In case you’ve been wondering if I’ve taken a powder, fear not, I’m okay. I’ve been evaluating WordPress, a new, open source blogging software for the past couple of weeks and decided, since I was traveling this past week with limited computer access, to go ahead and switch over.
I wanted to make the switch from my previous software, Movable Type, for a couple of reasons. First, because WordPress is so much easier to use. Movable Type has been, for non-techie me, difficult to work with because the documentation is hard, for non-techie me, to follow and understand because it’s written in techie-speak.
The second, and primary, reason I switched was because I’ve been inundated with spam comments. Movable Type doesn’t have a decent way to weed these things out whereas WordPress does. In the old blog format I added a program asking commenters to type in a code word (which was lowcarb) to tell the system that they were legitimate commenters. Problem was, that most people commenting hit the button letting them preview their comments (which I certainly would have done myself), which then undid the process that typing in the magic word had initiated. All those comments then went into the junk comment pile. As it turned out, for every comment that got into the regular comments file, about five or so went into the junk comments file. And, along with these comments, were literally hundreds of spam comments that I had to wade through to pick out the legit comments, a task that consumed more and more of my day. Once all the legit comments were plucked out and transferred–a job requiring five steps for each–I could delete the junk spam. If I checked half an hour later there would be 30 or 40 more junk spams with a legit comment or two built in. I can’t for the life of me figure out where the spam comments come from–they are 90% porno and 10% ads for various phone ring tones. It’s weird because I get a lot of spam emails, none of which are porno or ring tone ads–the email spam are all for discount watches, various pharmaceuticals from oversea and interest rate reduction proposals. Strange.
For those of you who comment you will find that you have to type in a series of letters and numbers in a weird script before you will be allowed to comment. I’ve tried it and it’s not to cumbersome. It doesn’t matter what case the letters are typed in as–capitals or lower case, both work.
This whole scam avoidance deal is a real pain. It’s kind of like department stores that lose a lot of money to shoplifters. These stores could reduce shoplifting to zero by initiating a program where a store person was assigned to everyone who walks through the door or by attaching monitors on all the shoppers or by having video cameras everywhere, but normal, non-shoplifting customers would be put off and quit shopping so the stores would lose more than they were losing from the shoplifters.
Programs to prevent blog spamming work the same way. Many bloggers require registration, which is offputting to a lot of folks. These bloggers don’t get any spam comments, but they don’t get as many readers either. I had the option of requiring registration, but opted instead to use the system described above. I hope you don’t find it too much of a pain.
One problem I’ve encountered that hasn’t been fixed yet is that all the picures and other images I had on the Movable Type software failed to transfer over. We are working on that at the moment and hope to have it fixed soon.
If you are desperate for an Eades blog with pictures on it, check out MD’s post today. As is often said in the Ozark hills where I grew up, I learned her how to put up pictures today, so there’s no telling what she’ll do from here on.
Oh, one other problem. When the software got changed over there were about five or six comments awaiting approval. These comments didn’t survive the transfer. If I approve them in the old software, they won’t see the light of day. So, if you commented in the first part of this past week and didn’t see your comment, do it again, and I’ll get it up. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.
Adventures with WordPress, my new blog software