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Thursday, April 13, 2006

HaloScan on Blogger: My Review


I originally installed HaloScan on February 23, and tested the service since. The following are my findings.

Advantages:

~~ Automatic install for Blogger users. Installation is easy, only a few steps.

~~ User control of the looks, color, various templates.

~~ Monitoring of comments on the HaloScan Website.

~~ Can delete unwanted comments and block bad URL's.

~~ Auto Trackback or Manual Trackback from the HaloScan Website.

~~ Option for backing up your original template.

~~ E-Mail notification of new comments with upgrade to pay service.

Disadvantages:

~~ No Word Verification for comments to help spam moderation.

~~ Can't have comments come up in a conversational mode.

~~ Can't use #comments (for ease of reading previous comments).

~~ Auto Trackback doesn't work.

~~ Manual Trackback from their Website doesn't work.

~~ Only help available is through the forum (which is no help).

~~ No E-mail notification without paying. It's free with Blogger.

Commentary:

Although HaloScan is easy to install, none of the features work as promised. The Trackback feature doesn't seem to be able to find the URL you are trying to ping (Auto or Manual).

The comment feature is useless unless you want to monitor with the option to delete unwanted comments. The better option is to use the Word Verification provided by Blogger.

When you install HaloScan, you lose previous comments made on your posts. If you uninstall HaloScan, you will lose all comments since installation.

Be aware that if you have problems with the initial installation, don't re-backup. You will end up with the problem installation as the new backup of your template. (it happened to me).

The Help is No Help. If you go to the FAQ file, it sends you to the forum in most cases. Once there, if you ask questions you will get snide remarks from the monitors. You won't get an answer. If anything they May refer you to another thread.

Recommendation:

If you have a command of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, you may want to try this service. Just make sure to maintain your own back up of your original template, don't depend on theirs. If you are a novice, you may want to think twice before installing HaloScan, or at the very least have someone qualified do it for you.

Have you had similar problems? Did you find the service useful?

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6 Comments:

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find haloscan to be much better than Blogger's 'word verification' crap though.

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Hey Anon,

To each their own, I had nothing but problems with Haloscan.

I you like it, more power to ya. I just didn't like the lack of interaction between the service and the user.

Joe

 
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At 7:52 PM, Blogger Rybu said...

I just installed haloscan today on my blog.

I suppose we'll see. I didn't realize I would lose all of my existing comments, which is a drag. Now my problem is that I can't get a comment link up on my feed, only on my blogger blog.

I may just uninstall it tomorrow.

 
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