Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CAPTCHA aka Word Verfication

So. I had my eyes pried open this afternoon after seeing a tweet made by @Irisheyz77 about word verification for blogs. She was frustrated after attempting to comment on 3 blogs today, when all 3 required word verification.

CAPTCHA has never bothered me before. I use it on my blog, and most blogs I visit use it as well. I see it as an additional layer of spam protection, and truthfully - I wish my email provider required CAPTCHA to be completed before uploading emails into my inbox. The ratio of spam to "actual" emails is at a headache-causing 3:1. I always looked at it as a positive thing, and did not mind typing it in when commenting on fellow blogger's sites. I never thought of it as a comment deterrent, or a thing from which frustration and aggravation stemmed.

However, after seeing @Irisheyz77 strong reaction, I decided to open it up to Twitterland for additional feedback. Here are some of the replies:

@Irisheyz77: Blogger has a GREAT spam protector. Since they put it in I've had no spam & what does come is caught by it. if it doesn't work....you can always put it back. :-)

@Meghan_Moloney: I find it a bit unnecessary, especially if I'm signing in as one of my existing profiles (Google blogger). An extra step.

@Bookladysblog: Totally agree re: word verification being annoying & a deterrent to commenting. Suppose it depends on how important commenting & conversation are to you.

Like all bloggers, I blog because I love it. I like being able to talk about the books I've read, or the books I want to read. I like being able to showcase indie novels and authors. I like how it's added another layer on to my relationships with authors and publishers. And I also like the interaction it allows me with other bloggers. Nothing makes me happier than when I log into Blogger, and see comments anxiously waiting for me to publish them! And to think that having word verification on my blog might be turing away those very comments that I love so much, well....

Today, I have decided to take the plunge. While I am still going to moderate comments (which means new comments will not appear on a blog post until I publish/approve them), I have removed the word verification process. I will allow Blogger to filter my spam for me, and sit back and wait for that influx of comments I have unwittingly been turning away!

Or.. I am about to find out that the lack of comments had nothing to do with CAPTCHA and has everything to do with the quality (or lack thereof) of my content! Oh Dear!

So let me open this up to you guys: What do you think about comment word verification? Does it stop you from commenting? Does you use it on your own blog, but dislike when others use it? Are you more likely to comment here at TNBBC now that the word verification has been removed?


  1. It doesn't really deter me from commenting if I really want to say something..especially because most of the time I have already typed out the whole comment so I might as well just type in a few silly letters BUT it really does get on my nerves and make me less likely to comment as frequently as I might if I remember that someone has the captcha thing going on.

    I do understand why people want it. I get crazy spamming on the blog but Blogger really has made a great system for that!

  2. I don't use word verification on my blog. I have found that the spam filter does a good job so far. Even before the spam filter was in place I only moderated comments on posts older than 14 days. I found that to be sufficient. Most of the spam I get is on older posts anyway.

    As for word verification from a user standpoint - it doesn't keep me from commenting when I really want to, but I find it annoying. In fact "Captcha" is the most annoying of the word verifications out there. I find them to be totally indecipherable more often than not and many times I have to refresh until I can find one I can decode.

  3. I absolutely agree about the indecipherable-ness. And it's never stopped me from commenting, as Jamie says, I've already typed out the comment, a few more letters won't hurt me. I guess I just always saw it as a positive step to ensure protection against spam.

    Well, it's been over 15 minutes, and I haven't gotten spammed yet :) So far so good!

  4. I took the word-verification off my blog because it really annoyed me to have to do it on other people's blogs. It doesn't deter me from commenting, but I still don't like it. I haven't gotten any spam yet, so I've just kept it off.

  5. I have problems with captcha sometimes when I want to comment from my mobile. It creates error messages and is one of the myriad reasons I recently switched from Blogger to Word Press.

  6. Emily and Nikki, thanks for the feedback. I have done it a few times on my cell phone, and it never gave me issues, so that's another thing I may not have thought of.

    I feel good hearing that most people who took it off aren't getting spam comments. I keep checking my dashboard in fear that one will pop up!

  7. Hello,
    I have just started blogging myself...I agree with the indecipherable issue with captcha- that is my only complaint with it. Otherwise, it wouldn't typically hinder me from making a comment.
    I love your blog by the way- discovered it today! I love, love books too!
    Keep up the good work!

  8. I've never been bothered by it and really don't mind it on other people's blogs, but hearing this feedback, maybe I'll take it off my own!

  9. It's mildly annoying, but not too bad. I took it off mine for a few days and forgot to put it back on. I had a lot of spam for the first few days, but they were all from anonymous, so I turned off anonymous comments, and haven't had any spam in months. :)

  10. I've taken the plunge with you and just took it off my blog! I think that blogger has improved it's SPAM filter. When I first started I got LOTS of spam and it was a big pain.

    But, I don't think that's why I get so few comments. I think the big comment posts are the discussion posts and I just don't do those. I do mainly book reviews and unless it's a controversial review, what are people going to say? "I agree""I disagree!" ;-)

  11. Hooray, GoddessLibrarian - thanks for taking the plunge with me!!

    I try not to let the lack of comments drag me down. I've tried discussion posts before and sometimes they pick up, and other times, no one ever comments. But it's nice to hear from people once and awhile.. who's stopping by, did they like what they saw, did I influence their taste?

  12. Honestly, it doesn't bother me at all. Its like a 5 letter jumble that takes 2 seconds to type in. I think its a good deterrent from spam and it doesn't bother me to put it in :]

  13. S.Leighanne, That's how I felt - a good deterrent, pretty easy to handle... but after hearing all the feedback to the contrary, including those who used to use it, removed it, and haven't incurred any spam - I figured it was worth a shot :)

  14. I hate Captcha with the fires of a thousand suns. Especially on blogs that already have enough crap on their sidebars, as the refreshing capcha just made my commenting take a whole lot longer.

    I do find that I get a lot of comments in general, even on reviews. I think that's partly because my reviews are a decent length so people have something to comment on. I mean, when your review is a paragraph, yeah don't expect people to comment because you give them nothing to respond to. Also, I think I get comments because I have wordpress and there's zero hoops to jump through for commenting.

    But yay for disabling Captcha.

  15. Charmer of CaptchasJanuary 16, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    I am using the captcha from keycaptcha.com that amuses and attracts visitors by a game instead of repelling and annoying them

  16. Tried keycaptcha on ome of my blogs.
    Comments dropped to zero until I uninstalled it!!!