Why “Haloscan Sucks” (Free Commenting System for Blogs)

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Saturday, June 10, 2006

I have been exploring externally managed commenting systems (example) and so I revisited Haloscan (registered in my blogger blogging days). The funniest part was their support forum. Their answers are distributed thinly across the forum. A consolidation post, by a “satisfied customer”, will aptly illustrate the challenges of using Haloscan.

1. Help! My old comments disappeared from Haloscan and my blog!

A: You’re not a Premium member, are you? If you’re not, all comments older than 4 months will be archived by Haloscan (NOT deleted). You cannot presently access these without becoming a Premium member. No, there is no other way.

2. Why should I pay US$12 to become a Premium member?

A: ‘cos you’ll be supporting a great commenting service that’s been operating for zilch over the last what is it, twelve months? And because you’ll get access to your old comments and heaps more. And ‘cos you’re a community-minded nice person cool.gif

3. Alright then. Where do I become a Premium Member?

A: Here

4. Cool. Forked over my dosh, what now?

Wait 24 or so hours. Haloscan will notify you via email that your old comments have been restored.

5. I waited, got the email, and my old comments show up on my Haloscan “Manage Comments” menu - but not on my blog! The counter still shows Zero!!

A: Have you got more than 80 posts in total on your blog? If so, your blog is way more interactive than mine laugh.gif Anything over 80 threads will be counted as Zero in the comments link on your blog. The comments are still there, if you click the comments link they will pop up - it’s just that they’re counted as Zero. Dunno if this will be fixed any time soon.

6. Hang on - the only people to leave me occasional comments are my insomniac brother and some assorted misfits. I’ve got nowhere near 80 threads and the counter is still Zero! WTF??

A: Here’s the fix: if no-one left a comment after you became a Premium Member and had your old comments restored, the comment count hasn’t been refreshed. What you do is post a comment on your blog (and then later delete it via your Haloscan Menu if you want to). This will refresh the count and your old comments should show up like they used to - i.e. comments (3), or something like that.

Firstly you will note there are several deficiencies in the system including comments not showing up even after paying for it. But more importantly you are not informed upfront about the limitation of storing comments for only 4 months! Check their FAQ or help to verify.

What bugs me most is this defect and their cheeky response:
“Anything over 80 threads will be counted as Zero in the comments link on your blog. The comments are still there, if you click the comments link they will pop up - it’s just that they’re counted as Zero. Dunno if this will be fixed any time soon.”

Secondly the answers are way too geeky for average users and worse they manage to insult their users. Case in point:
“Hang on - the only people to leave me occasional comments are my insomniac brother and some assorted misfits. I’ve got nowhere near 80 threads and the counter is still Zero! WTF??”

Discussion
August 24, 2010: 1:12 am

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.
I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.

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david

November 30, 2009: 11:52 pm

If you decide to switch to WP or some other platform, will HS export your comments ?

Blogger has an easy templating system.


Don
January 8, 2009: 11:32 pm

Angsuman,

Thanks for the informative post.

Which commenting system do you currently use? I was considering using Haloscan/JS-Kit as i have a Blogger blog but i’ve had problems setting up.

Thanks
Don

May 17, 2008: 5:28 pm

Thanks for the heads up on Haloscan. I was about to switch to it, but not anymore!


Jon
June 10, 2006: 2:47 pm

But more importantly you are not informed upfront about the limitation of storing comments for only 4 months!

Actually that’s not true anymore. They apparently don’t limit the comment storage at all after a recent upgrade:
http://news.haloscan.com/ (top post there from 4 days ago).

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