I hoped this day would never come, but barring a small miracle, it has.
In the next 2 weeks at worst or 2 to 3 months at best, Haloscan will be no more. It isn’t going out of business, the problem is that JS-Kit, the company that bought it about a year ago, has decided to turn it off in favour of Echo, the new commenting platform they’ve developed. If we decide to pay for Echo then all of the nearly 8000 comments that people have posted through haloscan will remain and all will be well, but the chances of that happening aren’t looking good right now. My admittedly limited experience with Echo didn’t exactly leave me with the warm fuzzies and I refuse to pay money for a service that me, Carin and a good number of you cannot easily use.
Unless there are settings that can be customized, the new system is far from accessible using JAWS For Windows version 10, which means there’s a good chance that it won’t work well with other screenreaders either. I tested it using Internet Explorer 7 and Carin tried it out with the latest version of Firefox and the results were bad in IE and even worse in firefox. Neither of us managed to leave a comment, and Carin couldn’t even choose a login option.
So long story short, here’s where we’re at. We’ve got questions out to various people and places asking if anybody knows about the accessibility of Echo if we decide to pay and go that route. I’ve also found out that while I can export everything from Haloscan, I can’t import it into Blogger’s comments so while I would have it all, the site would lose every single comment we’ve ever had, which is a prospect about as pleasant as getting a blow job from a snaggle-toothed leech. so if any of you reading this know of a commenting service that is blind user friendly and will take all of our current comments without complaining much, please let us know. If you’re an Echo person or somebody who knows things about it and how it can be made not to hate the blind, please let us know. And if you’re somebody from Blogger, why aren’t we able to import comments from other places? That’s pretty lame.