coComment. Good Idea / Bad Idea?

coComment is a site that offers the service of tracking your comments through cyberspace on the various blogs you visit and show the replies and continuing conversation after your post. In theory.

Last year, it worked like that. I stopped using it mostly because it was a bit of a PITA to remember to click on the bookmarklet every time I wanted to leave a comment. Although that bookmarklet is now looking like a decent option…

Yesterday, I headed back to see about rejuvenating my usage and interest in coComment. I’m sad to say that that interest has now waned. In my experience, CoComment seems to be quite broken.

RAM and the coComment Extension for Firefox

Without the coComment extension for Firefox, my RAM – with the exact same number of windows open and all other extensions except the one for coComment installed – sits at around 140,000k of RAM. With the coComment extension installed, it hit 356,000k of RAM – and climbing visibly by the second – before I uninstalled the coComment extension and shut down Firefox.

It then took Firefox 9 minutes – thus far – to finish shutting down. It’s still at 236,000k of RAM. Dropping somewhat, then rising a bit, then dropping a bunch more, and rising again, and so on.

Please note that, other than the coComment plugin, I’ve installed no other new extensions for Firefox in at least the last month and these problems did not show up until it was installed. So yes, I’m positive that it’s the coComment plugin and nothing else.

Forum Posts and the coComment Extension for Firefox

Forum posts – like on – were hooped. No, really. No cursor. No backspace, delete, or typing. No highlighting text, copying, cutting, or pasting. In short, nada, nil, zilch, zero, squat. Hooped.

The coComment toolbar thingie for comments showed up at the bottom of the forum post box (it looks like coComment also tracks forum posts, not just blog posts), so I tried closing it. It closed, but no joy on having any amount of ability to do anything in that forum post box.

So I reloaded the window. And it was fine for the one second before the coComment toolbar thingie showed up again. Then it was hooped again. I tried this several times in case the coComment toolbar thingie showing up again was a fluke, but no, it kept coming back. Worse than the Energizer bunny.

There is no way that anyone can write a post in that very narrow time frame. For this reason alone, the coComment extension for Firefox has got to go.

Conversation Tracking

The conversations at coComment aren’t being tracked properly anyway. The comments that belong to the same post aren’t grouped together like they’re supposed to be and responses don’t show at all. And that’s just when the new comments I’ve made show up, which isn’t always the case.

This morning, I visited coComment to take a look at the My Conversations page and not one comment I’d made yesterday – that had showed up on the coComment site yesterday – was even showing up. It wasn’t until over eight hours later that they reappeared.

For that matter, the coComment thingie broke when I was posting a comment on the coComment site itself! I had to tell it not to update to coComment just to get the darn post to actually post!

Blog Synching with Technorati

On the coComment site, there’s a tool that helps you synchronize your blogs with Technorati. Theoretically.

Also hooped. Oh, there are many threads about this. It’s a known issue. A long-standing known issue. They don’t appear to know when it’ll be fixed but promise rather nebulous “Soon… Try back again later…”

And yet there’s nothing on the synching tool indicating that it doesn’t work. There’s nothing anywhere about the synching tool not working until you go to the help forums and then you see that it’s a known issue. Meanwhile, a person tries to synch their blog with Technorati. And tries again. And again. And again. And, apparently, again and again every couple of months or so. And nothing.

So since the tool obviously doesn’t work and there are no definite indications that it actually will get fixed anytime soon, take it off the site. Seriously.

The Summary

So far, the only responses I see are along the lines of “it’ll be fixed soon. Come back and try again.” No definite time frames. And really, there’s so much that’s broken right now that, despite coComment being a great idea, it’s lost everything in the translation. It’s just not worth your time or energy levels to even bother wasting time on them right now. Maybe in a few months or a year or so it’ll work. I hope. Until then…

Anybody know of a good alternative? One that actually works?

Author: LMAshton

3 thoughts on “coComment. Good Idea / Bad Idea?

  1. Christophe,

    Thank you for responding. What I find interesting is that I posted about these problems on the coComment forums in the Bugs section, and those posts remain unanswered.

    I can be found on coComment at

    When I say that conversation are not being tracked, I’m not talking about one blog. I’m talking about all blogs, all comments. My comments show up, but no one else’s do, and even when my comments show up, if there’s more than one comment in a thread, they still show up in separate threads. All comments, all conversations are the same. My comments are now showing up, although I no longer have any new ones being added since I uninstalled the coComment Firefox extension since it’s so buggy.

    Firefox 3.0 and Windows XP.

    As for Technorati integration, on the help forums, there is no mention of it working at all in the last four or six months. All posts regarding it – that I can see – are either complaints that it’s not working or a response saying it will be fixed “soon. Please try again later.”

    Re: the PHP errors – yes, I’m aware of them. I broke my template yesterday while working on my site redesign and haven’t finished fixing them. Thank you.

  2. Hi,

    I’m very sorry that you experienced so many issues with our service.
    We will check all the problems you reported and fix it ASAP.
    Regarding comment tracking:
    – The issue with your conversation page being empty: could you please send me your coComment nickname so we can check what is going on ? did you just see an empty list, or some message there ?
    – conversations not being tracked properly: tracking usually involved crawling the conversations and parsing the page (except for blogs integrating our service). This mean that we can fail on specific blogs that do not follow a standard template. In this case, you can send the URL to our integration team ([email protected]) and we will try to add support for this blog. In most cases, we can do it. In some specific cases (hopefully not to often), the blog structure does not permit to identify comments from the rest of the page.

    The issue with the forum being broken by our extension will be checked and fixed.

    Technorati integration: I must admit that it sometimes failed (many users are successfully using it now). When the problem is on our side, we can fix it. If it is on the other side, then we can just submit the issue to Technorati and wait for a solution.

    The extension and RAM: which version of Firefox on which OS ?

    Thanks for your help and understanding.

    PS: I can see some php include errors on this page with missing files on your server.

  3. Thanks for your quick answer !

    I will check why some posts on our Forum remain unanswered and not properly updated and make sure this does not happen again.
    I can see you comment mainly on forums: although we do support some forum templates, our current release is still limited in that area. the “good news” is that we are currently working on a new release that will offer better support for forums. We will also provide better information if we cannot parse the page to extract all comments (we get your comments when you use the extension, but not all comments on that page: we need to parse it, and this can fail)

    Regarding the fact that if you enter multiple comments in the same thread, you get multiple threads in coComment, it is an issue with getting the correct forum thread URL (the URL in the browser is the one for your entry, not for the full thread). We will try to fix this.

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