Are You Driving Blog Commenters Away?

For bloggers everywhere comment spam is an ongoing problem. As a result, most blogs have some sort of security mechanism to try to filter most of the robot comment spam and general rubbish.

But is your security set up in a way that actually discourages genuine commenters?

Fortunately for bloggers using the WordPress system, the Akismet security application that it comes with filters out the vast majority of comment spam (at least it does for me) without it clogging up my system.

But for a number of other blogging platforms the only control mechanism available seems to be those annoying CAPTCHAS where you have to enter a string of meaningless letters into a box before you can submit your comment.

Some of them aren’t too bad as they use words with some distortion applied to them rather than random letters. At least then you can read the word and type it in rather than have to keep flicking your eyes back and forth to the random letter string. And some of those letter strings are sooo long.

I find Typepad to be probably the most annoying of these systems. Just when you think you’ve submitted your comment and you wait for the page to refresh, it bumps you to another page where you need to enter the CAPTCHA info. I get caught by this all the time as I flit from tab to tab, not realizing that I haven’t actually completed my comment submission.

The most recent trend in comment submission controls seems to be a little drop down box where you identify which blogging platform you use before you can leave a comment. This is similar to the Blogger requirement where you identify if you are a Blogger user or not.

As someone who publishes on my own server I often find this frustrating. And frequently I am prevented from leaving a comment because the blog owner has not set up their system to allow owner-bloggers like me to leave a comment.

Now I know that pretty much everyone who writes a blog is excited when they get comments and they would want to encourage them. So I’m assuming that these bloggers don’t realise they are actually slamming the door in the face of potential commenters.

This could be you, and you don’t even realise it.

So perhaps you should take a look at your own blog security setup.

Are you inadvertently discouraging commenters?

Remember there are more people out in the blogosphere who use blogging systems other than the one you use. Why not let them into your blogging world too?

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6 Responses to Are You Driving Blog Commenters Away?

  1. Beelissa December 1, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    I totally agree. I have decided not to comment if it’s too difficult. And, I hate it when the captcha is so hard to read that you get it wrong. I tried 5 times the other day before I got one right, it was signing up for a forum, not a comment. If it had been for a comment, I would have given up.

    Beelissas last blog post..Writer Mentoring Program

  2. Leonardo Medina December 8, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    Perhaps we are addicted and familiar with all security hurdles on almost each blog. IO don’t like that commenting system which leads us to another page for filling a captcha. I like diaqus commenting system the most.

    Leonardo Medinas last blog post..Pousada Natalli – Cabo Frio / RJ – Brasil

  3. Personal Trainers January 23, 2009 at 2:45 am #

    Why we have those strict policies regarding our comments? I think we should loose them. Perhaps Akismet is good and we can even implement it on Drupal and even on forums. We should have Akismet version everywhere. On the other hand, I have been reading a snippet on another blog regarding “userfly”, You can record what your users are doing on your site so it is another good utility to catch intelligent spammers.

  4. Drupal Web Developer March 13, 2009 at 11:19 pm #

    This post is really a must bookmarked for me! Thank you so much. :D
    Just asking, do you use Aweber? If so, can you provide more information on this? I am subscribed to your rss to check if you are going to post something on Aweber. :)

    • karooch March 14, 2009 at 11:15 am #

      I use Aweber on my Step by Step Digital Scrapbook Site but not on Scraps of Mind. I use PHP List for my newsletter here. I’m not planning on any Aweber articles in the near future.


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