Commenting can play a major part in making an author's blog post deeper, and more interesting to read. It's like having a discussion in real life versus simply hearing someone speak--there are details, and alternate angles that can come of making ideas go two ways instead of one.
When creating a personal blog or one for business, there are the standard comment systems that come with your blogging platform, as well as a whole new breed of third-party tools that can add extra functionality, and potentially a deeper level of discussion to your site. So which ones are worth installing?
We've picked six of the major players in this space, and talked about what makes them more useful than the ones that come built-in to popular hosted blogging services like WordPress and Movable Type. Even if you're not on one of these two platforms, several of these solutions will work on a site you've built from scratch.
CoComment lets your readers subscribe to comments on a blog post, and share that thread with other CoComment users. It scrapes people's comments from threads they've replied to, so they can monitor and access the responses for multiple sites in one centralized location.
Adding CoComment to your site doesn't involve replacing your current commenting system, but it means you're signing up to be part of the CoComment network. If your users are active members of this community you might get new people discovering your content and taking part in the conversation--which could translate to site growth and prominence. The two things that turned us off to the service were the sometimes slow service and distracting ads that take are found on CoComment's main service.
Co.mments is a plug-in for blog owners, as well as a simple browser bookmarklet that lets you (or your readers) track conversations regardless of whether or not the stock commenting system offers such a feature. It works similar to some of the Web commerce price trackers we've looked at before, and will notify you if there are changes. Commenters can keep an eye on all the conversations they're tracking in one spot, and quickly browse through them like an river of news with a full list of keyboard shortcuts.
If you like Wordpress' built-in comment system and Askimet spam-catching plug-in, and don't want to ditch it for some completely different system, then Co.mments is a simple way to add tracking services for your readers so that they will know when to come back. However, it doesn't offer some of the advanced functionality of the others, and is mainly for helping your users keep track of what's going on with various threads on your blog--not making them more advanced. Several other services we're profiling offer subscription features of their own, but we liked Co.mments' in-box that lets you go catch up on multiple conversations in one place.
Continue reading to find out the other four services and which ones we picked out of the bunch.
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