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    NevOn is the archive weblog of Neville Hobson, a British business communicator based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a record of commentary and conversations from December 2002 until 22 February 2006. This site is no longer updated - please visit www.nevillehobson.com.
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« IABC launches News Centre | Main | Discovering Windows Live »

25 January 2006

Comments

Teresa Valdez Klein

Hi, Neville. I tend to agree with you that captcha is a good thing - but I've run into a number of problems with TypeKey. Eventually it leads me to just give up and not comment. I'm all for a commenting system that validates your identity if it helps to cut down on spammers, but TypeKey seems pretty cumbersome to me.

neville

One other thing re the captcha. When I posted my previous comment here, I didn't get the captcha option when I hit the 'post' button.

That must mean this is still in test. Or something.

neville

The timestamps on my two comments above are just weird and out of sequence. I wrote the one about captcha *after* the one replying to Teresa. And 03:21 on 26 January? That's tomorrow morning, yet as I write this comment, it's only 19:40 on the 25th! So I can time travel :)

When approving those comments in TypePad moderation, I got the infamous 'gateway server timeout' message yet again when TypePad published them.

And this comes after waiting a good five minutes for the publishing process to complete on those two comments. That's the fourth time in two days.

Still these server problems with TypePad, it seems.

Jackie Danicki

Hmm. I'd been told - by Six Apart's own people, no less - that there'd never be a captcha for any SA product, because Ben is adamantly against them. Interesting shift.

neville

Something very weird with comments to this post. All out of time sequence.

Jackie, notification of your comment has only just showed up, hence it appearing only now.

Third-party captcha plugins have been available for Movable Type for quite a while:

http://www.sixapart.com/pronet/comment_spam#captchas

This TypePad one, though, looks to be an in-house development rather than a third party creation.

RobiNZ

I agree the captcha is a good move. Would be nice if they allowed you to allow selected typekey users to avoid it. EG: TypePad know you are you from the TypeKey login so why not have a "disable captcha" for Authors/Publishers when commenting on their own Blog.

neville

TypeKey is a sore point with me, too, Teresa.

When you sign in to it, it gives you the option of staying signed in for 2 weeks. I always click on that to enable it, yet every time I go to any TypePad blog, even my own, to make a comment, it asks me to sign in! So what's the point of that option?

So with exasperation I persevere with TypeKey even though it's easier to just fill in your name, etc, in a comment each time.

Cumbersome indeed.

Anil Dash

"Hmm. I'd been told - by Six Apart's own people, no less - that there'd never be a captcha for any SA product, because Ben is adamantly against them. Interesting shift."

I'm not sure exactly what the context (or content) of the conversation was, but I think I can probably represent Ben here with a simple explanation.

We don't ever want to *require* captcha for all users who interact with a system, simply because there are significant accessibility and technical barriers raised by doing so. However, on all our platforms, we want to have a mix of technologies for preventing abusive or spam comments from showing up. In Movable Type, we have a junk scoring system which can trigger actions ranging from putting a comment in a junk folder to saying "comments above this threshold of spam-ness should require verification by the commenter". And you can make your own rules there as well.

On TypePad, we adjust the response based on a variety of factors, all based on which behaviors spammers are displaying most on a given day. I haven't followed up enough in detail with the technical team to know exactly what stage those tests are in now, but I expect we won't be as open as we'd perhaps like to be about the various tests in place because spammers read blogs, too. :)

Overall, TypePad blocks something like 95% or more of spam, and we're always looking to improve.

Heidi MIller

I'd be happy to see it. I just spent the morning cleaning up spam comments from my podcast's LibSyn site--all adds for cigarettes. [sigh] Well, at least it wasn't Viagra.

neville

Anil, any idea when this feature will be rolled out? Clearly it's still in test, right? I've not seen the captcha again since the initial one that prompted this post.

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