Thu 23 Feb
This is either the beginning or the middle of a golden age for software, in which, almost literally, any feature set you could want (within reason, of course) is being worked on by somebody somewhere. And if you wait just long enough, exactly such a product will make its debut in the marketplace.
From there, it’s easy to include those comments on your own Web site, as I’ve done in the right column of my home page, where the most recent ramblings I’ve left elsewhere appear in a nice little sidebar list (admittedly, I haven’t done much commenting lately).There’s a little bit of AJAX in the user interface, but what kind of Web 2.0 product would coComment be without also providing an automated XML feed for your comments, in both RSS 2.0 and XML formats? Those are there too.
Being somewhat skeptical of the longevity of most Web services, I have a natural desire to have coComment running on my own server, rather than on the company’s servers. I just prefer to keep everything wthin the Subtraction.com domain if I can get it; it’s the completist in me, a tendency which I’ll talk more about in a moment. In a sense, I own all of the content that coComment is aggregating for me — I’m the author of each of those remarks, after all — and while it’s a step forward to have that content centralized, it’s still a step or two away from giving me truly direct control of it. But I’m realistic about the possibility that a product like coComment could ever be released in a form that would allow me to run it from my own server. So for now, I’ll gladly take it as is.
What I like about this product so much is how it plays into the grand, unifying idea of personal content creation — not a theory, really, but a desire that many people in this age have of being able to fully assemble everything they do into a single, fully accessible and fully searchable database. It’s a completist’s fantasy, and it’s slowly inching towards reality; coComment is not a full and seamless integration into the central repository of one’s own Web site, but it’s an important step towards that goal. Until now, blog comments were one of the most glaring of the un-index-able content types being aggressively generated online. That’s no longer the case.