I am a creature of habit. It doesn't take long at all before I settle into a routine and become utterly predictable. Around holidays and other family events I call it tradition and zealously defend these beloved moments against any attempts to mess with them (I should perhaps mention that my definition of such tradition tends to be something we've done twice and liked). I see no reason whatsoever to alter the way I do things all higgledy-piggledy for no reason other than to change things around and not even if there is a good reason for changing.
Enter my commenting system.
Back in the early days of this blog I switched from the Blogger commenting system to Haloscan. I forget why I didn't like the Blogger system - I think it had something to do with not having easy access to someone’s e-mail address - but whatever it was, Haloscan solved it beautifully. It was reliable, hardly ever having technical issues, easy-to-use from the point of view of both me and the person leaving a comment and really, there was no reason to complain whatsoever. Well, perhaps tech-support left something to be desired, but as there rarely were any technical issues, no biggie.
Then Echo bought Haloscan and very happily trumpeted at length about how wonderful they were, giving people the ability to sign in with any ID, they chose (Facebook, Google, etc), thereby facilitating conversations all over the Internet. And my comment count went into the toilet. Because everybody hated it, including me. I could no longer easily find someone's e-mail address (which seriously decreased the already small amount of responses I could do) - actually, let me rephrase that: I could no longer find anyone's e-mail at all. I also could no longer easily find someone's URL, another thing that was really easy with Haloscan (and sort of difficult with Blogger), so I very much wanted to find a way to export my years’ worth of comments and import them into something else. At this point, Blogger had improved their commenting system, so I was willing to come back there. I also wanted to change the look of the blog as the template I'd used since the beginning was not supported by the new Blogger and that meant limited fun with widgets, etc. Besides, it didn't quite feel like me anymore. We hit a wall of not quite being able to figure out how to apply the Echo code to my HTML to keep all my previous comments and were starting to get mightily sick of the whole process.
This was when I discovered that although I could export my comments from Echo, importing them into something else was next to impossible. I put my tech team (a.k.a. The Boy) on it. And despite him being a certified Tech God, he had some degree of trouble figuring it out. He theorizes that by importing them into something, doing some sort of massaging of them and then importing them yet again into Blogger, it may theoretically be possible. However, we both have busy lives and since my commenting system was working - albeit not in any satisfactory way for people who wanted to comment - it got put on the back burner.
On Thursday, comments stopped showing up on the blog. Not just on the most recent posts, but all my comments. Any post from the previous almost seven years now had 0 comments. Zero. On about 1100 posts. However, they still showed in my dashboard on Echo and in my e-mail. I poked around on the Internet to see what was going on and the only thing I found was a post by someone saying that it was impossible to import your comments into Blogger and this was Echo’s way of "enslaving" you to their crap system. Oh, and did I mention that although I had about a year ago set Blogger to sync my comments, this hasn't happened for a long time? Again according to the Internet, Echo claims this is Blogger’s problem, but in reality it’s theirs to solve. And since I have no intention of paying $10 or more per month to get the Pro version of a system I hate so I can get proper tech support (because there’s not even a help section for the unpaid version), I've been stuck.
And then last week happened and my comments no longer appeared anywhere and it was a gift from heaven. Because much as I hate losing close to seven years worth of really wonderful comments, if no one can see them anyway, why not just switch and dump this unbelievably awful commenting system that I – and everyone else - have hated from Day 1? So I did. The plan is for the Tech team to eventually mess with the old comments to see what’s possible, but due to other obligations, it’ll be a while before that can happen.
I’ll being trying different templates for the blog to see what feels right, so there may be more change coming over the next couple of weeks before I settle on something permanent. It's sort of exciting to try out some new Internet clothes, but mostly?
I hate change.