Sunday, 22 May 2005

Haloscan: how to find the post for a comment or trackback

One difficulty with Haloscan commenting/trackback is that it's hard to figure out which blog post a comment or trackback is for. (In previous posts I've covered pros/cons of Haloscan vs Blogger commenting, how to just use Haloscan trackback or commenting, and how to use another free trackback system). The answer is often covered in the forums for Haloscan but it's a common question so there's no harm in repeating the how to (for Blogger blogs), plus I include a form and a bookmarklet you can add to your browser toolbar to speed the process up in future.

[Edited 5 Feb 06:] You can find out which post a comment or trackback relates to from its Post ID number (from your Haloscan Manage Comments or Manage Trackback page, under the first column headed "Post"). I find it can be a bit of a pain accurately highlighting the number for copying and pasting; if you do too, and you have Firefox, get the free CoLT extension and then you can just rightclick the number and choose a menu item to copy the link text (i.e. the Post ID number) to clipboard easily, for pasting into the form or bookmarklet box below.

Use this form or bookmarklet

If you're on Blogger you can use this form to find out which post a comment or trackback relates to - just fill in your blog ID and the Post ID for the comment/trackback entry you want to find out about and hit "Find Post" - you'll have to scroll down to see the body of the post:

Alternatively, I've produced a favelet or bookmarklet you can use (but NB you MUST edit it first or it won't work, see below as to how). Then you can use it whenever you want to find a post from its post ID, right from your browser toolbar. Here's the link (see below on how to use it):

[Edited 24 March 2006:] NB Blogger sometimes messes up the code for the bookmarklet when I republish. If that link doesn't work, try my bookmarklets web page, item 2.
What's a favelet or bookmarklet? If you're unfamiliar with bookmarklets or favelets, well here's my own definition: bookmarklets are things you can add to your browser's Favorites/Bookmarks, or Links bar or Bookmarks toolbar folder, where they appear just like another item in the toolbar or Favorites or Bookmarks list. When you click a bookmarklet in your Favorites/Bookmarks or toolbar it does something (hopefully useful!) - like help you create code for Technorati tags, bookmark a Webpage, produce a shortened URL for the webpage you're visiting (e.g. on TinyURL), etc.

Bookmarklets are usually presented as links on Webpages. Just drag the link to your Links or Bookmarks toolbar and drop it there or, if that doesn't work (some versions of Internet Explorer), rightclick the link, choose Add to Favorites and navigate to your Links folder, add it there and voila. You could also just leave the bookmark/favorite in your Favorites or Bookmarks list, if you prefer, and access it from there. Or you can click the link direct from the original webpage to access the same functions, if it doesn't work from your toolbar/Favorites (IE6 doesn't like long code in bookmarklets for some reason - Firefox works fine).

this favelet won't work unless you edit it. After you add that link above to your browser toolbar as described above, you need to change "1234567" to your blog ID (to find out your blog ID see Blogger Help).

How to edit a favelet

To edit a favelet, rightclick it in your toolbar; choose Properties. To edit its name, change the Name line, and to edit what the script does, edit the URL or Location line - but obviously the latter only if you know what you're doing, or you may stop it from working!

In the case of this particular bookmarklet, you should click in the URL line (or Location line, for Firefox), unhighlight the whole line, change just the 1234567 to your blog ID (but don't change anything else), and hit OK.

What the form or favelet do

They're just a shortcut for this:
  1. First, find out your blog ID if you don't know it already. (Blogger Help page on how.)
  2. Login to Haloscan and copy the long number from the Haloscan Post ID column as mentioned above.
  3. In your browser type, changing YourBlogID to your blog's ID number and Longnumber to the long number you copied from Haloscan.

Longer step by step

I find this is also a quick way, especially if you're already logged in to your Blogger dashboard:
  1. Log in to Haloscan, and in the Manage Comments or Manage Trackback view there's a column called Post ID.
  2. Under the Post ID column note down the long number against the blog entry you're interested in - best to highlight the number and rightclick or Ctrl-c to copy it to clipboard for speed and accuracy.
  3. Log in to your Blogger Dashboard and click your blog name. You should come to the Posting page.
  4. If you're not on the Edit posts page, click Edit posts.
  5. Against any of the posts in the list (a short one is quicker), click the Edit button.
  6. Click in the window address bar showing the URL, unhighlight the whole line and delete JUST the last number after "postID=" (but leave the first bit of the URL in place exactly as is).
  7. Paste in the number from Haloscan that you copied earlier (rightclick or Ctrl-v) and hit Go or Enter.
That'll take you to the post that's been commented on or tracked back to, and once you know which one it is you can just go to your blog in the usual way and take a look at the relevant post page or item page.

Multiple blogs

What if you have several blogs? I'm afraid that as far as I know you have to try all the different blog IDs for each one, and see which one works. If anyone else knows a quick way to figure it out, let me know!

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mollyfud said...

Thanks for this.
Isn't there a way to do this with multiple blogs? I am not great at programming in this entry, but couldn't you get the user name and password, query what blogs are available and then loop through each blog to find the postid?

Improbulus said...

Hi Mollyfud. Sorry, maybe it's doable, but it would involve a huge amount of work, probably too much to be worth it. I've consulted my Magical Sheep pardner Truckspy, and he thinks having the blogid found out for you (which is basically what that involves) is really something that should be done on Haloscan's end. Haloscan could make it really easy to link to the post - like putting the permalink in a rel=tag for THEM to process as an easy link back. It's much harder to do this from the Blogger's end. Maybe you could make the request of Haloscan, e.g. in their forums?

asdf said...

Thanks for the post

Improbulus said...

Thanks for the comment Squire.

To make life even easier, use the CoLT extension, which I've edited my post to add a mention of - it makes it a doddle to copy the post ID from the Haloscan page to paste into the form above or the bookmarklet box.

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Improbulus said...

Thanks for the comment, glad to have been of help!

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சீனு said...

But, is there any way to find the BlogId and PostId of a page just by knowing the Permanent Link of the post (and not by visiting the page and viewing the source).

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