The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Blog Boggled: Sneakery, Piquery, and Downright Skulduggery

          Have you ever felt like calling the blog police?  Have you experienced a break-in at your blog site?  By that I'm referring to unwelcome blog comments or those weird things that are in no way comments, but just weird things that seem to come from out of the blue--intrusions on the idyllic peacefulness of your blog.  Or have you yourself ever been a blog invader?   And what exactly constiutes invasion?  These are just a few of the questions I would like to ponder today and hopefully get some good feedback from you readers.

       Recently I followed the advice I found on a blogpost by Tamara Heiner  about eliminating the word recognition screening technology known as "Capcha" or "Captcha" which is sort of an acronym which stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart".  In other words, it is a test which is supposed to keep automated spamming programs from invading our sites and leaving useless advertising messages or nefarious web addresses on our comment pages.

        As I stated in a previous Blog Boggled post, I eliminated the Capcha test to see if it increased my comments in any way.   It's only been two weeks but I have my initial conclusion:  I don't know for sure, but I don't think it matters that much.  The rate of comments has remained about the same and seems to correspond according to how much I have commented on other blogs.  I really don't think other bloggers mind the Capcha that much, and probably, like I did, learned how to avoid losing comments.  Actually, I sometimes enjoy seeing what the "word" is and have noticed others, as well as myself, mentioning the capcha identification word in their comments.

           Has my spam increased?  Maybe--I'm not real sure.  I think some of the off the wall things are manually entered by some person in India or somewhere--and this is not to be derogatory towards India, but I've seen the link for "Work at Home India" or something like that..  I've also gotten repeated messages at different times, messages that I've seen appear in other blog comments, about investing or other weird stuff. They usually have a link to click on or a web address, but no way am I going to click on these links or go to these web addresses unless they really appear to be legitimate and harmless.

         I understand some people are merely advertising their businesses and I have the option of deleting their messages and that's what I do unless there is something humorous about the message and I want to let it into my comments.  We all have the option of controlling what we publish in our comments if we have the "Comment moderation" box checked in our settings. I get comments emailed to me first in order for me to screen before I publish or reject them.  However, I've seen some of these spam comments showing up in some blog comments so maybe those blogs aren't moderating their comments or they are just publishing everything that comes their way.   Did you ever see one of those messages all in Chinese characters or something like that?

         Now personally I have promoted my own blog through another blog's comments.  But I try to always be polite about it, leave a relevant comment, or have a sense that the person upon whom I am intruding might be interested in the post I am promoting.  I don't like to think that I am an intruder on their blog, but a guest with something I'd like to share.  I welcome a visit to my blog from another blogger who wants to share something they've posted.  It rarely happens, but when it does I think it's kind of friendly--kind of like a neighbor dropping by with some cookies they've baked or something they've grown in their garden.

        Then there are those visits that just pique my curiosity about the other bloggers--which is every new visit from a blog I haven't seen before.  That's part of the fun of commenting and getting comments.  Just popping in on strangers to see if they'd like a new friend is kind of fun and can lead to some valuable relationships. 

          When the visits are genuine attempts to make positive contact, to learn, to advise, to give support, or even to constuctively criticize or disagree, I think it is perfectly acceptable and welcomed by nearly all of us who blog.  But those sinister invasions meant to do us harm or make us look bad in the eyes of others are something we can all do without.  There are things that ol' computer dummies like me don't totally understand--like viruses, bots, spys, and what-nots.   I just want to blog and enjoy the community.

           If you've gotten rid of "capcha", did you notice any increase of comments?  Increase in spam?  How do you deal with spam?  Have you ever clicked on one of those weird links in comments?  Have you ever had a bad experience after clicking on a link or going to a site meant to harm your computer?   Have you ever promoted one of your blog posts on someone elses site?  How do you feel about others doing this in your comments?

            I found another excellent post on improving your blog at  Living Out Loud .  Check it out.
            Also, as pointed out in the comments here L. Diane Wolfe also has a post about this today.


  1. Hey, I blogged about this today as well!
    I've never used the verfication, although I monitor comments on posts over a week old. That's where I see most of the spam comments. The few that show up on current posts, I just delete.
    The ones that drive me crazy use both the verification and blog owner approval. That seems like overkill to me...

  2. I do the word recognition, though I've never seen spam my comments. The main reason for this is two of my blogging friends have a stalker, who shows up periodically and I delete her comments.

  3. I've had a few odd bloogers of late, they have commented on my blog,I have clicked onto theirs to have a look at their blog only to discover they don't have one. Then again I do get links on a few of my comments but don't click on for security reasons.
    If I do get a new person comment I do like to see what their blog is of any interest to me.

    The spam on my emails are never ending, I used a new email address for my blog and within a week of changing addresses my spam increased....I did wonder why.


  4. I got rid of capcha, have had no spam and more comments have come my way.

    It's so easy to erase comments or block people or moderate comments that I didn't see the value add to capcha. And I did know it annoyed some bloggers.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. Thanks for entering the contest for the 100 Followers!!! Yes I think you should definitely do a little contest for 200 Followers! It's a lot of fun!

  6. I put captcha back up because of spam I recieved as soon as it was down. Other than the spam I didn't notice a change in comments either.

    And guess I should have thought about including you in the one word question posts/awards I got hit with.

  7. If I like what I read on someone else blog I will leave a comment whether they have Word verfication, blog owner approval or not.
    My old blog was attacked by spam and I wouldn't want to come online to find something nasty has been sitting on my blog all day without me knowing about it, no more than I would leave my front door wide open.

  8. What a great post! I honestly have never even thought about the capcha thing.

    I've seen it when I comment other sites and as you point out - I'm usually entertained by whatever word pops up - but I didn't find it irritating at all. But I can see how it would be. I may just jump on board and see what happens if I turn mine off as well.

    I can always turn it back on, right?

    Happy Monday!

  9. When I first started my blog, I used the capcha box for a long time. Then I took it off, again for a long time, until just last week. I started receiving some spam, so I put it back on again. So far it hasn't affected my comments.

  10. I can't stand capcha. I took it off and have had no problems, and yes I got more comments but that might be because I completely revamped my blog about the same time. AND started following a bunch of new blogs via Nicola's blog party. (Like yours.) The only spam I got and that was before I removed it was some stupid phrase that meant nothing. It didn't bother me.

  11. rLEE-b ~
    After deleting "Capcha", I noticed an IMMEDIATE increase in spam notices and nonsensical comments.

    In fact, just this morning I found a comment submitted to each of my two Blogs. Both comments said something like: "Great. But do you really think it will work?" Or something like that. I allowed the first one to post, thinking he/she was legitimately responding to something in my Blog Bit or to one of the previously posted comments. But after finding that it didn't seem to be relevant to anything, I removed the comment.

    Then I discovered the second comment which said basically the same sort of thing. This one, of course, I immediately rejected (without allowing it to publish).

    I don't know what the point of trying to post these irrelevant comments was. But, as I said, "Capcha" seems to greatly reduce the number of unwanted comment submissions. Nevertheless, I won't be reinstalling "Capcha" because I also believe it was responsible for "eating" genuine comments submitted by my friends on numerous occasions. And it's certainly easy enough to just click "Reject" anytime some goofy comment or spam thang gets submitted.

    Yak Later, Bro.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

  12. To be honest I really don't know what people have to do to comment on my blog! How sad is that?! I set my blog up after reading a grand total of 3 blog posts on other blogs. Didn't know what I was doing AT ALL! So, off I go know to check it out... :)

  13. Hey, I just discovered you through your comments on Diane's blog. Great post.

    I think self promoting your blog thru a relavent comment is a great idea and a great way for people (like me today) to discover you.

    I've started moderating comments because I recently started getting a lot of spam comments with iffy links.

    A warning to others, I also recently got an email from a uk atique site that said they were featuring my blog, given it an award and would like to be featured on my page. when I went to check them out, my computer froze. It didn't do any damage but I instantly deleted the message. Be careful is you get this email.

  14. Thanks to all of you for your helpful comments. We all have our reasons for whatever we do and I guess it's all a matter of what works for you. If anyone figures out the definitive answer please let us all know.

    David West -- I have been seeing those one word tests and as I mentioned on a comment to Carrie Heim Binas, I think I'd have a hard time to keep it at one word.

    Kristi -- if you turn capcha off, yes, you can always turn it back on. Probably doesn't hurt to experiment with it.

    KarenG -- I get those stupid meaningless phrases every once in a while. I like the ones the say my blog has helped them do a college paper. Weird college.

    Stephen McC I saw that "do you think it will work" and thought it was legit. But yeah, if you got it twice? Rejecting a comment is easy. Losing one is no fun.

    Jemi -- whatever you have on your comments doesn't seem to matter -- You sure get a lot of comments.

    Creative -- thanks for the warning. You can self promote in my comments any time you want as long as it's tasteful and I feel it's relevant. Otherwise--zap!


  15. I will be posting a link to this post on my blog tomorrow.

  16. In hate CAPTCHA, but I use it. The reason for my dislike is that my eyesight is poor. Sometimes I try several times to type it correctly. When I'm in a hurry I giv3e up after two tries.

    It's never stopped me from trying to leave a comment.

    I've noticed an increase in my blog visits when I publicize it on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.


Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.