Monday, February 08, 2010

Friends don't let Friends use JS-Kit/Echo

A lot of the early blogs use Haloscan because Blogger didn't have its own commenting system until late 2004. JS-kit is discontinuing the free Haloscan service in favor of their proprietary/non-free JS-Kit Echo commenting service, and implying that the only way you can keep your comments is to use their for-pay JS-Kit service. But JS-Kit has some serious problems:

  1. It's not free (duh). For those of you maintaining a blog as a hobby, that's a big drawback.
  2. It doesn't allow posting links. If I want to post a link to a web site, the only thing that works is bare links. Maybe.
  3. It doesn't email me when someone adds a comment. I became accustomed to receiving email when someone added a comment to a thread I'd posted a comment on, but JS-Kit won't do that.
  4. Echo often sends blogs into an endless loop. Alternate Brain, for example, keeps being unreadable because it's just refreshing the page over and over and over again in an endless loop and never letting me actually see it.
I high recommend using Disqus if you are currently using Haloscan or Echo for your comments system. It has none of the above problems, and will import comments from Echo or Haloscan. Even if you have already paid for Echo to import your comments from Haloscan, I *highly* recommend trying Disqus. I've pretty much given up commenting on sites running Echo -- it's that terrible for users, especially the lack of email notification thingy.

Just say NO to JS-Kit and their terrible Echo product. Thank you!

-- Badtux the Blogging Penguin


  1. I just run my free hobby blog on blogger, and use the built-in comment function. All free, all the time, and I get email notification and the comments accept active lings and other HTML functions.

    In fact, it looks exactly like your comment screen, right here.

    Clearly, I am missing something.

    JzB the missing-out trombonist

  2. What you're missing is that Blogger didn't have its own commenting system until late 2004. Anybody who started a blog before late 2004 was using Haloscan, and continued using it mostly because they have all their comments in Haloscan and it was too much trouble to switch to something else.

    Haloscan was bought by JS-Kit, and now is going away so that JS-Kit can try to incentivate you to buy their cruddy Echo commenting system, which sucks rocks. I'm suggesting that people who are being kicked off of Haloscan move to Disqus instead of Echo.


    - Badtux the Blogging Penguin

  3. Why?

    Do you hate it worse than Echo?

    I prefer Blogger's system myself, it's nicely integrated into Blogger and all. But you can't import Echo comments into it. Bummer.

  4. I'm a bit confused. I will take your advise on disqus BT but I'm under the impression the Blogger commenting system is going away. Is that correct?

    If it's not going away what would be the advantages of changing to disqus for the average blogger or should well enough be left alone because Blogger comments works well for me.

  5. Err, no. The Blogger commenting system isn't going away. Haloscan is going away. Blogger's commenting system is this one, which is not Haloscan. If you're using Blogger's commenting system, stay with it.

    - Badtux the Geek Penguin

  6. Thank you for that BTux! I owe.

  7. off topic, but badtux, if you email steve clemons, i think he will forward the content of the financial times piece to you. at least, he has offered to do so for other bloggers.

  8. "I've pretty much given up commenting on sites running Echo . . ."

    As have I, 'Tux. It's not worth the time or hassle to post comments if you can't at least get a link back to your own blog. I quit posting to AlterNet, DRCNet, and a few other blogs for that reason.

  9. Oh yeah, I forgot about that issue with Echo. But Echo does at least let you do a trackback to your Twitter and Blogger profiles, so it didn't matter to me, since I presume someone would follow those links and find the link to my blog on my profile. Of course, Disqus does the same thing...

  10. BT Yup. Now clear as a fine single malt.

    JzB the only been blogging since Sept '08 trombonist

  11. The only comment I can make on your comment is that "sucks rocks" is far too kind as an assessment of Echo. What's wrong with it? Well, there's serious bugs, badly implemented hierarchical threads, serious bugs, no preview feature, real difficulties with self-identifying even if you have a profile on every @#$% blogging service out there, FIVE different
    entry forms (each of which has different serious bugs), a corporate attitude that forced me to switch to another service (Blogger built-in,
    eventually) during the 10 days including Christmas and New Year's, oh, and did I mention SERIOUS BUGS?

  12. I keep waiting for TPTB to crack down on teh Internets tubez because they represent a challenge to the MiniTruth doublespeak. It would be SO easy to blow away "the cloud" of server farms and blog-hosting services that all your immortal words, and Skippy's, etc. reside upon. Reside upon for FREE, I might add. If snarky bloggers with independent thoughts ever become a threat to the economic order, the lights will go out quickly. When I see stories about corporate consolidation and rent-seeking like JS-Kit is doing, it makes me think the finger of power is hovering near the light switch...


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