My Frustrating, Neverending Problems with Blog Comments

Dear Readers:  I think I may owe all of you an apology.  Today I got this message from a reader (who shall remain anonymous) through my Facebook profile:

I have for some time been unable to comment at your website (so it occurs to me you won’t be accepting this request). It is for you to decide who may use your website, and I am sure I too will eventually be more discriminating. However, if I have done anything beyond having perhaps a very marked difference of opinion, I’d like to extend my apologies.

However neither I nor James were ever even aware of these comments…  How many others of you out there have been getting blocked?  Will all these problems with my @$#%-ing comments ever stop?

I feel just terrible about this, and mortified with embarrassment.  Please understand that it has never been our intention to censor comments here or ban users … the only few times we have had to remove comments was what we considered to be specific personal threats, hate speech, and spam.  My problems with the comments technology has been long-running.  Earlier this year, we were running a somewhat clunky but simple CATCHPA.  There were complaints that it wasn’t working properly, and lots of spam was getting in.  Before that we had TypeKey, which is discouraging because you have to register and remember yet another password.  Now we are running Ajax, which I thought would solve all these problems, but now everything looks worse.  Only a few users seem to be able to reliably leave comments, while still the spam sometimes makes it through.

Needless to say, I am a lawyer, and not a internet coding whiz – I confess to having a pretty limited understanding about how some of my blog tools work.  Unfortunately our developer guy is way too expensive to bother with this kind of stuff.  James will probably spend the weekend looking for a new comments system, but if any of you have any tips about what works best for Movable Type 4, please email me and let me know.  Also please email me if you have had similar problems, and I will offer you all my personal apology. 

In closing, I am grateful to everyone who comes by here to read our news and opinions, including those who thoroughly disagree with the majority of them.  I wish you all a wonderful summer weekend, hopefully a little less frustrating than mine will be. – Bob Amsterdam