Sunday, February 26, 2012

Commenting and Word Verification

In addition to appreciating the comments I receive, I love leaving comments, too. I do it a lot.  Some of you regular posters may have noticed that.   Really, I'm not virtually stalking you.  I comment on the majority of the blog posts I read.

Lately, however,  it seems that a large portion of bloggers have set up word verification.  Often the "words" are ridiculously difficult to read such as these examples posted on  Markd60's blog:

Who has the time to try to figure out what these things say?  A big thank you to Mark for taking the time to collect these. I haven't had the patience to stick around and copy them.   I'm usually so frustrated by that point that I just click out.  Of course my nice, carefully written comment is then nothing more than wasted time.

I know that I could just NOT comment on your blogs while still keeping them on my list.  However, there's no way to know that word verification is needed until after I've taken the time to compose a comment.   It's the equivalent of starting a conversation with someone and then. just as that person is about to respond, asking them for two forms of identification. I read too many blogs to keep track of which ones are using WV.  If you're on my list, I obviously love your blog, but  I have to say that I'm seriously considering dropping some blogs to avoid the frustration and wasted time.  

There are two possible solutions I want to share with you (with tutorials for Blogspot blogs).  Please, please consider either:
  • giving a warning that verification is needed BEFORE the comment box or
  •  removing the word verification.
Tutorials for each:

Removing Word Verification (preferred method to keep me following your blog AND commenting):
1.Go to your dashboard:
2. Click "Settings"
3. Click "Comments" in the Settings submenu  (There is also a tab named "Comments" along side the above mentioned "Settings",  but that is the not the place.  First click "Settings", then there will be a "Comments" there for you to click on.
4. Scroll down to where it says "Show word verification for comments?" and click on the "No" button.
5. Scroll down and click the "SAVE SETTINGS" button.

Keeping Word Verification with a Note Warning Would-be Writers of Comments (I'll keep following, but probably will not comment):
1.  Go into "Settings" as above
2.  Click on "Comments"
3.  Scroll down to "Comment Form Message"
4.  Type a note in the box there stating that word verification is needed for commenting.  It could be a simple," Word verification is needed in order to comment."   This forwarning will let allow readers to decide whether they have the time and/or energy to deal with the extra work involved.
5.  Scroll down and click on "Save Settings" at the bottom

If you use something other than Blogger, I'm sure your blog support company would be more than happy to show you how to do these.  Thanks for your consideration.


  1. It seems that Blogger turned it on during some update - I'm not sure if they did it to everybody or just random (un)lucky people. Mine was never on and then I found - POOF - it was on! I certainly didn't turn it on - I hate that thing. I prefer to moderate the comments instead of using that horrid "prove you're not a robot" nonsense. Oh - and they even made it difficult to turn off, as you have to go to the old interface if you're using the new one!

  2. I had a feeling that Blogger had done something because it seems that the number using word verification suddenly grew annoyingly large. I went to check mine to be sure it was off. (How embarrassing would that be if I'm whining about something I'm doing:-o)

    I didn't change to the new interface despite bloggers many offers when I was in there playing with the blog innards. I suppose I shall have to at some point. Good to know that this might happen.

    1. I updated this post adding a way bloggers who choose to keep it can, at least, warn people that word verification will be necessary. That seems fair!

  3. I have to say that the new word verification is hard to read at times, although I am getting better at deciphering it. I turned mine off before the new changes, but I do understand why people may want to leave it on, so I think your second point is excellent. If I REALLY want to leave a comment on a post, I'll try the word verification multiple times, but if I'm just leaving an 'oh, that looks cool' comment, I'll only try once. Good post!!!

  4. This is a great post. I have been so frustrated lately. Not only are the word verifications so hard to read but many times for me they flash the word for at most 1 second. I think I end up not being able to leave at least 30% of the comments I'd like to. I like the warning idea!

  5. As much as I hate trying to decipher those word verifications myself I can sort of see the purpose after recently catching the attention of spammers. Before I thought it was a no brainer: unless you're some big-time blogger with lots of notoriety why would that ever be a problem? But then my humble little blog became a target and I would wake up to dozens of annoying spam posts. I temporarily turned word verification back on and that seemed to stop the problem. Since I understand how annoying it can be for readers I've turned it off again but won't hesitate to reactivate it if I start getting spam again. Ultimately I wouldn't let that extra step stop me from leaving a comment on a post I want to respond to so I hope it wouldn't stop my readers either.

  6. I just realized today that it was on. I don't like it either on other people's blogs, even though I can deal with it. I turned it off on mine too after I realized I had to switch to the old dashboard to be able to do it. I saw a post on another blog that Blogger caught 19 of the 20 spam post she received, after turning off word verification, and another user switched their settings so they couldn't receive anonymous posts.

  7. What a great point you're making Baye, I totally agree that it's annoying and slows you down a lot. If you are a blogger you should take the time to look through incoming spam and approve those that aren't too spammy. It's especially irritating if you're a returning reader that often leaves comments - you'd think there would be a better way to welcome those who returns. In wordpress I've set so that comments by returning readers are published without hassle and new to my blog are held for checking. :-)

  8. Excellent post and perfectly timely. I too have noticed that the word verification codes have become increasingly complex!



  9. Thanks so much for the insightful post Baye!! I've turned my settings off - I am new to blogging and have been incredibly frustrated with the verification needed to comment - I must be verification challenged.

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