I’ve Gone Widget Crazy And Need Help To Control Widget Addiction

Edublogs have given all it’s users new freedom and allows javascript, iframes and object code to be embedded directly into Edublogs blogs. Which is great because I can just copy and paste pretty much most ‘embedding’ code picked up around the web directly into my posts or a text widget in my side bar.

Most importantly I no longer suffer from blogger envy caused by friends having cool toys on their blogs which I haven’t been able to embed. Trouble is I may have become “widget crazy” and need “widget addiction therapy”. Worst still I may have totally cluttered my blog sidebar, which is detracting to readers, so I’m hoping if I list the changes I’ve made my readers may give feedback as to their thoughts i.e. good widget, bad widget or no opinion yet on widget.Image of Lijit Search

Lijit Search

I’ve been jealous of Martin Weller having Lijit search on his blog for a long time. The reason I like the idea of Lijit is because I have my content located across lots of websites and this search allows readers to search content on my blog or all my sites (by clicking on the My Content Tab). Plus it provides some really cools statistics on how readers interact with my blog that are emailed weekly or I can check them out online in my account.

Unfortunately when readers click on My Content tab the search will also shows results from other websites – which is really bad. You want readers to stay on your sites not go to other peoples sites.

The Lijit search widget can be customised to your preferences. I’ve set mine up so that it displays where all my content is located whereas Martin Weller doesn’t display his content. To be honest displaying my content like this may be increasing sidebar clutter and I may have been better using another widget or my blog roll to link to my other websites.

I also still have my Edublogs search widget in my sidebar while I testing Lijit search.


Okay I can compromise (although maybe my hubby wouldn’t agree 🙂 ).  I still prefer subscribing to comments on other bloggers posts using co.mment because its RSS feed into Google Reader is better.  However I’m intrigued by the community aspect of cocomment which isn’t an option with co.mment.  So I’ve installed my cocomment widget to this blog; not sure if anyone really wants to read my comments on other blogger’s posts in my sidebar? Let’s be honest it is creating clutter.

Still need a guide to getting more out of using CoComment if anyone has seen one.

Blogroll Created Using Google Reader Shared Folders

John Larkin taught me this trick; it’s a really quick and easy way to create your blogrolls using Google Reader.

Benefit of this method is your blogs subscriptions are automatically updated whenever you add or delete a blog subscription without you having to adjust your blogroll within your blog dashboard.  Apologies to some bloggers –I’ve used two folders to create the blogrolls — Edubloggers and Non-Profit.  Some bloggers in the Non-Profit don’t exactly fit that category.

Other Widgets

I’ve also add a Shared Google Reader widget; it’s right at the bottom hidden away — not fussed if it stays or goes.  Plus haven’t been able to part with MyBlogLog widget; I like the pretty pictures 🙂 even if I’ve not got into using MyBlogLog effectively.

I like the FeedJit widget on Frank’s blog that shows where readers are visiting from but think adding it will just make the sidebar clutter even worse.


So besides “widget addiction therapy” what are your thoughts on the new widgets i.e. good widget, bad widget or no opinion yet on widget.  Is there an important widget I’ve missed that needs to be in my blog sidebar?

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Can You Sell Me The Benefits of coComment?

My most important tip for keeping up with conversation on blogs is being very effective at managing my comments on other people’s blogs and I showed how I achieve this using Co.mment in my last post. But as Joaquin pointed out in the comments of this post another alternative is to use coComment.

Last week I road tested coComment to compare it’s benefits with co.mment because Alan Levine post on his annual blog absence to comment highlighted that he uses Cocomment. Perhaps I was missing something?

Trouble is I’m not sure? Ultimately what I want is a simple an effective mechanism to manage comments. Co.mment provides me with this solution. coComment definitely has more functionality and it focuses more on the community aspect.

SO I have decided that I need the community (i.e. those that use coComment) to sell me on the benefits of using coComment because perhaps the issue is how I’m using it. So my plan is to show how I use the application and hopefully this will help others highlight aspects that I’m missing.

Comment Feed Viewed In Google Reader

I like to manage comments that I track by adding the RSS feed to my Google Reader account.

When a new comment is added to a post I’m tracking using co.mment it shows an extract of the post, the name of the commenter, date, number of comments on post and the comment.


My feed from cocomment provides considerably less information. No extract from the original post, no indication of the number of comments on the post and the name of the commenter is only displayed if that person has an account with cocomment.

If the commenter doesn’t have an account the comment says Unknown says……. To make matters worse at the moment all comments with Unknown says are being feed through without the comments!!!!


The feed from co.mment provides me enough information to remind me why I am tracking the conversation so that I can make an informed decision to respond back to the comment without having to go to comment or visit the original blog. This is not the case for the feed from cocomment.

Comparing number of comments


So where am I going wrong with coComment? What am I missing? How do I make the community aspect work for me?

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How To Effectively Manage Your Comments on Other People’s Blogs

Blogging is all about having the conversations — not talking to yourself! True conversations, which is what we want to achieve, is when we all, author and commenters interact.

Managing Comments on Other People’s blogs

I’ve many tips for keeping up the conversations on blogs but I believe the most important is being very effective at managing my comments on other people’s blogs. I use co-mment, which tracks my comments, and it notifies me automatically by sending the comment to my Google Reader account. This way when a person comments on a post that I have commented on I can choose to immediately respond back if I want. Co-mment means I can effectively manage my conversations, and they can be near instantaneous.

Setting up Co.mment Account

  1. Go to co.mment and click on Get an account to set up your account
  2. Click on Tool/Setting link and follow instructions to add bookmarklet to your web browser

Diagram of how to set up Co.mment account

Add A Post You Want To Follow To Co.mment

  1. Write your comment on the post you want to track
  2. Then click on the Co.mment bookmarklet in your web browser — make sure you are logged into your co.mment account


Subscribing To Your Comments From Co.mment Using A Feed Reader

There are a few options for recieving updates of new comments on blog conversations you are following:

  • Read them directly on your tracking page at co.mment
  • Subscribe by email — means you receive e-mail alerts when new comments are posted
  • Subscribe to your tracking page RSS feed using a Feed Reader i.e. new comments are delivered to your Feed Reader

Subscribing using RSS is the most efficient method because you can use it to manage all the information you receive e.g. comments from your co.mment tracking page, latest posts from blogs you read, your friends Flickr photos.

Subscribing to RSS from comment

Responding Back To Comments

By subscribing to my co.mment tracking page using Google Reader I’m quickly notified when a person comments on a post I’m tracking so I can quickly choose to respond back if I want.



Do you use comment tracking applications? If so, do you prefer co.mment or cocomment and why? What are your tips for achieving true conversations on blogs?

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How keep track of new comments on other bloggers’ posts

Frustrated because you like to read new comments on other bloggers’ posts when you have added a comment and find it time consuming to keep going back to the post to see if there is new comment? Well – you don’t need to!

Thankfully Cammie helped me out by telling me about Co-mment.

Here is how you use Co-mment:

  1. Add the Bookmarket to your Web browser
  2. Create an account with Co-mment
  3. Every time you comment on a post you press the Track co.mments
  4. Log into your co-comments account to check the updates of comments
  5. Alternatively click on the subscribe icon in your account and copy the feed address into your Feed Reader (e.g. Google Reader, Bloglines, NetVibes)


Thanks Cammie you have given me a definite timesaver. This makes commenting on other people’s posts sooooo much easier!!!