Kailash Nadh, creator of Krun.ch, a nifty little online zipping tool I wrote about here, just released Commentful, a tool to facilitate tracking website conversations. The premise is a lot like older service Co.mments and a bit, but not too much like CoComment:
Basically the website helps you keep track of the countless threads, blog comments, Flickr comments and all those other droppings we tend to leave on the web. In contrast to CoComment, which only tracks the conversations you’re actually taking part in, Commentful lets you add anything. Whatever you’re interested in, just use the extension that comes with it (the extension holds your password and username, and is specially made for each user).
You can choose how long you want to keep tracking the conversations when adding them to your account, but you can edit that later on as well. Now, if it weren’t for different ways of invoking the service (right-click menu vs. bookmarklet), Commentful and Co.mments provide virtually the same service.
Commentful has a very similar design to Krun.ch (unsurprisingly), meaning it’s intuitively designed and rather simplistic. The Firefox extension not only adds the right-click functionality, it also adds a “blinker” to the browser, which supposedly tells you once there has been any movement in your conversations (this makes it stand out from Co.mment, so hey, I’ve found a difference). By the way, when clicking the blinker, you’re sent to your tracked conversations on commentful, and I really like the fact that Kailash has been so considerate to actually have the blinker open up the site in a new tab automatically…I can’t tell you how often I’ve cursed myself for opening up pages in my current tab. So, good job.
I don’t know if there’s space for that many comment-tracking services, as it seems to be more of a niche group (RSS seems to cover tracking of just about everything quite well), but Commentful is nicely implemented and works well. Maybe, once there are a few more features added, it could replace Bloglines when it comes to keeping track of my roaming ways.
Another thing about Commentful: apart from the other two comment-tracking services, there seems to be no focus on anything even remotely social. No sharing of conversations, no widgets to add to the sidebar of your blog. I think that’s quite refreshing.