KC Lemson

By KC Lemson [MS]

Blogs

How to track the comments you make on other people's blogs

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This is a problem that I'm guessing many of us have - how to keep track of miscellaneous comments you make on someone else's blog, to check for follow-ups? With Newsgator and Outlook 2003, one way to help with this scenario (I admit, it's not a perfect end-to-end solution) is to use a custom flag toolbar and search folders:

1. Add the custom flag toolbar and name one of the flags “I Commented“, or “BlogComment“ or whatnot
2. When you are reading an item and click on the link to see the comments online, after you add your comment, go back and flag the item in Outlook
3. Create a search folder that looks for items in your feed folder tree with that flag set (on the “More Choices“ tab, choose “Only items which: have a [color] flag“)
4. Right click on the search folder and add to favorites

Of course, this only works for comments on blogs to which you've already subscribed, but it will at least give you a quick entrypoint to those posts so that you can periodically go back and click on the links to check for any updated comments. When you decide you don't want to track that comment thread anymore, you can clear the flag on that item while viewing it in the search folder, or just delete the item.

Such a system can also be used for marking which posts you want to point at in your blog. Scoble mentioned a while back that he drags items into a different folder for following up, but using search folders and flags wouldn't be as many steps (and would keep the items in their original folders in case that is part of your blogorgizational style).

Comments
  • That is a fantastic idea. You know, I use flags for just about everything else under the sun, but never even thought about using them to flag blog postings. Thanks for the awesome idea!

  • One problem with search folders is auto-archiving... or should I say the lack of high-granularity auto-archiving :)

    If you do as Scoble does - moving them between folders, rather than using search folders - you preserve your archiving semantics. The messages in the old folder can be deleted automatically without losing the blog-this reference.

    I have VERY aggressive auto-archiving rules due to the massive volume of incoming mail, and I move bloggable items into separate blog folders for this very reason.

    Search folder are very cool though!

  • I use SharpReader and I "lock" posts that I've replied to for a few days so I can easily check to see if there are replies to my comment. "Easily" if the blogger uses .Text or DasBlog or other blogging software that shows the comments as expandable entries under posts or at least gives the number of comments (Scoble's does neither, sadly).

  • Excellent. I'm a heavy user of Outlook, search folders and Newsgator, but I never thought of that one.

  • I would just like it if more blog services provided me with an option to "subscribe" to the threads I comment in. These subscriptions could be as simple as an e-mail notification or as cool as automatically created special feeds in my favorite aggregator. Funny, I just asked some similar questions. http://blogs.msdn.com/jledgard/archive/2004/03/13/89180.aspx

  • You have been Taken Out! Thanks for the post.