Friday, October 21, 2005

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.


  1. I am here from a link on Global Voices On Line.

    Sorry about your comments disappearing. It could be a harrowing experience. I hope the posts will not diasppear.
    Better start saving your posts and selected responses in your computer for the documents to be safe. They are vital in the library of History for the benefit of posterity and further education in Modern Journalism.

    I am a senior member of the forum of and a champion of Yuliya Tymoshenko who is also celebrated on my romantic blog Kisses & Roses.

    Well done.
    Your blog is worthy of important and significant existence.
    Something to be proud of.

    God bless.

  2. And there is hope that blogger will improve one day.

    The comments should be stored, it will become more important later:

    First time a revolution was really blogged in Eastern Europe. Still remembering the time when I was in the Baltics in the early 90s,you have to shout into public telefons to talk to Germany on the line. I even had no idea what to write then, at least I have fotos and articles. Sometimes I do need the stories not told now and it´s a puzzle to collect the information about daily life ,poltics etc. and recall it properly.

  3. That's truly sad that you lost the comments - not the words as much as the sentiments of all of us who were cheering from abroad in the Orange section.

    I found so many interesting people who came to Neeka's kitchen for the best Orange gossip plus good translations.

    Hopefully those people are still interesting and they will re-enter their URLs in the new Blogger thing-a-ma-bob.

    Let's just hope Blogspot doesn't pull the same trick!

    I empathize with Haloscan to some extent. Free is good, but it's hard for the someone(s) who pays for useful infrastructure. The should have warned customers though. That would have been the decent thing to do.

    Oh well - a minor set back as long as Veronica stays in the blogging business. When SHE starts sending out invoices, I will be in BIG TROUBLE! I still can't afford entry to the NYT "select" section, and I know Neeka's "select" would be much more valuable.

    Much Love -