Comic Commenter - powered by Haloscan

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Comic Commenter - powered by Haloscan

Postby Plothole on Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:54 pm

For those who have never heard of it, 'Haloscan' is an offsite offsite commenting system designed to integrate into blogs and other things that could uses commenting on multiple pages.

Like say, comics.... (or <a href="http://nyuterra.keenspace.com/viewimage_mod.html?banner.png">image viewers, but thats another story!</a>)

And in fact, there is a way to get it to work with autokeen. And its fairly simple too. You start by opening an account at Haloscan (duh).

From there, there are two possibilities: Integration through <i>a link</i> or integration though <I title="literally a page within a page">iframe</i>. The latter is less code, and may better entice your readers to comment, while the former takes up less space (good for already cramped pages). Feel free to choose whichever option works best for you:

Integration through A LINK
  1. Okay, You've registered an account at Haloscan. Now place the following codes into your index and daily templates:
    1. Put this somewhere within your head (<head>. . .</head>), replacing INSERTUSERNAME with your haloscan username:
      Code: Select all
      <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.haloscan.com/load/INSERTUSERNAME"> </script>
    2. Now, place this code somewhere in the body (<body>. . .</body>), wherever you wish the link to appear:
      Code: Select all
      <a href="javascript:HaloScan('***raw_date***');" target="_self"><script type="text/javascript">postCount('***raw_date***');</script></a>

      OPTIONAL: If you wanna use Haloscan's Trackback feature, add this code as well (just after the one above):
      Code: Select all
       | <a href="javascript:HaloScanTB('***raw_date***');" target="_self"><script type="text/javascript">postCountTB('***raw_date***'); </script></a>
  2. Upload your updated templates, and run a regular update.
A NOTE ON THE LINK OPTION: Depending on your Haloscan settings, clicking this link will either A. popup a new window, or B. open a new page. Be sure select the method you prefer in you haloscan settings.

Integration through IFRAME
  1. Okay, You've registered an account at Haloscan. Now place the following code into the body (<body>. . .</body>) of your index and daily templates (the code should be placed where you want the frame to appear on the page):
    Code: Select all
    <iframe src="http://www.haloscan.com/comments/INSERTUSERNAME/***rawdate***/" height="HEIGHTINPIXELS" width="WIDTHINPIXELS" id="haloscan"></iframe>

    Replace the following:
    INSERTUSERNAME with your haloscan username.
    HEIGHTINPIXELS with the height you wish this frame to be (in pixels). Eg. <b>400px</b>.
    WIDTHINPIXELS with the width you wish this frame to be (in pixels). Eg. <b>600px</b>.
  2. Upload your updated templates, and run a regular update.
A NOTE ON THE IFRAME OPTION: If you already have a shoutbox/tagboard on your index, it might not be a good idea to put this code on your indextemplate (as visitors may confuse the two boxes). You could, however, put the LINK code on your indextemplate, and the iframe code on your dailytemplate. Just a suggestion.



Whichever option you chose, Its a good idea to link back to Haloscan. You can do that by uploading this image into your images/ directory:
Image
Then add this line of code somewhere on your page (doesn't matter where, so long as its somewhere in the body of the code):
Code: Select all
<a href="http://www.haloscan.com/"><img width="88" height="31" src="/images/halolink.gif" border="0" alt="Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com" /></a>



Thats it. Any questions?


Oh, a couple things to note about Haloscan:
Its template Gallery is a little flaky; It tends to reset your current style when you visit the page. If you plan on using your own CSS, I'd recommend keeping a copy on your hard drive. For templates, make a copy of the url on the <i>template</i> settings page.

Also, though Email Notification is a premium feature, they do offer a RSS feed for keeping track of comments. Just set you feed reader to this address (as before, replace INSERTUSERNAME with your haloscan username):

<a href="http://www.haloscan.com/members/rss.php?user=INSERTUSERNAME">http://www.haloscan.com/members/rss.php?user=INSERTUSERNAME</a>

---
[EDIT: July 23, 2005] Added the option of integrating comment box through IFRAME, rewrote instructions for the LINK option, and added info on feed.
Last edited by Plothole on Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:56 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby Risky on Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:37 pm

When I had a comment system up on my site, I kept getting Viagra and Gambling spam on it, somewhere deep in my archives. How long have you used this one, and did you have that problem with it? How easy is it to remotely administer your comments? Like, is there one page from which you can delete any comment from any comment file? Does it even tell you when you get a comment?
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Postby Plothole on Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:10 pm

Risky wrote:When I had a comment system up on my site, I kept getting Viagra and Gambling spam on it, somewhere deep in my archives. How long have you used this one, and did you have that problem with it?

I implemented into my blog a month ago, and into the comic about two weeks ago.

So far I haven't noticed any problems with spam. In fact, the only ad I've noticed is a simple text-based one below the submit box.

Though I mostly surf the web with Firefox.


Risky wrote:How easy is it to remotely administer your comments? Like, is there one page from which you can delete any comment from any comment file?

Haloscan allows you to edit and delete any comments made from a centralized page. Though deleting <b>more than one</b> post at a time requires an upgraded account (<a href="http://haloscan.com/donate/">account upgrades are donation based</a>)

You can also ban IP addresses.


Risky wrote:Does it even tell you when you get a comment?

Yes, though this is also an upgraded feature.
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Postby Plothole on Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:54 pm

Risky wrote:Does it even tell you when you get a comment?

Yes, though this is also an upgraded feature.


Actually, minor correction: Email notification requires an upgraded account. The basic service does include an RSS feed listing all the latest comments you've received though.
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Postby Reactor on Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:23 am

There seem to be a ton of sites offering free guestbooks. Why is Haloscan better than the others for Keenspace users?

Can anyone else recommend a good guestbook service?
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Postby Plothole on Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:03 pm

Haloscan really isn't a guestbook, its a commenting system. What does that mean? Well, while commenting systems aren't as flexible as guestbook (in terms of formating, length of message, etc), you may integrate them into specific pages, with comments for that page only appearing on that page.

What I have here is a [albeit simple] system to allow visitors to comment on any comic in your archive, with no extra work by the author (my own comic archive uses this: check it out for yourself).

EDIT: Actually, my archive is rather barren. You'd be better of checking out this guy's archive: http://ragtag.keenspace.com/


As for a good guestbook... eh, I prefer tagboards/shoutboxes in this regard (they're about the same concept as a guestbook, 'cept their smaller and can be intergrated into your homepage)
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Postby Reactor on Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:42 pm

Thanks for those examples, David.

I'm new to all this, and have just started my site. I'm also still in kindergarten re HTML. I just want the simplest possible way to let people add comments to my site. (of course, I'd also like to be able to delete offensive posts). I don't need it on every comic page, just the home page. I'd like to find something really easy and simple, that will provide me code i can just paste into my template files. And I'd like it to be really free, not with a free version that makes it harder for you to do certain functions unless you upgrade.

So, is Haloscan the thing for me or should i use something else?
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Postby Reactor on Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:45 pm

I've been studying up on this and just put Haloscan on my site. However, I think I understand now why the sites I've seen with Haloscan don't get many comments. The Haloscan tagboard isn't right there on your page, you have to click to get to it, and the "comment" link is so small and easy to miss. I think that having the tagboard and all the comments right there visible on your home page encourages people to comment.

I think I will probably remove Haloscan and look for another type of tagboard.
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Postby Plothole on Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:26 pm

Reactor wrote:I'm new to all this, and have just started my site. I'm also still in kindergarten re HTML. I just want the simplest possible way to let people add comments to my site. (of course, I'd also like to be able to delete offensive posts). I don't need it on every comic page, just the home page. I'd like to find something really easy and simple, that will provide me code i can just paste into my template files. And I'd like it to be really free, not with a free version that makes it harder for you to do certain functions unless you upgrade.
Hmm... then try MyShoutBox.com. Though it isn't a flexible as some (in terms of visual customization), I have yet to find another shoutbox/tagboard with as many features offered at no charge.


Reactor wrote:I've been studying up on this and just put Haloscan on my site. However, I think I understand now why the sites I've seen with Haloscan don't get many comments. The Haloscan tagboard isn't right there on your page, you have to click to get to it, and the "comment" link is so small and easy to miss. I think that having the tagboard and all the comments right there visible on your home page encourages people to comment.

You've got a point. I've considered replacing the link with an iframe (this is technically possible), the only problem being that a comment page would load every time (which would be a waste on poor Haloscan's limited bandwidth).

Another thing to remember though: Only a tiny fraction of your readers will ever comment anyway. So unless your comic has a huge following, the likelihood of you having regular input is rather low.

Positioning is also important. The higher up something is on the page, the more likely a visitor will see it. (in retrospect, putting my tagboard at the bottom of the page probably wasn't the best idea)
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Postby Plothole on Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:31 pm

Major Edit: Partially rewrote tutorial, added the option to include comments in an iframe, and also put up some info on the RSS feed.
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Postby Phalanx on Sun Jul 24, 2005 8:09 pm

Wow this is impressive!
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Postby Krytos55 on Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:06 pm

tried and followed your instructions but all it gives me is a little blurb of text on my site saying
Trackback (0)
any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby Plothole on Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:54 pm

Here's your problem:

<a href="javascript:HaloScanTB('***raw_date***');" target="_self"></a><script type="text/javascript">postCountTB('***raw_date***');</script></a>

The tag highlighted in bold shouldn't be there. Its causing the link to end prematurely.

Note: this string of code simply adds the Trackback to your site.. the code just above this is for Comments.

(...Of course if Trackback is all you wanted, then you
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Postby Krytos55 on Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:19 am

oooooh, thanks
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Postby Risky on Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:54 pm

Okay, I'll give this a shot. I like the custom CSS option, for sure.
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Postby ZiRta on Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:29 am

oh GOD. hahahahhaha! You won't believe me this, but I was about to post this same tutorial with Haloscan+rawdate tag :o Serves me well for waiting two years xDD

Anyway... if you still aren't sure to try it, check out Lowroad75... it has the traditional guestbook/forum combo but the comment pop-up has become the strongest feedback source... It's easier for the readers, better for the authors, infinitely SUPERIOR to the tagboard! What else do you want? :wink:
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Postby Tetsuo75 on Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:45 am

ziRta wrote:Anyway... if you still aren't sure to try it, check out Lowroad75... it has the traditional guestbook/forum combo but the comment pop-up has become the strongest feedback source... It's easier for the readers, better for the authors, infinitely SUPERIOR to the tagboard! What else do you want? :wink:


Thanks to you Zirta! :wink: I don't know how I used to live without it!
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Postby Kidneo66 on Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:18 pm

Ok i now have a question. I keep updating and I want people to be able to see old news as well as new news, but when I update a page. My comments and stuff go away. How do I stop this from happening? My page is on: kidneo66.keenspace.com
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Postby Plothole on Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:21 am

kidneo66 wrote:Ok i now have a question. I keep updating and I want people to be able to see old news as well as new news, but when I update a page. My comments and stuff go away. How do I stop this from happening? My page is on: kidneo66.keenspace.com


First off, I apologize for such a late response. I'm afraid other matters have kept me from checking this Board for quite awhile.

Okay, I see the problem: You?re attempting to attach comments to your rants/news on another page (something I never intended to demonstrate with this tutorial). You see, this code relies on the Autokeen tag ***rawdate*** to produce the "unique ID" necessary to distinguish each comment box. The trouble is two pronged. First: will the obvious exception for the archive pages, all of your pages will replace ***rawdate*** with the date of the most recently uploaded comic... which is fine, except second: autokeen doesn't (I can?t really) take into account when an incarnation ***rawdate*** was placed on a page. It?ll automatically replace each and every one on with the date to the most current comic. To sum it up, that means your comment button connected to your first entry will always end up linking to the most current entries comments. (I hope this all makes sense... )

As for a solution, well there are a few possibilities:

  • You could swap things around, and simply use the code as it was intended (ie, on your daily and index templates).
  • Of course if you wish to keep things the way that they are, which you probably do, the only thing you can do then is replace the phrase "***rawdate***" with something else for each post (it can be something simple, like the date you posted). Unfortunately this means replacing "***rawdate***" for each and every post.
  • A better option would be to use a service that?s designed to publish news pages/blogs/etc, and which usually include commenting built in... and as a bonus, make publishing the page easier (since it would handle upload, formatting, etc). Such services include LiveJournal, Wordpress, and Blogger.

I?d personally suggest Blogger, as it can actually be published to your CG site directly*, Something Fanny pack has provided an excelent tutorial on how to do.

*If you?re wondering what advantage that would be, well think about it: Potential search engine hits are automatically sent to your site? even if the blogger went down, your news page remains up. (Though the tradeoff there is that you can?t use this page when CG is down)... images uploaded to your CG account within the blog pages.... you get the idea?

ziRta wrote:oh GOD. hahahahhaha! You won't believe me this, but I was about to post this same tutorial with Haloscan+rawdate tag :o Serves me well for waiting two years xDD

Heh.. You know, I was actually wondering about that. I mean, the demand for a way to comment on individual comics has been around for awhile, and concept is rather simple when you think about, AND sure enough, by digging around a little, I was able to find a least a couple of CG sites whose use of Haloscan in this way easily predate this page... So why is it no one came forth with a tutorial before me?

Hmm.... oh well. I guess I just got lucky! :lol:

Phalanx wrote:Wow this is impressive!

*Smacks head for having a Blonde moment and not noticing this before*
Wow, thanx!
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Postby Agrilledfish on Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:21 pm

I'd just like to note:

It should be ***raw_date***, not ***rawdate*** in the iframe code. It took me a while to figure out why I didn't have different comments for every comment. :wink:
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