Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Female Fears Of Robots And Real Spiced Ham

Out of the, say, twentyish blogs that I regularly check, a pretty big portion of those are written by women.  Hard to say why exactly. Whatever the reason, I'm okay with that.

But, there is one thing that kills me about the femmeblog. Kills me to death.

It's not the craft. I can skim over a cross-stitch doily post pretty fast to get to the next post. It's not the Jane Austenating or poetry quoting. I'm actually partial to a bit of 'hark' this and 'yonder' that. It's not even the pink blog templates with birds fluttering. I can shrink the window down so nobody catches me reading pink, birdish blogs. It's not any of those kind of things.

It's this.

That horrid word verification business, where they say 'prove you're not a robot', and expect you to decipher some totally unreadable mishmash of letters and numbers. If you can't read that blurry mess, you are apparently a robot. When that dopey thing comes up, I groan. It's rare that I even get it on the first try.

For some reason, female bloggers feel a strong need to have this on their blog, I guess as some sort of security measure. This measure may well keep out all those pesky robots, but it also deters actual human beings as well. I just wanted to leave a quick comment, but I must first get past this virtual border crossing. It's a high, barbed-wire fence with armed guards and angry, bitey dogs. I'm getting roughed up and frisked, an angry foreign-tongued soldier rifling through my papers, when all I wanted to say was 'nice cross-stitch'.

Now, I know you will all rush up to say 'but the spam!'. I know. But sometimes a price must be paid for the sake of your Beloved Readership. Spam is not so bad, you just have to learn to acquire the taste. It is real spiced ham after all. Just in the shape of a brick.  Out of all the canned meats, Spam has got to be up there in at least the top 5. Don't hate. 

In fact, some of the nicest comments I ever get are made with spam. Very encouraging, very quick to build a brother up. You post some boring post about how you are tired and don't have much to say, and whoosh, you get, completely out of the blue, a kind, kind, word from a complete stranger, that will say something like 'your Vanishing Point site web great research, makes my day and week, keep up this good work. Wonderful post this is, made my eyes cry joyful tears, it did'. It's almost like having Yoda giving you valuable blog feedback.

Anyway, friends, in the end it's your blog. But at least consider these words from a friend and a reader.

21 comments:

pedro said...

The amount of times I've said 'urrgh, can't be bothered'...would surprise you.
pain in the backside.

Nathan said...

Spammers leave such flattering comments though. I can't imagine why you'd want to avoid them.

Belle said...

Your Yoda comment made me cry joyful tears!

Is the verification thing the default in Blogger? Maybe your blogging friends don't know it's turned on? I didn't realise I had it on my blog until someone kindly informed me that they hated it.

Ali said...

Hah, well you have had some success. I took it off - now that I have worked out that I can delete a whole lot of spam comments on different posts in one fell swoop.

I have had cause to doubt whether I am in fact human myself, because, while I have pretty good eyesight (me thinks!), I often get those things wrong too.

Ali said...

And about thirty seconds later I have my first spam comment - for an "insanity workout". This might not last long!

Crazyjedidiah said...

I hate those things too, and last time I checked I was female, yep definitely female. I also reckon that blogger has gotten pretty good at sending spam to the spam folder.

Hanny said...

I feel ya brother. The verification code just makes me believe that I actually must be a robot. That would explain so much...

Karen said...

I'm not sure whether mine falls into the category of your regularly checked blogs, but I didn't know whether I had the word verification thing turned on or not.

So I checked and it was turned on. So I've turned it off.

Now she nervously waits for spam to arrive....

Ben McLaughlin said...

pedz- zackly.

Nath- Yes, they are really the salt of the earth.

Belle- Yes, I think that's a fair point. Lots of people prolly don't even realise it's turned on. Meanwhile they are missing out on a lot of love.

Ali- I hear you, it's painful when a computer makes you question your humanity. PS- embrace the insanity workout, it sounds EPIC.

Cjed-yep, it's improved a lot. I hardly get any spamlove these days.

Hanny- Totally mate. All would make sense.

Karen- Stand up and be proud. 'My name is Karen and I am an ex word verification sypathiser.'

Deb said...

You mean it might just turn itself on automatically? Yikes! Why didn't somebody tell me!

Deb said...

Found and fixed. I hate them on other people's blogs. And yet it was on mine! Oh the shame.

Wendy said...

Do you read my blog? I don't have word verification. I also hardly ever get spam...

Karen said...

Now I have ten spam comments (exactly the same) on a post I wrote almost twelve months ago...offering me cheap (but luxury!) replica watches. And maybe a Porsche. There's a bit of a language barrier....

On the up-side, they all started with this rather cool line:
"Hello all! I like this forum, i mean up innumerable spellbinding people on this forum.!!!"



Laetitia :-) said...

I thought I didn't have word verification on because I don't use comment moderation. Silly me. Fixed now.

Now I just have to get my blog posts out of my head and into cyberspace. :-)

Ruth said...

After a long, hard day, I can rely on Ben's blog to make me smile! Love this post Ben! (not SPAM, just true appreciation!)

Deb said...

Can I ask a general question? Does it actually matter what you then type into those verification thingos? Because a frequently I've had no idea what a couple of the letters/numbers were and it still passed me as correct. Either I'm an amazing fluke or it has a big margin for error built in.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Deb- hurrah for getting rid of it! And yes you must be a fluke, because regularly I try about two or three times, get denied and just give up. All those little fragments of blog love just get lost in the ether.

Wendy- yep I drop in from time to time

Karen- sorry for the barrage. But yes there is joy to be found in the language of spam.

Laetitia- Good job and getting rid of it!

Ruth- thanks for liking:)

Well folks, all in all this has been a beneficial excercise. At least three bogs now dewordverificationalised. Success.

RodeoClown said...

I much prefer the system WordPress uses where you can have one-time verification.

The first time a user comments, you need to moderate them and accept them, but from then on, they will always be accepted from that user.

I've also seen one where the word verification was ALWAYS "orange", with no fancy smearing of letters, just the one word. And it was easy to type, but spambots didn't know to do it, and they got filtered out automatically.

It would be good if blogger allowed such things here.

Deb said...

Ben, Simone is rebelling. I think an intervention?

http://simone1975.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/sorry-guys-im-turning-word-verification.html

Ben McLaughlin said...

Rodeo- that would be a way better system, to just have to do it once. Blogger is very behind on some things.

Deb- NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Say it ain't so!

Andrew said...

I go through stages of getting a huge amount of spam to almost nothing. A few years ago I managed to get 146 spam comments on a blog post I wrote about how much I like the word propinquity.

(http://www.dailyvowelmovements.com/2009/09/wednesday-word-blog-spam.html).

It does get annoying sometimes, but not more annoying than word verification. totally agree with you.