So tonight for the first time I finally tried out a Firefox browser plugin that’s been around for a while: Google’s Blogger Web Comments for Firefox.
It sounded so cool. This plugin was supposed to give me a little icon in the lower right corner of Firefox indicating, for whatever page I happened to be on, whether any blogs had linked to that page. Click on that, and a list of blog links pops up. (Yes, despite its name, this plugin has nothing to do with actual blog comments, but rather cross-links — another disappointment, but I’ll let that go for the moment.)
The trouble is, this plugin is too slow to keep up with the blogosphere. It appears to be able to give you cross-link info for pages that have been posted for a while, but not brand new content. And when it comes to tracking blog buzz, you need the freshest information possible.
Here’s what I mean: Today’s washingtonpost.com includes a home page article that’s sure to generate instant blog buzz: War’s Critics Abetting Terrorists, Cheney Says. Sure enough, when I search Technorati for that story’s URL, I get a slew of results. But the little Google browser plugin icon shows nothing at all.
Maybe this is because Google needs to crawl the web to index appropriate results, which takes time. This plugin might be a good tool to follow old buzz. But honestly, I rarely need old buzz.
I’d love to see a plugin like this that would work with cross-links gathered by Technorati or Icerocket. But so far, I’m uninpressed by this Google tool.
Can anyone give me a good reason why I shouldn’t uninstall it? Am I missing some key benefit here? Please comment below.