We’ve initially recommended an option to install HaloScan, an independent commenting and trackback service, for Blogger users who weren’t very happy with Google’s revision of the Blogger commenting page. However, we find out soon enough that the install doesn’t work for everyone. As one blogger commented on a previous post that all his old comments disappeared after installing HaloScan and after reading another post about it from a fellow Do Follow blogger, we thought we should probe deeper into the known issues. We actually registered to get access on the member page.
Here are things you should know before installing HaloScan lifted from their Forum Page:
The auto-install DOES NOT delete or lose any comments left using the Blogger commenting system, but you won’t be able to access those comments through HaloScan.
Unfortunately HaloScan cannot read the Blogger system to access any of the comments left using the Blogger commenting system. You should be aware of this before installing HaloScan.
Blogger does not offer a way to backup or export comments, if you want to move comments from the Blogger system to HaloScan it is currently a manual cut and paste task.
And you will need to copy it from there, and paste it into the Blogger template editing screen.
Please note that this feature is still under BETA testing. There may be glitches or workarounds required and you use the auto-install at your own risk.
1. Blogger sometimes seems to undo the changes to the template when you make a new blog post or delete a post after the auto-install. We suggest you do not post, or delete a post, for 24 hours.
2. Sometimes the auto-install doesn’t work the first time. Re-running the auto-install one or two more times seems to work.
3. I think (THINK!) that the auto-install is only meant for people using a default Blogger template. If you have customised your Blogger template in ANY way it may not work. As ever, backup before you make any changes.
It’s somewhat odd to find the above caveat on the help and forum pages and NOT on the Blogger install page where it would help the most. We captured the Install page and this is what it looks like:
For certain, any one who relies on HaloScan’s inviting ad on its homepage, with no previous knowledge of HaloScan whatsoever, will install this comment page because it promises more features and offers better options than Blogger’s comment page. Once installed, most Blogger users will later find out that it doesn’t work for their template. Hiding the said warning in the Forum and Help section doesn’t really ‘help’ a new member decide if the install is worth doing and to us, that seem deceiving.
There are also issues of comments disappearing after a certain period of time and you’ll no longer have access to it or the system is unable to fetch post titles or the comment page is not displaying the correct count or the page is not displaying at all.
While HaloScan boasts of a free service, they offer an upgrade for a donation of $12.00 per year which will supposedly give one, access to other premium services like email notification when someone leaves a comment (free service from Blogger), full template customization, more management options, priority support and comment export among others.
In the light of all these, we will no longer endorse the said install. Please be warned before you decide to shift. We will be on the look out for fixes and improvements for both HaloScan and Blogger platform and will give update once we do.
Our Verdict: Despite Google’s revisions on its comment page, it still remains a reliable system for Blogger users. For a moment, we thought HaloScan offered better solution but so far, the only solid benefit one gets with HaloScan is its trackback (Google doesn’t offer this).
Ok, here’s the new deal with Google’s Blogger comment page. Though we’re still seeing the newly revised one where you can only put your name, and nickname or anonymous, there are now comment pages featuring a drop-down menu (see above photo) to choose which platform you use when leaving a comment. We don’t know yet why some blogs show the ones with the drop downs and most with none. But the drop down seems a better improvement than NOT having any place to put your URL as previously initiated.
This requires a login nonetheless. A tedious and inconvenient way of leaving a note as opposed to simply typing your name, email address and URL. What do they need our login and password for? We’re not Blogger users. We should just be able to leave our name and URL in a space provided, leave a note and we’re done!
IMPORTANT FOLLOW-UP ON THE HALOSCAN INSTALL! READ BOTTOM PAGE…
Google, creator of Blogger platform just a few days ago introduced a new setup for its comment page surprising many bloggers and have left them confused. There was no formal announcement on its official blog where its last update made was on November 26th.
The new set up makes it so that only Blogger users can benefit when leaving a comment in another Blogger users page. When a non-Blogger like a WordPress or Movable Type user leaves a comment, he has 2 choices: to give a nickname or be anonymous, both of which does not allow linking of URL.
This might yet be another setback for Blogger because soon enough other non-Blogger users will no longer leave a comment on a Blogger users posts because they won’t benefit anything. When that happens, you create too many unsatisfied bloggers and Google is giving them no choice but to leave. We know for a fact how important a comment is to a user and to the reader. Both sides benefit from commmenting and it’s enough of a reason for one to change a blog platform.
Is Google intentionally silent and being mum about it, hoping the Blogger users would not notice? OR is it just experimental on their part and will give formal announcements later on? Whatever their reasons for not disclosing such a huge move, it left too many unhappy and angry Bloggers who are about ready to jump ship and migrate their blogs to WordPress.
If you’re an established Blogger and do not have your own domain name, moving to another platform will be a headache especially if your site already has a page rank. When you move and create a new name, not only do you lose your page rank but you’ll be starting fresh and will be treated as one by search engines! Creating widgets, resubmitting links to other sites can be really tedious and time consuming! It is not really advisable to move if you don’t have your own domain name.
There is a Solution to this!
There are independent Commenting and trackback sites out there offering their services for free. One such website is HaloScan. It is a user friendly commenting page where HaloScan hosts your comments. What’s great about this site is that it is designed for Blogger and installing it is so easy!! Sign up for HaloScan and tell your Blogger friends. Don’t forget to tell them you read it here!
Clement, a fellow blogger commented that when he tried to install Haloscan, while it worked fine- all his previous comments do not show up anymore!! We didn’t know about this because we have not really tested the install since we are on WordPress. However, we relied on our blogger friends’ testimonials on how Haloscan is really working for them! We also went to check the site itself and boasts of close to 500,000 satisfied users and we did not see any disclaimer on previous comments not showing up.
Your old comments are not really gone. It is on Blogger still, it’s just not showing up on Haloscan because apparently, Haloscan’s service do not cover uploading previous comments as they could not get the data from Google itself. Before your install with Haloscan, they have asked you to back up your template. WE ASSUME THAT YOU DID! If you want to preserve the old comments for the time being we’re looking at a fix, kindly return to your previous template and your old comments will show up again.
In our initial finds, some bloggers went back to their old template and then copied the old comments on a notepad (name, URL, comments). After which, reinstalling Haloscan and then pasting the old comments on it. This works ONLY if you have few comments to fill in as this manual fix is very tedious and time consuming. So far, that is the fix other bloggers are suggesting.