Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Sunday, 12 April 2009

A Word About Verification

I love your comments. I'd like to make it as easy as possible for you to leave them as I believe the conversations we have are the lifeblood of this blog. However, yesterday's spambot incident means unfortunately Word Verification (WV) is back on here to stay. I've chosen WV over comment moderation because I've seen how you respond not only to what I've said, but you also react to the comments left already. I really like that and besides, I always seem to leave the worst spelling mistakes or links that don't work which I can't correct immediately where comment moderation is in place. Of course I realise that comment moderation is easier for you, but I believe the convenience to later readers outweighs this.

I know some of you do find the extra hoop of WV a real pain - it may also stop some of you from joining in - but that's the price I'll have to pay and you're still very welcome to lurk. If the word's unreadable, then refreshing the page usually presents a simpler one. The same solution applies if you get a box with a red cross in it instead of a word. For those of you in Blotanical experiencing comment problems when viewing through the Picks page, I find the 'open the page in a new tab' option usually sorts things out. If all fails when you're in here and you're still keen to comment - or indeed if your problem with commenting here hasn't been covered in this post - then you're most welcome to email me at vegplotting at gmail dot com.

Now a word to those of you using Blogger's default embedded comment option. There are some problems with this which you might not be aware of. Sometimes non-Bloggers can't get to comment at all - the above solutions don't work either - and as a Blogger blogger I find the comment process really seems to really get its knickers in a twist if I'm not signed into my Google account at the time. The full-page and pop-up window options don't seem to get these problems, so you may wish to bear this in mind over at your place.

WordPress (WP) users of course don't get any of this because they have the benefit of an in-built spam filter. I believe most Blogger users will cheer very loudly if and when this is provided for us - it's very high up on our wants list. I don't know very much about other blogging platforms such as Typepad or Mac - with these I find the main issue tends to be with page load times rather than the WV process, though I have had problems in the past with page expiry on Typepad blogs when leaving a long comment.

Finally, let's look at the follow-up comment option you can take when leaving comments. Of course it's a marvellous way of finding out what others say about the post and also getting my reply to what you've said. However, if a post is very popular you will find your inbox gets quite full, OR as we found yesterday if a spambot does get through, you will receive some unwanted email(s) from there containing who knows what. The measures I've taken should prevent the latter with regards to Veg Plotting from now on.

I hope this post helps you to understand the thought process I've gone through in choosing the way the comment process works in here: as always, I welcome hearing your thoughts too, especially if it helps me to make the process easier without introducing any risks. I'm also going to put this post in my New Reader links as it not only explains the comment process for Veg Plotting, it may also be helpful for new bloggers to understand some of the issues they may face.

27 comments:

  1. Hi

    Spam and spammers are such a pain in the backside.

    I sure word verification will not detrimentally affect your comments.

    I'll stay tuned.

    Rob

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  2. VP .. I don't use word verification, I used to ages ago but dumped it as an experiment, and so far I haven't been jammed with spam .. This can all get to be a bit much when all you want is to post and allow other gardeners to leave a comment if they want to. I can't think logically this morning so I'm not to sure what I just said makes sense .. chocolate deprivation ? haha

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  3. I took off the WV a few months ago. Now, you've got me thinking it's time to put it back in place.

    Hope not too much damage was done. I've been out in the garden for several days and not getting around to blog reading much.

    Cheers,
    Cameron

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  4. Rob - too right and thanks very much for your support.

    Joy - you use comment moderation (CM) if I remember correctly? I've thought long and hard about this one, but have chosen WV for the reasons I've outlined in this post.

    Cameron - I noticed that you and lots of others don't use WV or CM at all with apparent impunity. It was that which 'helped' me to take it off when I was reading about how much a pain some bloggers find WV. In my case the spambots found me in less than 2 weeks - perhaps I'm unlucky, but I'm not going to do anything which puts mine and others computers at risk from now on. Hence WV is here to stay.

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  5. Happy Easter! or Spring! if you prefer......

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  6. Don't worry we'll still want to comment on your posts - too interesting not to.

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  7. Petoskystone - Happy Easter's fine thank you! I hope you're having a good holiday too.

    Hermes - that's most kind of you :) Have a good Easter.

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  8. I'm with Hermes; I'll always post on blogs I like even when WV sometimes misbehaves. It's a small price to pay (what, five seconds of my time?) to help ensure peace of mind on your end, believe me.

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  9. Ha, the word actually showed up this time, VP! I feel very guilty here, since I was one of the complainers about not ever seeing your word verification. Then you took it down and look what happened! (Scream.) The way I look at it, if I can comment, great; if not, what have you lost?! And I'll keep reading anyway!

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  10. I had not noticed that you had removed the word verification VP albeit briefly by the sound of it. With Blogger though I can usually read the words so it's no big deal to copy them. I think that it's Word Press where I really stuggle to read them but if it thwarts the spammers so be it.

    A Happy Easter to you :)

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  11. You gotta do what you gotta do -- spammers are a pain in the butt and, of course, can be destructive, too.

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  12. WV hasn't stopped any of us from visiting you VP! Sorry about the harassment from the spambot! Gail

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  13. Some of the verification words are quite funny. The one I'm staring at now is 'sumpuze' . BTW I've lost my site views counter on blogger it has stuck at 6900 for the last 4 or 5 weeks. hmm

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  14. Jodi - that's exactly what I think when I comment on other blogs. Thank you.

    OFB - don't feel guilty. There was blog chatter about this long before we were talking about it and seeing lots of people not using WV or comment moderation lulled me into a false sense of security. And hurray - you managed to comment with WV on - much appreciated :)

    Anna - it's not WP as you're not asked to type a word in. It's probably Typepad.

    Nancy - yes they are a pain :(

    Gail - it was my own stupid fault. Fingers crossed there's not any harm done elsewhere.

    Matron - I often find it funny too, especially when it fits with the post of the type of blog. It's good to be able to make fun of a necessary evil sometimes :)

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  15. So sorry about your spam problem! I've had a couple strange comments left on my posts occasionally, but nothing that was really spam--as far as I know.

    The word verification doesn't bother me, and if it helps prevent spam, then it's certainly worth it. I've found that if I type the word incorrectly, the next word is much easier--Blogger must think I'm dumb:) I've had some problems leaving comments on certain blogs, but I've concluded it's something in the way my computer is set up and I've yet to figure out the problem. I could use a live-in computer tech!

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  16. I can't comment with the embedded comment option because my Google account ID is different from my gmail account & it won't let me choose which one to use & defaults to the wrong one. I wish there was a way to change that. I support your decision to go with word verification. I've used it all along & I don't see me changing that anytime soon.

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  17. I use both word verification and comment moderation--I think I'm a bit of a control freak...

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  18. Rose - I've noticed the next word tends to be easier too - thank goodness!

    MMD - Thanks for the support and for the extra info about problems with the embedded comment form.

    Susan - I had spotted you did that and wondered why - now I know ;)

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  19. What a nightmare VP
    Spambots are the pits, I have to delete about 60 comments every day which are from bots, and I am now going to have to look for a plug in to stop them ever reaching my site.
    Fortunately the spam catcher is good at wordpress so they just go straight to the spambox - my fear is that a real comment will go there, so I always look through them, in fact only one real comment has gone there by mistake.
    Also I have the option to moderate comments which I do just for "new commentators", which is a good, as it means my regular readers will just be able to comment -
    I prefer word verification to comment moderation!
    K

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  20. PS
    I was wondering how I missed this post and the previous one, but have realized it was over the Easter period, and I had a little blogging break.
    This is the other reason I like word verification I can add PS's
    K
    :)

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  21. Those darn spammers drive me nuts! I too added the WV. Hated to do it, but I think everyone understands. I surely understand you putting it on. I usually subscribe to the follow up comments. You can at any time unsubscribe so it works when it gets to be too much or I've seen a response.

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  22. Karen - I'm apalled at how much spam gets caught by WP each day. That's a lesson for us all re our website's security. Like you, I would be afraid that a genuine message would get through, though with so many comments it would be so easy to miss. You've also answered my question about what happens to new visitors' comments as I knew you have the option to accept comments from 'known' email addresses, but of course you get new readers all the time. Thanks. Good point about WV vs. CM.

    Tina - thanks for the support - WV or CM's a necssary evil isn't it? And that's a good point about the ability to unsubscribe once you've seen your reply or if things get too much.

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  23. You are very welcomed. I will keep WV on for a while then see how it goes. I don't like it at all.

    Now I will unsubscribe:)

    Have a great day!

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  24. VP, sorry me again :)
    After reading this post and the previous one, I went back to my wordpress dashboard to look at the options, and one of them is to close comments after x number of days.

    I decided to close comments after 14 days, and my spam bot comments dropped from 60 odd to 3.

    I dont often get comments on posts older than 14 days, (although I may up this timescale to 20 days).

    I will have to put something on my blog saying about this, but I thought I would post it here in case it helps anyone else.
    K

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  25. Tina - thanks, hope you're having a good weekend :)

    Karen - that looks like a useful option for other WP bloggers to know about. It also means not so much of a slog for you and more chance of spotting the genuine comments that have gone to the spambox by mistake :)

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  26. Dear Michelle, I really love the idea of small, recycled bottles greenhouse. Little bit scared to build it in my garden, but very, very tempted :)

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  27. Hi Ewa - I think you meant this for my Chelsea Ideas post, but I know exactly what you mean. Let's start collecting those bottles now!
    xxx

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