Friday, July 27, 2007

Haloscan comment system for New Blogger blogs

Note: Read updates below.

Got a question about getting the email address of people who comment in your post. I know that with the Blogger commenting system, it is not possible, but with the Haloscan commenting system, commentator have to enter their their email address. So I decided to sign up for a Haloscan account to implement the Haloscan commenting system for Natural Remedies. If you want to test out Haloscan comment, go to Natural Remedies and make a comment. Any comment, but hopefully something related to the post. Otherwise, just click on "comment" and do not complete the process/

If you want the Haloscan commenting system for your Blogger blog, it used to be very difficult. See Testing Haloscan commenting system hack for Blogger Beta (now New Blogger. Things have changed since, and installing Haloscan commenting system for New Blogger is now a breeze with their installation wizard. All you need to do is to sign up for an account at http://haloscan.com/. They don't even need you to verify your email address. For tasks like this, I highly recommend using a browsing that has tabbed browsing like FireFox (click BACK button to get back to this page) which also happened to be recommended by Blogger. Then you can be in the Haloscan page in one tab, and in the Blogger page in another tab, all in the same window.

I forgot to record the steps I took as I install the Haloscan system for New Blogger, but it is not difficult. After signing in, look for the Blogger installation wizard link. Click on it and it will take you to the wizard. It will instruct you to first sign into your Blogger account, click LAYOUT, click the TEMPLATE tab, then the EDIT HTML sub-tab. Backup your blog. See Backing and Changing New Blogger Template. BTW I used the filename "foodasmedicine 27 July 07 before Haloscan" as the filename so I know the reason for the backup.

So open another tab to go to blogger.com and sign in. Follow the instruction above to backup your blog template. Remember where you saved the backup template. Go back to the Haloscan tab and in the wizard, below the instruction, you will see this:

Haloscan Blogger template upload

Click "Browse" and locate the backup template you saved as described above. After a successful upload, you will be taken to a page with a button "Download new template". Click on that button and you will be asked to download the new xml template file for your blog. Click "Save" and save the new template with a suitable name. To give you some idea, I used "foodasmedicine 27 July 07 after Haloscan".

After a successful download and having saved the new template where you can locate it again, go back to the Blogger tab, click TEMPLATE tab, then the EDIT HTML tab and click "Browse" and browse to the new template you downloaded from Haloscan. Once you have located it, click UPLOAD and wait for the template to finish uploading. Once that is finished, your job is done.

If you want check, click VIEW BLOG and make a test comment.

Regarding the rest of the Haloscan commenting system, I will check when I have time and update this post accordingly. If you have been using the Haloscan all along, and you have some information for me, please post a comment. It will be highly appreciated.

Update 28 July 2007: A reader alerted me to the fact that it IS possible to get the email address of commentator with the Blogger commenting system. See Get email address of commentator with the Blogger commenting system (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Update 30 September 2007: I myself do not use Haloscan commenting system except for one blog which I used for demonstration. However, I did not check if the old comments had been deleted or not, so I cannot vouch for this. But a blogger commented if you implement Haloscan commenting system for your Blogger blog, all your old comments will be deleted. See comments section.

Update 27 December 2007: I am going to revert back to the Blogger commenting system for Natural Remedies as I find moderating the comments inconvenient, and now prefer the Blogger commenting system as it has introduced Open ID. Fortunately, I have followed my own advice to back up the template PLUS Page Elements (and named the backup template ".....before Haloscan comment hack", so I know exactly which template to put back.

13 comments:

  1. the Blogger commenting system can do it,i get the comment by email.and you can get the email address of people who comment in your post by Gmail.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I tried it and you are right: the auto-install works seamlessly.

    But nobody mentioned that Blogger comments disappear! I found a code to get them back and then to manually fix the comment count. But I could not find a place to put the code.

    One more problem: apparently there is no way to easily put the post title/date or URL into the comment window.

    For those reasons, I reverted back to my old template without Haloscan.

    I wish these problems had been fixed because it is a very nice system (with trackbacks!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. the only problem with Haloscan is that it deletes all existing comments!

    Can you find a work-around to this problem??

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi meeyauw,

    Don't know what your motivation for trying out the Haloscan commenting system is, but if it is because you want the email address of the commentator, I hope you read the comment of sisea. I tested what he said and found it to be true and have made a new post Get email address of commentator with Blogger commenting system and have acknowledged his contribution.

    Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
    Testing Blogger Beta (now New Blogger)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Peter: I thought the Haloscan comment system would be good because of the trackbacks and because it is configurable. But because of the problems I listed in my comment above I have reverted back to the clumsy Blogger way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi carrotmadman6,

    I really don't use Haloscan much, and in fact don't use Haloscan commenting system for this blog, only on a blog with less comments. I haven't discovered the problem you mention. Troble is, on the blogs where I installed Haloscan, there are very few comments, and I wouldn't know which have old comments, so I cannot confirm what you claim. However you can stick to the Blogger commenting system and you will still be able to get the email address of the commentator. See Get email address of commentator with Blogger commenting system.

    Peter (Blog*Star 2006 and 2007)
    Blogger Tips and Tips got listed in DMOZ, the most important directory and the most difficult to get listed in, plus link to site with tips on how to get listed in DMOZ

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just installed Haloscan and yes the process is simple. Thankfully, it is just as simple to revert to my original template since Haloscan DELETED my existing comments. I read on one of their forums that this problem has been known for months. Naturally, they don't give any indication of this. Haloscan would be fine if you used it from the first day of your blog but if you have existing comments then Haloscan is a BUST.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Doanld,

    Thanks for the alert. Despite me not getting the 48 hour day I prayed for, I will update this post immediately.

    Peter (Blog*Star)
    The easiest way to earn something for your blogging efforts

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great Post mate but the dusqus is the best commenting system according to me

    ReplyDelete
  10. Is there a way to save the Haloscan Comments and revert them to blogspot so that they are not lost? I want to do that but I don't want to lose the Haloscan comments. I do want to transfer them to my blogspot blog. Any ideas or is this futile?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Angela, would you want to try Export Haloscan comments? I myself don't normally use Haloscan commenting system except for demo so I don't have the material to test. If you do try Python, do let us know how it works out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There is a way to save all of your haloscan comment in XML format. I did that via notepad saved in unicode (whatever that means). So I have copies of everything. The problem I think is that there is no way to really import them into blogspot. I'm not really sure how that would work. Ya know? Thank you for keeping this thread alive so that we could discuss this further. Much appreciative.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I tried to register myself in Haloscan but Haloscan site does not exist any more can you help me, I want to make the commentators put their email ID - Menino
    I NEED HELP BADLY

    meninogptf@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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