofo Enroll Comments will allow users to enroll to receive an email when someone comments on a selected post and also allow you to manage their subscriptions using your admin control panel.
There is another online commenting service, not unlike the others, called: coComment. It is also free like the others mentioned in the article above.
Merv has pointed out (in the comments) that If any of you are using Moveable Type as your blogging platform there is a 3rd party comment notifying plug-in called MT Notifier. It can be purchased (sorry, not free) at their website. Please note that this plug-in is not supported by SixApart and does not work for the TypePad platform.
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Thanks to Jason Benesch for his research, reviews, and insight for this article.
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