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I'm Brendan Loy, a 26-year-old graduate of USC and Notre Dame now living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee. My wife Becky and I are brand-new parents of a beautiful baby girl, born on New Year's Eve.

I'm a big-time sports fan, a politics, media & law junkie, an astronomy buff, a weather nerd, an Apple aficionado, a Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fanatic, and an all-around dork. My blog is best-known for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but I blog about anything and everything that interests me.

You can contact me at irishtrojan [at], or donate to my "tip jar" by clicking the link below:

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Haloscan vs. Blogger Comments

As this TypePad blog crisis stretches into a new day with minimal support and no resolution (not to mention an increasing number of other problems surfacing, like an epidemic of repetitively posted comments, presumably because of some flaw in TypePad's commenting system), it is becoming increasingly likely that I will be abandoning TypePad and switching to Blogspot. I'm hoping Blogspot might work a bit better than TypePad, and in any event, it's free, which TypePad is not. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay $15/month for a buggy blog platform that doesn't provide adequate support when their mistakes are crippling my blog. So unless they fix this, and fast, yet another platform switch is in the Irish Trojan's future.

Which raises the question: which commenting system should I use, if indeed I switch to Blogger? Should I use Blogger's native commenting system, or HaloScan? I remember HaloScan causing lots of headaches, back in my blog's pre-WordPress days, in large part because of its per-comment character limit. (Even though I was a "pro" HaloScan user, there was still a limit, albeit a higher one than for regular users.) On the other hand, I've heard mixed reviews of Blogger's native commenting system. So I'm just curious what anyone with experience using either or both systems might have to say.

UPDATE: Welcome, InstaPundit readers! My TypePad problems have been solved, at least for the moment.


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What was wrong with Wordpress?

Nothing was wrong with WordPress per se, but I needed a dedicated server to keep my blog on it, as explained here, and I couldn't afford to keep paying $260/month (nor even, say, $150/month or whatever).

This TypePad crap sucks. Whoever developed it should be embarrassed.

I use blogspot and I am a fan of their standard comments.

The big advantage we've found with Haloscan is the ability to edit comments, which Blogger does not allow you to do. This is very helpful when you have a no profanity policy like we do, yet don't want to trash the entire comment.

Haloscan has also added some nifty new features, such as a "New Comments" alert under each post and the ability to send e-mails to commenters when there are any follow-up comments.

The downside is that the whole damn system tends to go down more often than it should.

The re-tooled Blogger server is not bad as far as hosting your site goes. But support is non-existent and you get what you pay for.

I was a blogger user before I had my own domain (so, pre February of this year). I thought it was pretty easy to use, especially for an HTML dummy like myself (I have since taught myself all i know about HTML). I didn't have any problems with their commenting service.

We're hosting a 2500 unique visitors a day site (wordpress) on a shared account with Haven't had many problems, but db of posts is only about 2000 or so with 2000 registered users.

What about these guys:

I like Haloscan.

Haloscan has generally worked fine for me, but I get 0.01% of the comments you would...

Another vote for Blogger comments here. The authentication system is seamless, and, to my knowledge, comments never go down.

I had Haloscan comments two years ago, so this is the old version, and I paid for the upgrade, but I loved them. Almost never got spammed, had great control over posting, banning, whatever.

I use WordPress now, but I was very happy with Haloscan. Oh, yeah--they did go down from time to time. Forgot about that.

Your blog is clearly more complex than mine, but if it helps at all, I like Blogger pretty well. It's comment system has never given me a problem.

Before they streamlined it with everything Google I used to have problems with it(like neither my blog nor Blogger would be accessible for up to a day or two at a time due to mysterious technical problems or upgrades) but since it's been Google-ized I haven't had a single problem.

You might like to give a try - free Wordpress hosting, without the hassle of installation.

Disclosure: I work for them.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Alex, the problem with is that, unless I'm very much mistaken, users cannot directly edit the HTML on their templates. That makes it a non-option for me. I'm way too hands-on of a user to just accept somebody else's template as-is, without the ability to tweak it.

I like Blogger's normal comments just fine, and being able to use a real domain name for nothing is pretty nice.

I use Haloscan with no problem. The main reason is I am a link wh**e and blogger doesn't have any trackback features.

I resisted getting my own blog for years because of the cost or because blogger was buggy.

About three years ago after hearing a few good things about blogger and needing an account to comment on a certain site (thank you Wretchard) I gave in.

I'm mostly happy. No more outages than with other platforms and the price is right.

I like the haloscan comments at other blogspot sites but prefer blogsot's commenting system because the comments show up directly with individual articles.

A matter of preference.

Blogger does automatic track backs.

You just click a box or two in the setup.

That was buggy on some of my blogs about 6 months ago. It has been fixed. doesn't allow direct theme editing, that's true. But custom CSS is available as an upgrade, and you can put raw HTML (without javascript) in your sidebar, pages and posts.

Hey Brendan,

I used to use Haloscan and it was a pain in my ass, so I scrapped it. The comments here make me wonder if I should try it again, although I don't really know why. I don't have a profanity policy, so swear away in my comments! And I don't edit comments either and wouldn't if I could.

I like Blogger. The trackback thing is the only issue. Other than that, I keep thinking I should switch. Your experience is going to keep me right where I am.

You new look is nice, though.

Nobody's mentioned the new kid on the block: Has both free (ad-supported) and paid accounts, photo storage (with server-side scaling and web-based editing facilities), and its own internal commenting system. Comments can display inline, and can be blocked on particular posts or moderated. Is CSS-based and has a lot of powerful layout tools. Imports archives from Movable Type or Blogger. (Don't know about comment import, 'cause I haven't needed it.) They're already hosting 450-some sites.

Disclosure: Was a beta test participant, and am now a satisfied user.

Semi-related, I really really hope you leave TypePad, creating new posts that contain things like YouTube videos is a pain in the rear. With WordPress on your old blgo I could simply paste the link that the YouTube video gives me for embedding and it woudl just work, even in the rich editing mode. TP tries to escape all the HTML formatting out of it, unless you directly edit the HTML, which sometimes doesn't even work unless you further tweak it.

I use textpattern to run my blog and host it at lunarpages, I'm not sure how much traffic you get but their cheap plan (at $7.95/month paid in yearly installments) gives you 3500GB/month I think that's a lot.

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