This is a screen shot of my settings page with regard to blog comments. Please click to enlarge to see the details. For some time we've been experiencing troubles here on the Bridge and Beyond with people who used to comment regularly having trouble. Some of the problems were people who were now getting those awful captcha things. I hate them so much, I typically won't visit a blog that has them enabled. I've had probably 15 blogs over the years in several different blog mediums. Spam has truly NEVER been enough of a problem that I felt inconveniencing my faithful blog readers was worth it. It seems like inviting someone to your house and not opening the door when the door bell rings. AND, it puts the work on the reader vs me the blogger, which I also believe to be wrong. Working through many different blogs through the last 10-15 years, I've settled here on blogspot. They've always had a very good filter, and weeded out 99.9% of the spam without my using the captcha. However, it seems now even with my purposely choosing NOT to use the captcha it's there for many of you, who visit and comment. This apparently is triggered by anonymous comments. Sadly, we've lost many of our faithful and vocal supporters because of it. I've researched this problem high and low over the last couple of months and it seems "they" (Blogger/Blogspot) have decided even if it's not enabled it might be used for some people when comments are made using anonymous. I apparently can't control that anymore. Looked at using other formats for blogs and find, many of the options are no longer free so will be staying right here on blogspot.
Moving on now to problem #2. Experimenting around, as well as researching.......I find I am not able to delete anonymous as an option and keep the name and url option. I've always suggested to people to not use the anonymous option, as their comments often end up in the spam folder; to instead use the name and url option and simply leave the url space blank if they do not have a blog url, or facebook or ravelry profile url. In the past that worked fine. Sally and Marjorie, two of our best supporters by way of comments have been two of the people who've let me know they're not able to comment and or if they do it takes multiple tries and they get the captcha. I'm not clear how many others we've lost that haven't communicating directly with me to let me know; but I do know our stats across the board are indeed down. Our comments are down, page visits are down, donations are down. It would seem this could be all tied in together. Though I know many people simply change whom they donate too based on a new interest so I can't completely say that's the only thing causing the numbers to decrease vs grow as they have every other year since beginning the blog back in 09 or 08.
My options are to do away with anonymous, but then it seems if our faithful knitters and crocheters who don't blog, or have an open ID (meaning they would still need to register somewhere) wouldn't be able to comment at all. So, that doesn't seem like a good solution either.
My sincere apology to those who dislike the captcha as much as I do, have trouble seeing and or hearing it. I've tried to get several people to test things for me, to let me know if they're a blogger, to let me know what they see, and whether or not they get the captcha; but haven't succeeding in getting enough people that's it's a valid test. I've even asked that they do screen shots so I might see what's going on at that end, but many folks don't know to do that, so haven't received any. For the time being, it seems the best I can do is to again ask people to use the name and url option if they aren't bloggers, to avoid the anonymous option and to keep communicating with me.
I've been making a few changes here and there on blog and will possibly be using a new template...though I'm not sure it will change the comment problem, it might help with more then just a new clean fresh look here on Bridge and Beyond.
Did you see the year end totals? If not, click HERE
Did you read specific details regarding Afghans? If not, click HERE
Please pop in tomorrow for details on stats regarding scarves and more.
All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.