This is a guest post by Sylver.
I just participated in an exciting, pay-it-forwrd Blogelina comment-fest of herculean proportions!
I attracted oodles of new visitors, discovered scads of scrumdillyicious new blogs, and made gaggles of new FBriends.
My rating for Blogelina? Five stars + 203 new commenters!
In spite of the overall splendiferous experience, I am writing this post out of pure frustration. A frustration borne from dozens and dozens (and dozens!) of diligent attempts to leave well thought-out comments on Fort Knox-protected posts.
Yes, though I made wonderful new friends and followers during this yummy event, sadly, I also made one lifelong enemy.
I knew we’d never last after the 7th attempt on the 47th blog to type in the squiggly, warped letters, that – no matter which letters you think they are, they’re not – teased and taunted me until I went from “Oh, darn!” to “Oh, #%@&!!”
CAPTCHA is Comments barbwire.
And, trust me when I tell you, there’s an enormous community of commenters who believe that scaling barbed wire is not a fun sport!
Besides, who wants to be pricked for trying to show love?
But, in the spirit of 100 comments, I put my heart on my sleeve, threw my schedule to the wind, and spent hours scaling some of the most prickly barbwire in the blogosphere.
Even when I managed to get a comment through, and had the desire to leave more comments on other delicious posts, that was never going to happen.
No waaaay would I crawl through those steel thorns again…and again….and again, and again - no matter how many posts I adore!
Such a perfect name for a tricky spider that CAPTCHAs you in a web of frustration!
What if I have exactly 6 minutes before leaving to pick up my kids from school, and I choose to spend those precious free minutes commenting on one of your delightful posts – but instead end up wanting to strangle rather than follow you because of the CAPTCHA Joker laughing at me from your Comments box?
And CAPTCHA wasn’t the only thing that kept my Comments at bay.
There were many other Joker grins that sent me packing.
Like this one:
Most people are already registered with at least 2 to 3 of these choices. And, of course, everyone should be able to easily apply the last 2 choices if they are not registered with any of the others.
Mwaaa-haaa-haaa-haaaaaaa! goes the next Joker grin.
Many Blogger blogs required me to sign up for a Blogger account in order to leave a comment. I don’t want a Blogger account. I don’t need a Blogger account. I have plenty of other accounts that your dropdown says I should be able choose from.
Why is your dropdown lying to me? Why is your Comments Joker grinning evilly at me? I just want to leave a comment on your amazing post, and I’m too strapped for time to see the humor!
How many busy visitors do you think will sacrifice extra time to register for an account they don’t need? Maybe a few. But wouldn’t you like more than a few comments?
Oh, the embrace of a blog whose Comment section welcomes me with open arms and Joker-free smiles!
Many of the emails exchanged between new Blogelina friends made during this event, became mutual Joker-smile fallout support sessions: “No, don’t give up!” “Tow the line! We promised 100 comments!” “We can do it!” “Think of all the wonderful Joker-smile-free blogs we’re discovering! It’s a gold mine out there!”
The consensus was that, on many blogs, our experiences went something like this:
- a. Write your well thought-out, wordy comment.
- b. Re-read it, check for errors
- c. click ‘Submit’
- d. Choose your profile i.d.
- e. Repeatedly enter and re-enter CAPTCHA (or, on occasion, cheer vociferously because no CAPTCHA!)
- f. Click ‘Submit’
- g, h, i, j, and k. Nothing happens. Wait, wait, wait, wait, and wait…
- l. Click ‘Submit’ again.
- m, n, o, p, q, r, and s. Wait, wait…wait! It flickered! Yep! There it goes…hang on…it flickered back to an empty comment box. Did my comment go thru? Don’t see it…no moderation message….wtf?
- t. Re-write comment. Shorter & less sweetly.
- u. Click ‘Submit.’ Again. Choose I.D. Repeatedly enter and re-enter CAPTCHA. Again.
- v, w, x. Wait, wait, wait…
- y. Click ‘Submit.’ Again. And again. And againandagainandagain, dammit!
- z. Wait. Nothing. Spew expletives. Close out!
Yeah. That was tedious, right? Imagine doing it rather than reading about it.
Here were some other Joker-smiles:
How about an offer to ‘Leave a Comment,’ but no box to enter your info!
I tried typing everywhere in this box, but no dice. I would love to have alerted the blogger, because it was a great blog, but there’s no way to get in touch with her. :(
My comment was 3 paragraphs long. Of course, when I went back it was gone. So, I re-typed it and copy/pasted it repeatedly to make sure it was long enough (6 paragraphs long now).
You guessed it! Same message!
This message is not in English.
I have no idea what it says, but it was very insistent. It popped up each time I clicked ‘Submit.’
Did my comment go through?
- I was already signed into my Google account, but:
Logged out, signed in again. And again.
And no contact info for the blogger.
When CAPTCHA wouldn’t accept my letters after multi-tries, or my comments didn’t budge after multi-clicks, I really wanted to contact the bloggers of scrumdillyicious blogs to let them know. If it were my blog, I’d want to know that visitors were bleeding out in my
Barbed wire Comments section!
But, here again, Joker smiles.
No Contact page. No email provided. Not an FB friend, so couldn’t leave helpful info in a private message there either. Definitely didn’t want to leave a message in a public forum saying, “Hey! Your blog’s not working!
How many busy visitors do you suppose will take the time to hunt you down?
Real-world answer? Almost none.
Reading blogs is supposed to be fun. Not frustrating.
Wouldn’t it be great if all our blogs welcomed our visitors’ comments rather than bleeding them out with barbwire?
Join me on my blog, and let’s see how we can “Kill the Joker & Kick CAPTCHA to the Curb!“
Sylver Blaque is a writer, documentarist and world traveler. Her blog takes readers on travels through foreign minds - from that impossible coworker in the next cube, to cannibalistic tribes on the other side of the world. Via essays & stories, world news & music, historic time travel, and a diverse community of visitor commentary, layers of culture peel away to expose the visceral belief we all share…the belief that WE are, in fact, the ‘normal’ ones.
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