No Fancy Name
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
the lowdown on haloscan commenting for all of you who are wondering aloud
I was going to leave a comment on Phantom Scribbler's post re: wonky comments but I'll tell you, there's this commenting posse that goes from blog to blog and it gives me flashbacks to school cafeterias and not having anywhere to sit because all the cool kids had taken up the tables. So anyway...

Different Account Types. There is free Haloscan ("Basic") and there is paid Haloscan ("Premium"). Basic is free. Premium is $12 per year. That's $1/month for those of you not mathematically inclined. This is an exceptional deal, which is why I will be giving them more than that when I renew my subscription.

Comment Lengths. Comment lengths have been upgraded for ALL USERS. Somewhere around March 25th, the limits changed to: 3000 characters per comment for Basic members and 10,000 characters for Premium members. IOW, 3x the previous amounts.

Comment Archive. If you are a Basic member, after four months your comments will be archived and unavailable to you. HOWEVER, if you upgrade your account at any time, they will be restored within 24 hours or so. Basically, the fellows move them to a fairly static database, then when you pay the move those old ones back to the live database.

Comment Link Numbers—old posts. The comment link numbers will be inaccurate after the 200 most recent comments (for Basic members) or 800 most recent comments (Premium members). The comments will STILL BE THERE if you click the link, but the count will be wrong. So, if you go to the second blog post I ever wrote you'll see the comment count is 0 but if you click the link you'll see that Mel left a comment and it is still retrievable.

Comment Link Numbers—new posts. If your comment counts are wonky in new posts, you can kick the server and update the number. "Kick" is a technical term that means, not surprisingly, "kick," as in "kick start." To kick your counter, go to Haloscan, login, click Settings then scroll down to the bottom of the resulting page and click the "Force update of comment link" link. Then go back to your blog, reload the page, and your count will be correct.

Settings. You have some. In this area you can configure all sorts of cool things (depending on your account type, basic or premium) like custom text for comments, date formatting, time zone settings, etc. The BETA tab shows you some of the very cool things that the guys are working on, like forced moderation, blacklists, TypeKey integration and Gravatar settings. The items will be greyed out if they're not ready/you don't get to play with them yet, etc.

Manage Comments—archive them on your own. You can dump all your comments to a text file that you can then save on your own machine. Go to the EXPORT tab and click the links that are presented; you can dump 1000 at a time. "Dump" does not mean "delete," it just means "dump."

Template Gallery. There's one of those as well. You can change all manner of things in your little comments window.

Where to Go For Help. You can ask me if you want—I don't know the guys or anything, but sometimes hanging out in support forums can be intimidating. Oh yes, there are support forums. You do not have to register or login to read them, and they are very, very helpful on many fronts: you can quickly confirm that wonkiness is not unique to your comments, you will quickly learn when something wonky will be fixed, you can find solutions to other issues and so on and so forth. There are also FAQs.

Did I miss anything? Does anyone want a how-to on trackbacks?

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