At long last I am upgrading the comment system on my blog. This change will take place shortly.

The JS-Kit release I have been on is a couple years old. Time and technology have moved on. My choices were as follows:

  1. Write my own software
  2. Wither and Die
  3. Move to Disqus
  4. Migrate to Echo

Number 1 is out. I do not have the time or interest in writing my own. I need a commercial product.

Wither and die hardly seems like a good option.

The choice came down to Disqus vs. Echo.

If you search the internet you can find whatever you want to hear, good or bad, with some users frustrated with one or both of the products.

However, Echo has a couple of significant advantages. First, Echo is a migration. JS-Kit developed Echo. Disqus, would be starting all over.

Second, Echo has attracted quite a following including Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Slate, the Washington Post, Time, and numerous other big-name companies.

Here is a snapshot of some of the companies using Echo.

Moreover, Echo has an open architecture. Enhancements and solutions can be developed by end users. That may take a while but it is an enormous advantage.

Third, I tested and like the new interface. Echo supports sign-ins from the following.

You can also sign-in with your blogger ID (on page 2).

Those sign-ins will work regardless of what computer you are on. JS-Kit had issues moving from
computer to another.

What’s New

Echo will not pop up in a new window as before. Instead, when clicking on “comments” the window will expand inline. This is typical of most other blogger commenting systems but is new to my blog. It takes no more time to do this than pop up a new window.

For new users, login or signup is the same. Just click on one of the options above to sign in.

As before, the first comment from everyone requires moderation. In this case, everyone.

I need some leeway in the time it takes to approve new users. However, I have better tools under Echo to see what comments await moderation. Hopefully the initial response will be faster than before.

The difference is we are starting with a blank slate. Everyone will have to be approved.

Here is the login window everyone will see.

Once you are logged in, simply type your comments in the above box.

Threaded vs. Unthreaded

The debate still rages. Some people like threaded mode. Others don’t. Threaded mode works beautifully when there are under 50 comments. When comments get beyond a few pages, it can become unwieldy.

However, some people always like it. Others want to view comments sequentially by time stamp. It makes it easier to see what is new. Some like new comments displayed first other pure sequential.

There is no right or wrong actually. There are only preferences. Unfortunately, and as is with most other commenting systems, those preferences are not usable selectable.

For now, I have to make a selection. One of the moderators on my board has a strong preference for threaded mode.

Threaded mode it is. Let’s try that for a while and see how it works out. In the meantime, I ask Echo for a user selectable set of controls so everyone can display comments as they see fit.

Migration of Comments

The last couple weeks of comments will be available shortly. A conversion process is already underway for the rest of them. Perhaps I only go back a year or so. Beyond that, I don’t see that much use.

Those details will be up to the Echo team.


I am quite sure issues will arise just as they do with any new system. However, Echo is a big step in the right direction from JS-Kit.

It has numerous capabilities I did not turn on initially including incorporating comments from Facebook, Twitter, and other social network sites.

Thanks to Those Who Helped

With that I want to thank Khris Loux, Andrew Kushnir, Chris Saad, and the rest of the Echo staff for their assistance in this conversion.

Finally, one of the difficulties in this process is that nothing is easy in blogger templates. Here’s to “MDH” who helped me in this effort. This migration would not have been possible without “MDH”.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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