The Comment Gauntlet?

Yeah, yeah, OK, so I haven’t been doing a lot of writing lately. Actually, that is only partially true. In fact, I’ve been doing a ton of writing, it’s just all been of the work-related variety. Between that and other weirdness and goings on, I’ve found precious little time for blogging. Boo hoo.

But, in the midst of all this, I’ve made a conscious choice to start blogging again. Partly because it’s relaxing to me, and partly because it’s a way to keep my creative muscles from freezing up. You see, sure, I’ve been doing a lot of writing, but it’s almost all been of the promotional type. Which is lucrative, but not very creative. OK, let’s be honest. It’s downright freaking boring (and time consuming) and I can practically do it in my sleep. I’ve been surfing around a few blogs again as well, and found a few that I simply love – soon to  be added to my woefully out of date blog roll (hey! if you’re on it, and you’re reading this, and your blog linky is old and wrinkly, TELL me about it, huh?) Including one wonderful lady who  leans to the left politically, but also believes in the right to own firearms. Hey! Cool! A Gunchick Salute to her!

However, for what I am about to say, I will not divulge the names of the guilty. And so, into the fray!

What the hell is with the comment gauntlet, huh?

Look, I keep it simple – I have to approve all blog comments. That way, I get to filter out the freaks, whack jobs, scary weird people, etc. (Which means I dump quite a few – since I do get some genuine “winners” around here). I realize that maybe a blog with higher traffic and more comments may have a hard time doing that, and so may turn to any number of methods of filtering out spammers and other unpleasant types. And I have been through plenty of reasonable verification methods, including entering user name, typing in characters that made no sense, etc.

But when, in order to comment on a blog, I have to enter my WordPress user name, type in the correct letters (several times since the blasted thing was so jumbled and obscure with multiple colors and a hard to read font made up of mostly bubbles, I got the characters wrong not once, not even twice, but four flipping times – god forbid a color blind guy try this one!), then log in to my WP account (which I wasn’t logged into since I really didn’t want to be logged in on the computer I was on, thank you very much), and then answer a bunch of questions:

Are you sure you want to use the following information about yourself on this comment? Yes, dammit, that’s why I logged in like this instead of selecting “anonymous” – hello!

Is there any other information you’d like to add? Holy Hell, no! I’ve already put in enough, thanks!

This is how your comment will appear, is it OK? Yes, I do know how to type and proofread before I hit submit.

This is how your information will appear, is it OK? Haven’t I already told you this is OK?

This is the contact information others will see when they click on your name, is it OK? Once again, haven’t I already said OK to this?

If not, what would you like them to see? (followed by a return to the info you had already entered and the option to change any of it.) How many times am I going to have to say OK to all this?

Each obnoxious question appeared in its own little pop up screen – yes, a pop up, which meant I had to “approve” pop ups for that site on that occasion. And it wasn’t too long before I started wondering if perhaps the blogger didn’t really want comments and this was a clever (?) technique for discouraging them. Then I noticed there were an awfully large number of anonymous comments, which meant the blogger did indeed seem to want comments… But maybe perhaps they didn’t want to be pointing to other people’s blogs?

That last one seemed likely. Stupid. but likely.

At last the gauntlet was navigated, successfully, I might add! And I was able to place my comment. What should have taken a mere moment of my time had now eaten up over 5 minutes. And sadly, my free time for surfing blogs was now up. And I hadn’t even had a chance to make a quick stop by some of my favorites.