Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Commenting can be a frustrating aspect of blogs


Bloggers who have Comments sections on their blogs: please make sure it’s possible for people to leave comments.

I try to be a good blogger and a good member of my Internet friends’ blogs. But I am frustrated with some of you blogmates out there, even some whom I follow and that are listed in the sidebars. The problem is with the verification systems: if you don’t allow a full range of options, you lock some people out of the comments. For some weird reason, my Blogger/Google account will not always let me use that identity to leave comments.

If your verification system only allows the potential commenter to log in using the Google, OpenID, Wordpress or AIM systems, it seems I cannot log in.

Protecting against spam

I understand why bloggers put verification on their comments: they’re trying to protect agains spammers, bots and other nefarious codes and coders that infest the Internet. But often, they protect themselves against people who want to leave legitimate and often very helpful comments.

Let’s not forget that one of the main reasons blogger enable comments is to increase their profile and spread the word that their blogs are worth reading.

Wordpress blogs seem to handle this security question well. I am always able to enter my name, email address and URL, and then the system posts or at least accepts my comment.

Blogger/blogspot varies: sometimes, the Login list includes “Anonymous” and “Name/URL.” However, almost as often, these two options are not in the list.

The variation is understandable: Google’s blogspot interface can be confusing. The various settings are buried in different parts of the Dashboard, Settings and Profile, and the various tools and gadgets that enable commenting have their own settings.

But blogmates, I implore you: there are so many interesting blogs that I’d love to comment on, and I cannot because of your security settings. Check your settings. I promise, I won’t spam you.

For the techies out there

If anyone can explain to me why I get an error message when I try to select my Google Account in the verification list, I would really appreciate it.

If, under the Comment field, the instruction reads “Comment as:”, and then the drop-down list has “Google Account,” when I select that option, I get this error message:

“Your current account (scott[at]writtenword.ca) does not have access to view this page.”

However, if the Comments section opens up as a separate window, I usually see this:

“Choose an identity: (Google Account).” That works perfectly.

I only have one Google account. Why does it work in one setting, and not in another?

Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

7 comments:

  1. Hi there, fellow frustrated blogger. I've run into this before, and so have folks trying to leave me a comment. Blogger sure does have its issues some days.
    As a back-up I have put an e-mail address at the top of my blog, that always works. I didn't put a button because they usually open MSWord or something equally as frustrating.
    Anyway, please don't give up, we the bloggers of the googleverse do want to hear from you.

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencemacleod.com/

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  2. Hi Scott! First off, Great post. I have a blogger blog also and some of my followers have been having problems commenting, even though they have blogger accounts themselves, where others have no problems at all, so maybe, and this thought just came to me, maybe it has to do with the browser they are using? As for spam and hackers, I had that problem with my twitter account the other day, why people do that, is way beyond me.
    Hope you are having a great day!
    K_Einsel

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  3. Does it still make you choose your google id when you already have a google page up and logged into? I've run into some problems similar to yours, but I have the two step verification feature enabled for my google account, so every device or program on that device has to receive a second verification code before it will allow you to login. This is a great way to secure your account, especially since they are so easy to hack into without this measure of security, but it does hamper the comment functions when using mobile devices.

    It sounds like it is not even looking at your google credentials on the first error. If that is the case, you may have a bad cookie in your cache. Try clearing the cache or searching for the cookie referencing google or writtenword.ca and removing them.

    Hope this helps!

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  4. Google's Blogger can be a real pain sometimes... But it's not always us bloggers - a lot of the times it's the 'system.' Oh to hark back to the good old days of pen and paper :-)

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  5. Thanks for your tips, kkraft and oh supreme one. (Are you my Prime Minister, by chance?)

    Even when I am signed into Google, I cannot use the Google account. Even to enter this comment on my own blog! And it doesn't matter which browser I am using. I use both Firefox and Internet Explorer.

    I think the problem is a setting in my Google account, given the error message I get. But I cannot for the life of me find the setting to change.

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  6. Hi there. As far as I can tell, letting people leave comments easily is one thing that Wordpress.com does well, even if you're not a wordpress member, so that's good for my blog. (Following can be a different story.)


    I'm interested in doing an interview series on Nano participants for my blog, The Kelworth Files. If you're interested in participating, you can reach me at chrisken zero at gmail dot com (with the zero being a digit.)

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  7. Hi Scott, followed over here from Mr Haines' blog. Very good post, I also have this issue when I want to post and can't, it's so frustrating. Well done for writing about it.

    Chris James

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