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Summary:

This is just a mini-rant for something that has been bothering me for a while and since I just hit it again on a site it’s time to speak up.  I believe that one of the greatest values that a blog provides is the exchange of […]

Writer2121_012310This is just a mini-rant for something that has been bothering me for a while and since I just hit it again on a site it’s time to speak up.  I believe that one of the greatest values that a blog provides is the exchange of ideas with the readers.  For this to be effective it must be simple and quick for readers to enter a comment.  What bugs me are blogs that force readers to register before they can leave a comment.  Now before you go off on a tangent I understand why sites go this route, I truly do.  But I can’t tell you how many times I have read a post on a blog and had something important to add to the conversation, at least from my perspective yet was confronted with a registration process before I could do so.  If you’re like me you don’t have any free time to begin with and you certainly don’t have any to waste with a registration process just so you can add what very well might be the only comment on that blog you’ll ever post.  So you probably do what I usually do and in fact did just now.  You leave the site without adding to the conversation.  Somehow I don’t think that’s what the author wants to happen.

  1. James, the answer is single sign-on (SSO). This could be implemented by using a third party authentication service such as accepting/integrating with a MS Live ID.

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  2. I agree. You can prevent spamming with capchas as you do. As long as we are on pet peeves, mine though is capchas that are impossible to read, requiring a soothsayer to interpret. Fortunately yours are simple enough to read; otherwise this comment wouldn’t have gone through!

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  3. if one goes for singel sign-on, the only real option is openid!

    http://openid.net/

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  4. James, The reason this happens so often is spam, people are sick and tired of having their comments sections filled with adverts and rubbish. I have a totally open comment system on my site but do have to approve each comment, I do not mind doing it and would much rather have it this way than making people register, your right most people would just give up and bloggers do love to get comments.

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  5. Most blogging systems have pretty good spam filtering and the use of CAPTCHAs get a lot too. I think the main reason for signup requirements is to prevent airheads from leaving obscene or degrading comments. A simple system like TypePad uses here gets most of that and lets face it, the blog owner should be responsible for moderating the comments, not the commenters.

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  6. I could not agree with you more. It may only take about 2 minutes for registration but those 2 minutes are enough to break my flow and train of thought.

    The continued insistence by websites wanting you to register only shows their unwillingness to adopt the new means to make life easier. OpenID would just about serve us all and a lot of the websites should adopt it.

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  7. There are several blogs that I refuse to read the comments on. I think an account is needed on a few sites, and then when someone posts 30 comments in a row that don’t add to the conversation they get blocked for life somehow. I’m sick of comment threats that have over a hundred comments but nothing really worth reading; it’s a big let down when you get to the bottom.

    I don’t only follow this blog for just the content. I really enjoy the conversation that’s held in everyone’s comments here as well.

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  8. Speaking of comments, I have one request. Can we get the “recent comment” section placed on the top again? I used the feature of your sidebar the most. I like refreshing the page to see what the recent comments are.

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  9. OpenID!! I’m not adding any more damned passwords to my brain. It’s clutter. I have 3 frikkin OpenIDs: WordPress, YahooMail, and Blogger. That should suffice to tell a blog my Comment is legit and not frikkin spam!

    As for CAPTCHAS (&^%$#@!), I like the Google swervy ones, HATE HATE HATE these fuzzy TypePad ones. JK knows that.

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  10. Well, as we’re on the subject of blog comments, I’ll venture a thought that has been kicking around in the back of my mind. I must make this as general as possible, because I’m really not implying anything about this particular blog. (Really I’m not.)

    If blogs are interesting at all, it’s usually because there are interesting posts from the bloggers, and from commenters. Content comes from two sources. There isn’t equality between them, but in some sense the bloggers and the commenters are playing the same game, and the success of the blog (arguably) depends on both.

    Now, suppose you get to the situation where some contributors, the bloggers, are paid and some contributors, the commenters, are not. Well, maybe that makes sense. The bloggers do more, have gone out on a limb setting up the blog, and so on. In addition, there are precedents. In newspapers, the journalists who write the articles get paid; the people who have letters published do not, even though the letters are sometimes better than the articles.

    All the same, there could be a case for recognising the contribution commenters make. Just as some newspapers have a prize letter, some blogs could, say, award a monthly something-or-other for the prize comment. It could be an incentive to commenters to polish their contributions a bit. (You see, I’m not referring to this blog, where comments are already so polished that I wear dark glasses when reading them.)

    Allan

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