Friday, March 06, 2009

A note on the comments

The state of the blog comment industry is quite amazing. It is as if the designers of the various systems had never seen a computer before. Despite the supposed competitiveness of the providers, none of them comes close to being even remotely acceptable from the standpoint of a user, weird given the fact that almost all the problems are design issues, easily fixable. I picked Disqus as the best of a very bad lot, hoping that their appearance of caring about what users think might eventually lead to a usable system.

In many ways JS-Kit would have been the best solution. Their system is an overlay over the Blogger comments, so if you remove JS-Kit, you are still supposedly left with the comments on the Blogger comment system (considering the almost unique stability of Blogger, it is a shame that Blogger doesn't fix up its comments engine, which would put all these competitors instantly out of business). The problem with JS-Kit is that they lied to me. They told me I had to leave Haloscan, and, fool that I was, I believed them. Now, months and months later, Haloscan is still functioning, with JS-Kit revisionism telling us that they are now having trouble integrating the Haloscan system with all the functionality Halsocan users have come to love (!), and, needless to say, hinting that the fault lies with Haloscan. Their 'pointy-haired boss' actually posted a blog comment here offering to help me, and when I foolishly responded, 'Wally' just sent me an email asking me to repeat myself. Hopeless! Since I can't trust them I am going on the assumption that JS-Kit is just going to be a series of problems.

Disqus and IntenseDebate are almost identical products, with Disqus being a little more polished at this point. Neither is great. In fact, I'd be embarrassed if I was involved with any of them. I'm hoping that Disqus will improve enough to be usable.
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