CoComment Firefox Extension: Trying It Out

(UPDATE MAY 10: Sadly, I’ve had to uninstall this extension for now, it was causing problems with my browser.)

Being a proponent of conversational media, I’m a big fan of anything that makes it easier to follow online conversations wherever they occur. Increasingly these conversations happen through weblog comments. That’s great — but tracking and following those conversations over time generally has been pretty complicated.

Last summer I hacked together my own comment-tracking solution using a tag, mycomments. That strategy served me well for a while – it’s comprehensive, coherent, and shareable. However, it’s also a pain – too many clicks required to make it work each time I comment.

In February I checked out a promising service called CoComment. At the time I thought CoComment was cool, but it didn’t quite meet my needs. So I gave it time to develop. During that time I’ve lapsed in faithfully recording my comments in because of the labor involved.

Today I learned, via Easton Ellsworth, that CoComment has made its system much less labor-intensive. They’ve debuted the CoComment Firefox extension, which automatically updates your CoComment account as you leave a blog comment! The only extra step beyond making the blog comment is adding tags – and that’s optional.

Way cool! So I’m trying it out…

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Strategic Commenting: No blog is an island

I do a lot of blog coaching, and one of the most common laments I hear is "no one visits / links to / comments on my blog!"

The solution is simple once you wrap your brain around the concept of conversational media.

If you view your blog as part of a public conversation, rather than a mere publication, then an easy way to attract more interest and interaction becomes obvious. I call it "strategic commenting."

Here’s how it works…

(READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE at my other weblog, The Right Conversation…)

To Save Journalism, First Change How You Perceive \”Media\”

(NOTE: I originally posted this item on Poynter’s group weblog E-Media Tidbits.)

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is my favorite fable, because I’ve always thought that speaking truth to power is the bravest and most useful thing anyone can do. That’s why I fell in love with journalism, too.

Speaking truth to power isn’t always about revealing what’s hidden, but rather declaring the obvious and thus yanking entire communities out of their collective delusions. Over at Corante’s “Rebuilding Media” blog, media consultant and former E-Media Tidbits contributor Vin Crosbie just accomplished this singular feat.

Crosbie’s Apr. 27 essay, What is ‘New Media’? is absolutely vital reading for anyone who cares about helping journalism survive as news organizations eagerly butcher and “converge” themselves into oblivion. And no, I don’t think “butcher” is too harsh a word — it’s the term Crosbie chose in his somewhat inflammatory but well-supported preamble, A Date with the Butcher. So read the “Butcher” setup first, then the longer essay.

Crosbie’s “Butcher” piece will probably scare the fedoras off hardcore old-school news pros. Read it anyway. Here’s one of his key points…

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How Citizen Journalism Could Save News Pros\’ Jobs

(NOTE: I originally posted this to I, Reporter yesterday. Cross-posting here because I know a lot of journalists read Contentious.)

On Thursday I’m giving a brief talk to the Ted Scripps Fellows at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism. My topic may sound counterintuitive to many in the news business, but I think these bright folks will hear me out.

I think citizen and community journalism (projects which involve people from outside the news business in the journalistic process) are crucial to the the long-term viability of news professionals and organizations.

Bottom Line: If you want to keep your journalism career or news organization alive in coming years, it’s time to start learning the ropes of a more open approach to news.

Here’s what I mean…

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Climbing back in the blogging saddle

Yes, yes, I know, it’s been embarrassingly long since I’ve posted to Contentious or my other blogs. I’m just coming off the most hectic and demanding month I’ve had in ages. I’ve been juggling multiple client projects, business trip and a minor personal crisis. Something had to give – and my unpaid blogs took the hit in this case.

Anyway, I’m back, and I’ll be posting more regularly again. Sorry for the interruption. Thanks for your patience.