The Skinny on the New Comment Box

As you may have noticed, my comment box no longer looks like the comment box I used to have. Earlier this week, I got a notice from Haloscan (my comment provider) that it had been bought out by Echo and that users would gradually be moved over to the new system, for which I get to pay $9.95 a year. They told me I had two weeks to make up my mind and if I didn't want to use the new system, I would be able to back up all my comments and buh-bye. In other words, if I didn't sign up, I would lose all my comments on the blog. I could keep them on my hard drive, but that's not much use, is it now?

So, no-brainer, right? Only, I switched and discovered that I hate my new comment box. I wrote the support team and got the following information:

Display of link to your webpage. When someone wants to leave a comment, they have to sign in by indicating where they're from and there are a multitude of options (Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Only then will the link to your webpage be displayed. And only then will every other comment you have left on my blog from the last four years display where you're from. Because yes indeedy, none of my past comments display a link to their webpage, which really pisses me off, as I regularly use them for reference.

Your e-mail. No longer provided. Because apparently, all conversations will now be in public - I assume this is because we have all magically turned into 17-year-olds who have no problem telling all their 287 "friends" everything that happens in their life. Should I wish to reply to someone privately - as I planned to do with the WheelTrans employee who left a comment on my blog last week, but had to delay due to shoulder/Dragon problems and now I can't, because I don't have their e-mail - I can only do so if the person who left a comment has filled in their profile, which means I'll have to click on a link that would take me to their Twitter or Facebook (or etc.) page where I can, after 20 minutes of clicking about hunting down an e-mail address, send them an e-mail. This is presented as a benefit because now there are linkages everywhere, no such thing as a separate part of your life over here and another separate part over there, no no! Now everyone will know everything and be linked everywhere. And none of it will be happening in private.

Changing size/color of comment fields and fonts so it's actually legible. Allegedly, this can be changed. I have no idea how. It's only presented in high-level Geek.

For a while now, I've been thinking about creating a "real" website, moving away from the free platform. This may be what pushes me over the edge. Might be a while before I get that organized, though. Hope it won’t deter you from commenting.



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