Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Interesting idea re comments -

6:30 pm update - Guess what, I just got the nicest email apology from Echo's CEO.

I'm suddenly feeling a lot less ruffled & a lot more inclined to just leave things as they are for a while, see if some of the glitchy stuff in Echo gets smoothed out & the system gets easier to use (especially signing in & allowing links to websites).

If it does, I'd be inclined to give it another go.




Hm. I just clicked one of the links on my spiffy updated blogroll & found myself looking at an interesting possible solution to this loss-of-comments issue. Alan at Some Amusing Blog Pun, who was also using Haloscan, gave me the idea.

It's simple. I could just start a new blog. Same as the old one. Last post on the old one links to the new one & explains. Sidebar on the new one include a one-item blogroll linking to Frogma - The First Five Years. I keep my JS-Kit account & re-install the widget that keeps the old comments alive here on v.1, while the new blog moves on with Blogger comments.

I'm slightly reluctant to do it because I do like having the blog all here on one blog (it already bugs the heck out of me that my photos are on 3 different sites - does that make me anal-retentive?). And I actually remember the comments that I really liked pretty well, and once I became resigned to the fact that they'd killed Haloscan "make-die-dead" (Hawaiian pidgin for really, really dead) & really was no magic way for them to get those comments into Blogger, I was pretty much ready to drop it & move on. Although cripes, I did get another nastygram from Customer Supportress this morning, devoid of useful information & as far as I could tell serving the sole purpose of getting the last word in. Can you tell that at this point I'm honestly more annoyed at how rudely I've been treated than I am about the comments?

Oh, yes, the comments! That's what this was about. Not whining. Sorry!

So there it is - this idea of preserving the old comments by starting Frogma Volume 2 (The Next Five Years?), and I'm really on the fence, and...

Well, what do you guys think? I'd really like to hear!

Does anybody ever even look at the older comments? Would it be worth the discontinuity of a 2-part blog to preserve them? Or are comments a thing of the moment, fleetingly fun, then left behind?

On the plus side for leaving things as is, when things got really good in comments, I have had a tendency to want to highlight the fun in a subsequent post, so those are still there either way. And in fact, it is pretty easy to turn JS-Kit on & off on Blogger - I'm thinking that it may be worth a few bucks' ransom a year just to keep 'em alive over there, instead of downloaded into what would basically be a deep archive (once I put the xml thing on my external hard drive, dollars to donuts I never look at it again) and over time, I could append some of the livelier comment streams to the posts that inspired them.

Yup. Definitely coming up with more options now that I've given up on getting any satisfaction from the folks at JS-Kit (ok, an apology would actually be nice, but beyond that, whatevahs).

And Alan, thanks again for getting me to think beyond the obvious options.

10 comments:

Ol' Philosophizer said...

My visits to blogs are fairly infrequent, and being relatively new to blogging, I'm not sure how much weight you would want to give my input. Having said that,I'll offer my opinion anyway. I think your blog presents more information to the followers (in the form of links) than any other blog I've seen. This is like the Wikipedia of NY water sports, and if it were me, I would rest on my laurels.

As for preserving your old comments, I don't have any advice. However, if you do consider creating a newer blog,you might want to look into WordPress. We use it for our blog, and the administrators have access to all comments that have been posted without the necessity of going to each post. This option is not open to the blog visitors, although you can show who made the most current comments on your home page. We don't get the traffic that your blog does, so this option might not mean much for you. I am also fortunate to have an IT guy in the group who assumes the duties of making the blog work, leaving it to me to make it entertaining. So far he's doing the better job.

Buck said...

As a loyal reader but casual commenter, I can't say I have ever personally gone back to look at a comment, so I don't have any preference regarding moving them from Haloscan.

Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

Though I hate to admit it, because I've told myself again and again that I blog for ME and not for anyone else, the truth is I ADORE the comments. Over the years, through some really difficult times, I have leaned on some of those comments. They've seen me through. While I know your blog is very different, I still know many of your readers have left some comments that have given you great joy. I wouldn't want to lose those. :)

JP said...

I really like the comments as they can be really creative (O'Docker springs to mind), they add flavour to the original post, and show its part of the blogsphere community (a bit bla bla but you know what I mean).

I do sometimes wonder how easy it would be to back up properly a blog including comments. A web developing friend pointed me out the blogger developers guide - see:

http://code.google.com/apis/blogger/docs/2.0/developers_guide_protocol.html#ExportFormat

There is a section on retrieving comments.

So in theory for blogger could use their API to export the posts including comments in XML format and then do what you want with them.

That would seem doable with techy skills and time, so maybe someone somewhere has done it.

Don't know about holoscan though.

bonnie said...

Haloscan does offer an export function that gives you all the comments in an XML file, and although the Blogger comment system doesn't have the ability to import, there are a couple of other comment systems that do.

But I've looked into that option & the instructions I've found do seem to require a level of computing knowledge that I don't have, like an understanding of the inner workings of your blog (I use Blogger precisely because they've done a pretty nice job of making that completely unnecessary) - and on top of that, it seems like there's a certain amount of manual work to do to prepare the XML file for importation to the new system.

That ends up being a pretty huge issue - I've collected over 5000 comments here in the last 5 years! Pretty cool, huh?

But way too many for me to be able to sort through & add coding that will link each comment to the proper post. Even if I knew how to do that.

And you know, I just got the nicest apology from Echo's CEO.

I'm suddenly feeling a lot less ruffled & a lot more inclined to just leave things as they are for a while, see if some of the glitchy stuff in Echo gets smoothed out & the system gets easier to use (especially signing in & allowing links to websites).

If it does, I'd be inclined to give it another go.

bonnie said...

P.S. - Thanks to all of you for your thoughts! They are helping me with figuring this out - it doesn't seem like the absence of old comments is all that bad for readers (Buck put it well & succinctly) & that being the case, I think I can chill out for now, let Echo hold my old comments & see what develops.

Ol' P, you are a terrible flatterer (thanks!) but your comment does line up with at least part of why I'd like to keep it all in one place. BTW, I wasn't kidding about being very happy about one upshot of the big switch - I've been feeling so bad about the fact that I hadn't done a really good update of my blogrolls since '06 & I'm much happier with the links now. Like that I got my "ways to get on the water in NYC" set up in a blogroll, and I've got a link that will take you to the Local Notices to Mariners, which is a pretty good thing to consult every now & then. And the addition of the Malden Yacht Club? Well, I can hold my head up so much higher now!

:D

Pua, you nailed it about how much I enjoy the comments. I must have started a dozen journals when I was a kid. I don't think any of 'em lasted more than a week. When I started this blog, I swear I fully expected to find myself dropping it about as fast.

The interaction makes it so much more fun, though!

Carol Anne said...

Bonnie, it is possible to have it all, but you would have to be a real techie-type to do it. My brother Jer made a nearly seamless transition from iBlog to WordPress, keeping the old blog available, along with its Haloscan comments, under a "legacy" system that's relatively easily accessible.

However, that required a lot of geeky stuff on his part. For your blog, it's probably easiest to keep the same blog and the same identity, and just come to terms with the fact that the Haloscan comments are probably lost. You can take comfort in the comments that got revived by being put into later posts, and you can look forward to more comments in the future. I promise, I'll make as many as I can.

clairesgarden said...

i don't blog as much as i used to , but if i look up an old post its nice to see who left comments and that some of those folks(i consider them friends !) still visit, and thats some inspiration to keep updating my blog, ....... another view is that i am trying to have less clutter in my life so why am i hanging onto old comments too???

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