Comment te dire adieu

A longtime reader wrote to ask if I had removed comments because they were a relic in this age of facey-spaces and tweety-pages.

That's when I realized my comments had disappeared. 

Haloscan, which had faithfully been providing free commenting to this site long before could,  is now under the control of another company. There was a warning sent to my email before the holidays that I promptly forgot about. And then sometime after Grand Rounds last week my comments were gone; not with a bang but a whimper.

There was a brief period of panic but fortunately, my login still worked on and they let me download the 1279 comments blogborygmi has accumulated over the past six years. Folks are working on ways to import these old comments to Blogger. In the meantime, I've enabled Blogger's new (to me, at least) comment features.

Of course I understand after a growth phase, there's a need to convert resource-intensive services into sources of profit, even if it means charging for something that used to be free. I just wonder if the new owners of Haloscan (JS-Kit? Echo?) carefully thought this through:

  1. They had a small group of early adopters who wanted comments on our blogs, long before a major platform offered them. 
  2. We were happy enough with their service to stick with it, for the better part of a decade, even after more robust (and free) versions were offered by competitors. 
  3. For various reasons, they needed to move us to a flashy new system. 

Were they really counting on us to start paying for this unnecessary new service? Or, put it this way: was there no other way to offset the cost of making a few blog veterans happy? It seems like they could upgrade us to the new platform for free and maybe get some positive, genuine word-of-mouth publicity, which I'm told is something bloggers have a knack for. Or, I don't know, maybe they could offset the cost by including advertising -- I've read there's some money in that.

Oh well. An opportunity for them has been lost, and for me, some old lessons have been reinforced. What about you? Feel free to leave a comment below.