CoComments: Nice Idea, But Users Are Still Lazy

Techcrunch reviews CoComments, a product that lets you centralize the saving of comments you leave on different blogs, so you can view all your comments in one place.

It will be popular, but only with the alpha-geek set, because the onus in on the user to change their behavior to suit the software (indeed, even some geeks won't change their behavior).

End-users are lazy, and it requires the user to both want to experiement with changing their behavior, along with lots of positive reinforcement (i.e. helping the user kick ass) to modify behavior.

I'm still waiting for the CoComment one-up: a search engine that crawls and aggregates the comments a person has left on different blogs.

Letting the user be lazy and the software be smart won't guarantee success, but it will remove one more obstacle you're asking your potential customers to overcome to use your product.

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Mathew Ingram said on Feb 6 2006:

Kareem:

Your point about users being lazy is a good one. As far as I can tell, it looks like CoComment wants to become that search engine -- they appear to be planning to build their service into the commenting feature on most of the major blog platforms, so the indexing would happen automatically.

2. kareem said on Feb 6 2006:

Mathew, I hope they accomplish their goal; it would help follow conversations a ton.

The problem with the current bookmarklet method is that there is no short-term reason to click it, so people forget. If the CoComment guys could somehow send a shot of seratonin into your brain every time you click it when you leave a comment, I'm sure they wouldn't need to bother building it into major blogging platforms! ;)

3. Brian Ivanovick said on Feb 7 2006:

I love the idea that you have to let the user be lazy. Smart Kareem, very smart.

I also love the idea of CoComment and hope it makes an impact. Aggregating comments would provide a better picture of the commenter - who they are, what they're interested in and how often they post.

One could then take that data and develop a picture of the Commenters on a specific blog. Advertisers would love it. They could get a sense of who their ads are being targeted to. The Blogger would generate more revenue if their readership is highly sought after.

Another application could be for potential employers. They could search and read all of a candidate's comments to see just who they're dealing with.

A very interesting idea with all kinds of interesting applications.

PS - sorry Lew - things have been mad hectic the last few days - I'll send that email to Dreamhost ASAP.

4. Mathew Ingram said on Feb 7 2006:

Kareem:

If you use Firefox, you can install a Greasemonkey script that removes the necessity for clicking the bookmarklet, but then I guess that requires a little effort too :-)

5. kareem said on Feb 7 2006:

@Brian: the job seeker idea is a very interesting one!

@Mathew: already installed it :) But the people who use Greasemonkey are also the people who will try to modify their behavior to use CoComment--geeky early adopters. To cross the proverbial chasm, it's gotta be usable by the lazy users.

6. botanik said on Feb 9 2006:

Hi kareem, yea i like the "defense of the lazy user" you have taken on. I'm one for the case :) but i have to say that this coComment service is already helping me a lot to put my good energy on writing more instead of searching more..all my comments on one page and the RSS alert are working very well for me and im using Safari, so i don't have the greasymonkey script enabled..its just one click on a bookmarklet that i agree could be also automatized.

cheers!
/b

ps, i got few codes to give away in case anyone wants one let me know (via my blog could be faster)

7. Eric Berlin said on Feb 14 2006:

Hi Kareem,

At first glance, I agree with your lazy user theory.

However, just yesterday (read: alpha geek = not I) I used gmail's chat feature for the first time, which saves your "comments" for you in a way. It reminded me that instant messaging, a concept that at one time would have certainly been categorized as alpha geeky, is now somewhat ubiquitous with other means of online communication.

Does that mean CoComments and the like will catch on like wildfire? Likely not, but I'm betting that the concept of tracking and archiving comments will never go away. It's far to useful to do that!

8. assaf said on Feb 15 2006:

I'm one of those lazy users :-)

I had to scratch this itch, and came up with a service that does just that, officially released on Monday.

http://co.mments.com

Any feedback on what works and what can be improved?

9. kareem said on Mar 11 2006:

@Eric- I don't think the idea will ever go away, because you're right--it's too useful a concept. I'm saying that for CoComments to hit the mainstream, it will need to be integrated more seamlessly.

@Assaf- I'll check it out!

Kareem

10. Sten31977 said on Dec 30 2006:

Basically nothing seems worth thinking about. I haven't been up to much these days. I just don't have much to say right now. I can't be bothered with anything , but whatever.

About

Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer

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