You may not have noticed, but a couple of weeks ago my cute orange Haloscan comment boxes disappeared and were replaced with the rather boring-looking Blogger ones.
This switch occurred because, accidentally, I found out that Haloscan had changed the rules of the game, and to be able to have more than the last four months of comments on my blog, I'd have to pay them $12. As far as I know, they didn't send out a letter introducing this fee and warning about the consequences of not paying it - they just made a bunch of comments disappear from my blog.
Here's how they explain the situation on their forum:
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 ;-)
I really believe this needs to be added here.
Help my old Blogger/BlogSpot comments have disapeared!
These comments haven't gone, but are still store on the Blogger system. As Blogger and Haloscan are not linked, it is currently not possible for your comments to be transferred.
The only option available to you, if you wish to continue using Haloscan, is to manual copy and paste each comment across.
By upgrading to a premium member will NOT import these posts, however by becoming a premuim member you will be able to recover old Haloscan comments.
Mishah has described it best, as a nice illustration of how Russian racket works, for those who aren't familiar: big thugs come into your store, break half of your stuff in there, announce the fee you are to pay them regularly from now on - why? because they are so great! - and leave you sitting there, contemplating the mess they've made and counting the costs.
I've lost some four months of comments (from late January, when I switched to Haloscan, to early June), but have rescued as much (July to October, about 200 of them), by copying and pasting each one of them into Blogger comment boxes. If I pay $12 to Haloscan and they return the missing stuff, I'd have to sit like an idiot again, restoring the order, transferring it all manually again.
It's not that I don't have $12. And I do value your comments a lot. But what if next time the Haloscan guys decide they want $50 and, to let everyone know, they'll "archive" (read: delete) everything again? You know, it's so much easier to just ask everyone who wants to comment to send me an email...
The wonderful thing about it all is that since I switched back to Blogger, all the old comments have come back, the ones that disappered when I left for Haloscan, the ones left on this blog during the Orange Revolution, over 300 of them!..
So, thank you, Blogger, and fuck you, Haloscan.