Some of you are using HaloScan to see how many people are reading your blog in real time. It also offers to manage your comments for you. I even have the counter installed on this site but not the comments.
When I installed it and first looked at my handy work there was a link just below the ‘online’ counter that said ‘Adult Content’ or something like that. ICK! I somehow managed to remove that and just leave the counter.
Then I noticed that all of my previous comments were GONE! Oh horrors – I have so few I couldn’t stand that so I went back to the haloscan site and did a little reading and found that they comments were still ‘around’ but haloscan can’t access them unless you get the paid version. Hmmmm… I’m not really into paying for something I can get for free (comments) so I rolled back Haloscan (but somehow kept the counter) and called it good.
I was just over on SBFH and attempted to post a comment when I noticed about 4 or 5 links at the bottom of her comment popup. They all looked suspiciously like the crap that gets swept to my spam folder. Windows XP for $50! Speed Up Windows! and so forth. When I tried to submit my comment I got a 404 as if HaloScan could read my negative thoughts about those ads.
So – Word, people. HaloScan is not precisely free. It does not cost you to use the free version and you get some goodies (trackback, the counter, the popup thing and apparently something called gravatars) but you become the purveyor of links to stuff that most people consider spam.