Monday, July 26, 2010

Never Heard That One Before (A Blogging Tip)

As any blogger who's been writing for more than a year or so will tell you, I've seen my share of interesting comments.
But by far the most frustrating are those annoying spammers.

Most are just a bunch of links promising busty ladies or appendage enlargements (I am so gonna get killed by search engines for this!). But someone sunk to a new low last night when I received a comment that, roughly paraphrased, went something like this:

Help! I'm currently being held hostage by the Russian mafia (insert link with illicit wording here) and am being forced to post spam comments on blogs and forums! If you don't approve this, they will kill me. (insert link with more illicit wording here) They're coming back now! (bad link) Please send help! (more bad links)

Really.

Dear Anonymous Spammer Kidnapping Victim,
I believe you, and I am certain that the Russian mafia has branched out and set their sights on small blogs in a new plot to take over the world (or my Sony laptop). I will be more than happy to post a new 911 message on the Blogger help board that already contains 3,546,872 messages that Blogger has not read. Perhaps they will track you down with the help of the KGB in ten years or so. That should give the Russian mafia plenty of time to make money off of the spam comments they are forcing you to enter.

Dear Readers,
I hope it works out for Anonymous Spammer Kidnapping Victim. Really, I do. I hit delete.

And that's all you need to do.

Ask anyone who's been blogging for a year or more, and they'll tell you that word verification is a huge no-no if you are aiming for readers to comment on your work.

What is word verification?

It's when you've typed a nice, friendly comment to praise someone's blog post, hit enter, only to be greeted by that ugly pop up box asking you to type in 536 characters before it will post your words.

I can't tell you how many times I've typed a lengthy comment on someone's blog post, hit enter, and exited the site just as I see that annoying pop-up box. I make an effort to do a lot of visiting when I link up to a blog party, but those word verifications are just one more step for a visitor to leave you some feedback, especially when the words are sometimes hard to read or aren't really words but a string of 53 letters.

Please, please, from one blogger to another...consider removing word verification from your posts.

When I set Serenity Now up, I added word verification because it just seemed like the thing to do. I removed mine early last year, after reading a helpful tip from a successful blogger. Afterwards, I noticed that the number of comments on my blog went up bit by bit, and the amount of spam comments I receive is not enough to make me want to turn it back on.

Somewhat Simple had a great post on how to change your settings.

I have all of my comments emailed to me so that I can be sure to respond to as many as I can. I may receive one or two spam comments a day, and they are so easy to delete. I check my email fairly regularly, and spam comments don't get much air time on my blog.

I made an Anonymous Spam Comment on my own blog to show you how easy it is to get rid of these. It will be worth the time you are saving your readers if you take these few quick steps if you see a spam comment pop up on your site.

Here's how the Comment looked when the blog emailed it to me at AOL:
*Just deleting the email won't work. You need to be sure you are logged into your Blogger account!*

Click on the link to the post title in which the offending comment was left. In this case it was "Hometown Seeds Discount," underlined in blue.

It will bring up the post on your computer screen. Scroll down to the comment and you will see a small trash can next to the date and time in which the comment was left. Again, you'll only see the trash can picture if you are logged in to Blogger!:
Click on the trash can picture and it's going to give you the option to delete the comment.

*Be sure to click on "Remove Forever" before hitting Delete. If I hadn't checked that box, my blog would still reflect that a comment was left and that a blog administrator had deleted it. I prefer the cleaner look of not having anything there at all.

Aaaand...you're done!

I am not in any way trashing bloggers who prefer to use word verification. Just wanting to pass on some information that's been helpful to me.

You'll make for some happy readers when they see they don't have to type in "hoytahkbuta" every time they want to leave you feedback. It has totally been worth the 30 seconds it takes me to remove the occasional spam comment!

{What's your take on word verification?}

post signature

35 comments:

Paula said...

I had that same spam comment this morning! I had to laugh at it and wonder who in the world is doing it?

I'm with you, I hate word verification. I had it for a while and got rid of it after I realized that I really didn't need it. I don't get that many comments and I certainly don't want anyone to not comment because of the extra step that word verification takes.

Thanks for the tip on getting rid of spam comments. I definitely will use it!

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

Amanda ~

I TOTALLY agree with your take on word verification. I cannot tell you how many times I've hit exit just in time to see the word verification and my comment is lost to posterity. What is your take on comment approval prior to posting??

Laura @ Just For Love said...

Oh my gosh, hahahaha! That comment was ridiculous!! I've gotten some weird emails (all from Nigeria) and I always just delete them too. I don't even bother opening them.

And THANK YOU for telling people about how annoying that word captcha is. I cannot tell you how many times I've exited a site on accident before filling it out too. I'll take my time writing a nice comment for someone, and then BAM...it's gone. It stinks!

Lynette@ A Hodge Podge Of Randomness said...

I had word verification for awhile, then realized how annoyed I got with blogs that had that (especially if you're leaving multiple comments for a giveaway) so I got rid of it. I do have it set to moderate comments on posts older than 2 weeks, but otherwise I have it "open" to any comments.

Mommy of Monkeyshines said...

Hey Amanda! Thanks for the tip!

PS- I am on my way to remove my word verification box so that you can leave me more comments. (cuz we know you have nothing else to do...right?!) ;)

Mary Joy said...

OK, Amanda. I had just added word verification to my blog when I came back in July to avoid spammers...I had some doozies before! But it has slowed down a lot and now that you have taught me how to get rid of them...I just shut down the word verification on my comments. Thanks for helping us newbies with blogging tips...love blogging...have so much to learn. :-)

God bless you on this Monday morning!

Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training said...

Ahhh that’s just silly! I can see a bunch of guys crowded around a small table in a coffee shop brainstorming these ridiculous ideas.....and yes I did just stereotype. ;o)

I have comment approval on my blog and recently though about setting it up for automatic approval but was not sure how I would be notified when I received a comment. Did you need to set it up to receive an e-mail or does it do it automatically?

Kendra “Domestic Princess in Training”

Rachelle said...

Amen girl! I actually would get like 12 or so spams a DAY on the same old posts like Christmas ones or old giveaway ones so I put word verification on posts older than 14 or so days old.. No problems now! :)

Holly said...

Russian mafia...that's a new one!
I was getting a lot of spam written by some barely-English-speaking people about such things as "(male drug name) first of internet greatness". I put word verification for posts 14 or more days old and I haven't had spam since (knock on wood). Very occasionally I have to moderate a comment from a real person on one of the older posts.

Allison said...

That is a ridiculous spam comment!! Goodness gracious!

Oh, I dislike word verification so much too! I have closed out many times as the word verification suddenly pops up and I get so frustrated when I have to go back and type it all over again!

I never did the word verification on my blog. I just have my settings set for my to approve or deny any comment left for me. So nothing appears until I say it can! And it also gets sent to my email. I love doing it this way!

southerninspiration said...

i get lots of chinese comments, and when I translate them, they do not refer at all to the blog post, so I delete them. I am with you on the word verification stuff.......hard enough to leave a comment when you have to type in name, blog name, etc, much less a word that doesn't make sense! Thanks, chicka.

Suzanne

FrouFrouBritches said...

Amen sista! I HATE word verification! UGH! I really do believe that is where the bank "Hoobastank" got it's name. It was a word verifcation! Just saying.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

How come I haven't gotten any good spam? All of mine is, like, in Chinese characters.

I removed word verification, honestly, bc someone complained. I had to agree, it was a pain -- so I took it off.

Kelly

Becca said...

Amanda, I had no idea you could remove that word verification thingy! I hate it and I wouldn't have known how to remove it if it weren't for this blog. Thanks!

Sandy said...

Amanda,
Thanks for this psot! I hope lots of people read it! I also got rid of word verification....and if you do a link up party it just takes forever!!!!! I finally quit....and that makes me feel bad, but I get so frustrated! So anytime you want to come by, I promise no word verification! :):)

Madigan at madiganmade said...

Great post. Thank you.
I hate word verification. I'm new to blogging, so I thought you needed it. But after reading similiar advice recently, I removed mine. I hate it when I visit other blogs, why do I want it on mine?

Lee said...

I couldn't agree more. I hate the word verification. Thanks for posting this.

slommler said...

I will have to think about it. You are probably right...not enough spammers to put people through that process.
Thanks for the tip
Hugs
SueAnn

Amanda said...

I have a new blog and even though I hate those verification boxes I didn't even think about it for my own blog!

Your blog is adorable btw!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Good post. I turned off word verification, too. I find the majority of my spam comments are on older posts. So, I turned on pre-verification on all posts over 14 days. This helps a lot.

Amanda said...

I don't particularly mind the word verification on blogs where there isn't any moderation and they allow anonymous comments. At least then it's one more step to make sure it's a real person.

My big pet peeve?

Comment moderation PLUS word verification. There's no reason to have both...if you're going to approve it anyway (which is what I do on my blog) you should make it as easy as possible for people to comment.

Dawn said...

i LOVE your take on this! that box that pops up just as i'm clicking out of a blog is the very worst... how many nice comments have i typed and then lost? hmmm... i don't even wanna know! i'd much rather the word verification up front... but it is't my favorite :)

Kristan said...

Removing it now! :) thanks, I never considered not removing it and I have even canceled my own comments before because of the hassle of those things. :O

Jessabells said...

Alright, Alright, I removed the word verification. I know how badly you want to leave me a comment. lol. Only kidding, but I really did remove it.

I wonder if the Russian mob is interested in my blog too. I could use more traffic on there! lol.

Jessica

Porch Days said...

Russian Mafia? That's just plain crazy! Reading your comments, it looks like we all hate word verification. Can I also say I don't like music on blogs? It annoys the hell out of me.

Lizzie said...

Good advice, I did that a long time ago. Wow, you got Russian Mafia spam? I only get comments in Japanese I can't read. lol

Nadir @ Hodgepodge said...

Haha! That's a new one! Glad to know that the Russian Mafia is keeping tabs on America's bloggers. lol!

Richella said...

This is a great post, Amanda. For the longest time I had no idea how to delete spam comments. We see a lot of advice about removing word verification, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone explain how to remove spam. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

citymouse said...

Believe it or not, I've never had spam comments and I've been blogging for 1 1/2 years.

I agree with you about the word verification. I find them so frustrating. I was at a BBC earlier in the year and Tiffany encouraged everyone to get rid of it. I thought, why not and I've never regretted it.

Jan said...

I am not a fan of word verification. Nothing worse than typing a heartfelt comment only to misspell the stupid word and not have it post.

The Russian mafia?? That is WILD!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I think it's hilarious that so many of us have been contacted by this poor kidnapping victim. I hope he wasn't relying on me too much to save him because I heartlessly hit "Delete," too. Ha.

I agree with Amanda above who commented that her big pet peeve is comment moderation AND word verification. That drives me nuts! You made me just jump through all those hoops and it still has to be moderated? Seriously?!

I get hundreds of spam comments a day. It's crazy. Don't know what I'd do without Akismet (sp?), the spam catcher for Wordpress. When I had my Blogger blog, I cut down on spam by setting it so that comments on any posts over a week old had to be moderated. I was determined not to resort to the CAPTCHAs! Hate those things. I can never type them right the first time. I'm CAPTCHA impaired. :-)

Dogmom Diva said...

I did away with word verification AND comment moderation a while back. I get enough emails each day and I check my blog anyway..I get a few spam comments, I just delete them.. Thanks for suggesting delete forever..I did not know that. I want folks to come, visit and leave me a comment..the occasional spam does not bother me enough to make you all jump through hoops to do so! Great post!

Barb

Kim @ seven thirty three said...

I also had a post on word verification and how to TURN IT OFF... but I must say, your's is MUCH more entertaining and I hope it entices a few more people to turn their's off. I hate the ones with the delay and you exit just as you see it come up. SOOOOO irritaiting. :)

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