coComment, the universal comment community, is opening up its doors to everyone
today on Monday, along with a fresh new look and a handful of tweaks and new features. I originally took a look at the comment service in early May, and came away impressed. The basic idea is that comments for things like blog posts, YouTube videos, and Web sites become centralized and available to everyone. Once users buy into the system by registering and installing an extension in their browser, they're able to comment on any page they'd like and keep track of what others are commenting on. If you've read up on Me.dium [Me.dium review here], the idea is somewhat similar.
Among some of the tweaks to the user interface is a new sidebar that lets you browse what your friends have commented on, viewed through a two-pane interface. It feels a little bit like browsing through your e-mail in-box (if you're familiar with Outlook). coComment is also throwing its hat in as a social bookmarking service of sorts, letting users share pages they're visiting, regardless of whether they have started or become engaged in conversations. Users can share in one of three ways, either to individuals, groups, or what coComment calls the "social Web"--a listing of over a dozen social bookmarking and sharing sites including Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us and Twitter.
coComment is working on a Facebook app that should be ready in the next couple of months. When I asked coComment's CEO Matt Colebourne about any future plans of adding instant messaging to the service, he noted that the asynchronous nature of commenting works well without the need for instantaneous response, and that coComment's speed is more than enough for two or more users to converse quite quickly.
Update: We just got word the launch is being pushed to Monday, due to an issue with Internet Explorer.