Commentful, launched just yesterday and adding competition for coComment and co.mments, is a tool that allows its users to keep track of discussion on blogs and other various sites. I’ve only been using Commentful for a day and can already see the services strong points. It’s fast, provides a Firefox extension for simple tracking, and has a main focus of notifying you about new comments.
Unlike coComment and co.mments, Commentful will only notify you of new comments rather then scraping the comment itself from the site and displaying it. What I like about this is that I find that even though coComment displays comments on its site and other details, I still visit the actual site where the comments are because I’d rather read them there. All I want is to be notified of new comments and that is all Commentful will do. Commentful also works for any comments made on a site whether the commenter is a Commentful user or not unlike coComment where only registered user comments are tracked.
Commentful provides you with two methods of notification. The first is by simply logging in and viewing your watchlist of sites that you are tracking. If a site title is red and bold, new comments have been added to it. The other option is by installing the Firefox extension which really makes the whole experience even better.
Installing the Commentful Firefox extension will add a yellow circle to your Firefox navigation toolbar. The extension will then automatically ping Commentful every 5 minutes to check the sites in your watchlist and if a new comment is found, the extension will make the yellow circle start blinking red. Clicking the red button will bring you to your watchlist so you can easily view all unread sites. Furthermore, the extension will not only notify you of new comments but also allow you to easily add a site to your watchlist by right clicking on a site and selecting “Add to commentful.”
Commentful currently allows you to add up to 30 sites to your watchlist and will check them for new comments at a maximum of 3 days. After 3 days, the site will be removed from your list and a slot will be freed to track another site. Commentful also supports almost all blogging platforms including WordPress, Movabltype, Blogger and more. Other sites supported include vBulleting forum threads, Digg, Flickr, Zooomr and so on. If a site you are trying to track does not work, simply contact Commentful and they will try to get it going for you.
Overall, Commentful works great and instantly notifies you of new discussion. I don’t need a service to show me new comments or to group them by tags or anything like that, I just want to know when more discussion has been made at a site and that’s all. The Firefox extension makes using Commentful a breeze and even though there are limitations on the amount of time a site is tracked, I found that it’s usually enough time, although I would prefer more then just 3 days just to be safe. I also found it neat how it can track many kinds of sites including blogs, photo sharing sites, video sharing sites, and even forums.
Update: Pete Cashmore of Mashable has more on Commentful.