Is Blogflux Commentful dead?

UPDATE 30th January 9.50 PM GMT: Jacob from Blogflux has replied in a comment, thus proving that his company is not dead. The problem with the contact page seems to have been fixed – at least they responded to a test message with a proper Message Received page, not the word “shoo”. But mail to is still being bounced.

FURTHER UPDATE 30th January 10.00 PM GMT: When I tried to resubmit my list of problem web pages, the “shoo” message reappeared. Perhaps the reason for this is that the system is rejecting messages over a certain length, or containing more than a certain number of links to websites. While I can understand this as a sensible anti-spam measure in some cases, it does seem a perverse one for use by a company which provides web-based software and so needs to be informed about problems with websites. And I consider it very rude to respond even to probable spammers with a message like “shoo”, because of the likelihood of false positive spam detections. It costs (very nearly) nothing to respond with a polite message about spam.

I use Blogflux Commentful to keep track of comments on blogs which I read and comment on. Usually it seems to work well. But its working has recently become erratic; in fact basically it is failing to pick up new comments on many (but not all) posts on several of the Blogger blogs I read, including Complegalitarian and Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream. So I cannot recommend this product at least until it is fixed.

But I not hold my breath for it to be fixed. This is because I have been unable to contact Blogflux to report these problems with Commentful. When I submit feedback through their contact page, their response is a simple page with just the message “shoo”. Now I don’t know if this is an intentional message or just a random one, but to me a message “shoo” is very rude! And then when I try to submit my comment to the e-mail address which they give, I get a rejection message

550 <>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual mailbox table

This situation has persisted for several hours. In other words, Blogflux appears to have terminated support for their products and blocked every way of contacting them. I have searched their site for any indication that they are working on fixing a temporary problem – which they could have reported in place of the message “shoo”.

Blogflux and Commentful are stated to be resources provided by Bloggy Network LLC, but they offer no contact information at all. The domain is registered to Enthropia Inc in Toronto, Canada, for which at least I can find a mailing address (PO Box 592, Station-P Toronto, ON M5S 2T1 CA) and an e-mail address. So I will send them a copy of my feedback with a link to this post.

11 thoughts on “Is Blogflux Commentful dead?

  1. Might I recommend taking advantage of feeds? Practically every modern blogging platform these days offers syndicated feeds for blog posts, all comments, and comments for specific posts. When I want to follow a discussion, I just add its feed to my feed reader (I use Google Reader, but if use a client-side email client you might want to use that) and I won’t miss anything.

    Sorry to hijack the post though. Sounds like these Bloggy Network people are just as unprofessional in their support channels as they were in picking a name.

  2. On second thought, following comments using feeds isn’t for the uninitiated. Many blog themes (like yours, Peter) don’t automatically include a link to a post’s comments feed (although yours does provide a link to all comments for the entire blog). This leaves the reader to figure out the feed’s address. One could subscribe to the comments for this post by inserting feed=rss2& between the ? and the letter p in the post’s address, and on WordPress blogs that use friendlier permalinks, one needs only to add /feed to the end of a post’s address. And of course, other blogging platforms have different rules (if any) for making this happen.

    So, please feel free to delete both of my comments, Peter. I had fun explaining myself, but I see it adds no value to your frustrations with Blogflux Commentful.

  3. I will have someone look into the commentful and “shoo” message right away. I can assure you the “shoo” message wasn’t intentional 🙂

    We are working on fixing our mail problem, we’ve been having some problems with the mail server. In the meantime if you’d like to get in touch, my direct e-mail address is jacob [at}

  4. Jacob, thanks for your helpful response. I look forward to being able to report that things are working OK. I will investigate now.

    Jason, thanks for your helpful suggestions. I would indeed follow per-post comment feeds if these were more easily accessible. I suspect that the problem for Commentful as well as for me using them directly is that the formats for these feeds are highly inconsistent. I wish I could find a theme which has both the look and the features which I want, without me having to spend a lot of time customising it. I feel tempted to go back to a default theme simply because it should have all the standard features.

    Nathan, thanks for the encouragement.

  5. I have found co.mments to be helpful. I track a post by hitting a button in my bookmars toolbar and also follow my co.mments page in my feeds list on bloglines. Even so, keeping track of comments on others’ blogs is tricky!

  6. Just discovered that Commentful has in fact fixed the problem with several of the posts for which it was not tracking comments properly. If the problems are indeed being ironed out, I will stick with it rather than co.mments.

  7. So BlogFlux Commentful seems to be OK, but what about the BlogFlux Directory itself? Their blog has not been updated since mid-2007 and the “newest” blog additions and directory stats were last changed around the same time! Is it still worth submitting a site for inclusion in their directory or are there better ones out there?

  8. Blogflux in general seems to be MIA. Their forum is full of spam and has been for months. The service fades in and out and none of my support tickets got any reply at all.

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