08 December 2011

A blog uncommented or a commentary on comments

Once upon a time Blogger didn't support comments in a reasonable fashion if at all. So third party add-ons and tips to install them were part of the blogsphere. Most people weren't making money off of their blogs so free was the way to go and free abounded as coders cut their teeth and worked out bugs in a new market.

Things progressed and profit motive came into play -- I know you're shocked.

Popular bloggers got book deals, people looking for book deals got blogs, those programmers who were coding for free got noticed and/or developed an application they could charge for and so the blog garden of Eden developed into a commercial zone.

I, like a lot of people, used Haloscan. Haloscan was free, integrated pretty well with Blogger and things were, with the odd glitch here and there, pretty smooth sailing.

Haloscan got purchased and the transition wasn't very smooth but the alternatives were no comments or for pay at a price point that only made sense if your blog was a commercial venture. The take over kids offered the option of exporting your comments as XML but but neither they nor blogger offered any sort of good path to reincorporate the exported comments.

For legacy Haloscan users, the take over kids initially offered a one year reasonably priced subscription. I took it and forgot about it.

In all the upheaval of my life the comments and the blog were not high on my list of things to worry so it was a bit of a "say what" when I tried to log on and found that my account was pau. I had no nag emails about renewing for a few or lot of dollars more, nothing and I had been getting comments after the account went inactive -- hhmmm.

Oh well, the latest subscription price point is very much aligned with the corporate/commercial blog world , I have no reason to believe the bugs and less than stellar communication pattern have improved so why pay when Blogger's support for comments is way more developed than it once was?

Okay, so choice shaped up this way, let sleeping dogs lie and have the "already there" comments stay there but not be able to manage any new comments or switch things up and go with Blogger or some other 3rd party comment manager and most likely lose the comments that had been posted over the prior four years.

I went with Blogger for free and four years of comments disappearing. Although I'm pretty sure I exported my comments as an XML file at some point I've no clue when, what file name, or which of my networked computers I would have the downloaded the file to so even if I was inclined to try to match them up.

Killing the old code and getting the Blogger comments to work ended up being a bit more than the promised simple template upgrade and re-entering my tweaks. After quite a few grumbles, commenting out some template coding, saving, reloading, cache clearing and holding my mouth just right after reading
epic bad instructions but it works.

In the spirit of things that were once visible (and arguably stuff that got followed the money) the photos on the day are urban art pieces by Shepard Fairey. The mural was completed during the Summer of 2010 and ironically got tagged about a month after the installation.

A worse fate has befallen it since. When it was installed it was quite visable as the wall faced lots with couple of small buildings and an equally small parking lot. Now it abuts a building housing a restaurant called Snooze.

And yes, since I can't resist, that means that say if you Snooze you lose sight of art that is.

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