Sunday, 21 November 2010

Echo sucks even harder

It's unbelievable what a bunch of crooks these Echo people are. Just to recap on the original beef. Echo took over Haloscan, the comment system used by many bloggers. They took away some of the functionality and charged people $12 a year for what had been free or had involved, in my case, a lifetime subscription of $12. The rub was that if you went elsewhere you could well lose all of your past comments. And, as I said, there was reduced functionality.

Well now the first year is nearly up and they are demanding a new payment. I was loath to pay but what can you do? So I clicked on the "renew now" button and it turns out that the shysters are now demanding $10 a month minimum for their crap service that has lost us, at Jews sans frontieres, a great many comments.

Anyway, not wishing to leave any hostages to fortune or anything but we, at JSF, don't intend to take this lying down. We are considering a migration to Disqus but the high level of customisation at JSF, unlike here, means that we could lose old comments or we may have to ditch some of the additions to the blog over the six years that it's been running.

I googled Echo sucks recently and high on the list came Dr Dawg's Blawg, which had just run a post with that title.  I went back there just now and they are migrating their comments.  All their old comments are gone and they have had to change template in their attempt to restore the old comments.  I wish them luck and I'll be checking up on their progress.

I'll be wishing us luck too.  But I can't believe these people can get away with what they have done to those of us who paid the lifetime sub.... It's bad enough what they've done, period.  As Dr Blawg says, we've beta-tested their crap system for a year now and this is how we get repaid.  Disqus works fine here.  Hopefully it will work equally fine at Jews sans frontieres when we move.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Rebellion at the support forum!

Hey here's a development. You know how this blog has Disqus comments? Yes. Well someone has posted the following message to the Echo "support" forum:
Henry McKenzie replied 11 hours ago
As it appears we are never going to get what has been asked for, I have investigated similar platforms, and thought they may be of use to those whom are equally frustrated:

Both are free services can be easily integrated and... wait for it... they let you collect commenter's emails.

All the best
And here's a response:
If you are on Wordpress I can recommend Disqus. It gives you most of what Echo for some reason refuses to do and is also much simpler to use.. However, if you have a self-developed website it won't work as well.
And now Newshounds Ellen wants to know more:

Do you know how Disqus works with Movable Type? We are investigating it.
But what's this?
Igor Lebedew, (Official Rep), commented 5 hours ago
Guys! Please do not discuss not our products in our support forum.
And in wades Carol with a comment I couldn't put better:
Igor, perhaps if the service from Echo was more satisfactory, people wouldn't feel the need to discuss other products on your forum.
Well said that woman!

But Erwin had a point. Disqus does not lend itself to customisations. It has to be blog standard with Disqus. Still, that's better than the bog standard Echo but it means Jews sans frontieres is still lumbered with Echo and Echo sucks! as just under 6,000 google hits will testify.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Disqus doesn't suck!

I started this Echo Sucks! blog with blogger's own commenting system but I'm not that keen on it and I wouldn't use Echo because, as you may have heard, it sucks. So I have now installed Disqus which looks very good.

Care to comment?

Sunday, 10 January 2010

What is Echo?

Echo is a commenting system provided by JS-Kit that many blogs use.

Why do many blogs use it if it "sucks"?

Ah, well that's because we all used to use Haloscan comments and Haloscan didn't suck.

And what was Haloscan?

I just told you, it was a commenting system where readers of blogs could comment on a specific blogpost by clicking on the word "comments" and texting into a pop-up box.

And you can't do that with Echo?

Well, yes you can do that with Echo.


With haloscan a box would appear requesting, on a voluntary basis, screenname, email address and homepage url.

And Echo doesn't do that?

No, it doesn't.

What does it do instead of that?

Nothing. It simply gets your screenname or it doesn't and let's you comment in the box.

Can you show me an example of a specific comment in the new system?

Sorry, no I can't. The new system doesn't do unique urls for comments unless they are "recent comments".

Well can you show me an example of a specific comment in the old system?

I'm not being funny but I can't do that either. Unfortunately, JS-Kit has turned all the haloscan comments into Echo comments so all old haloscan comments, together with the email addresses and home pages of the commenters have gone.

So why did you change to Echo?

I was threatened.

Whaaaaat? What with?

Losing all of the comments since Spring 2004 if I didn't stump up $9.99.

That's bad?

Well yes it is bad because many of us had already paid $12 for lifetime premium accounts with haloscan and even those that didn't pay had a legitimate expectation of continued service given the amount of work that many people put into comment systems and other opportunity costs.

So did you pay?

No choice, I had to or risk losing the comments.

Are there other issues?

More later....

Well can you complain?

They have a "support" site but I appear to have been banned from it.

Can you contact other users?

Not as easy as you'd think which is why I have set up this blog. Perhaps it could become a meeting place for people to discuss the various remedies for people who have been cheated out of a good system and $9.99 or $12 depending on how you view it.