A few weeks ago, I removed the captcha feature from the comments section on VBC. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, it’s the wavy numbers or letters you have to enter to prove you’re not a spam robot. There had been significant talk on other blogs and Twitter about readers choosing not to comment because of the captcha validation. And I get that. I read blog posts on my phone occasionally, and entering that stuff on a mobile device is painful. However, it wasn’t really an issue we’d had here at VBC. Other bloggers touted the big influx in comments they received by removing the little code bit.
I’m very thankful we have such a strong, active community on Vampire Book Club. You are fun and have great insight into books and authors. I love reading your opinions on the books we review, the discussions on favorite characters, book recommendations and seeing you interact with your favorite authors here on the blog. So, I ditched the code, because I was worried people were being left out of our community. And I didn’t want that.
However, we haven’t had any more comments than usual, and it’s made quite a bit of work for me. I employ two spam filters on VBC. The first is the fantastic Askimet, which has caught 55,000 spam comments for me in the last year. THOUSANDS. It rules. The second is the built-in WordPress spam filter. Since removing the captcha feature on comments, I have between 200 and 250 comments in the WordPress filter each day. Two or three of those comments are legit. That means, each day I have to go through 10 or more pages of junk comments to make sure those wanting to participate here at VBC are heard.
So, here’s the question, readers: Do you care if VBC uses captcha in the comments? If it truly makes things easier for you, tell me and I will not reinstate captcha. However, if it doesn’t matter one way or another for you, tell me, too. Because when we start Alpha Showdown comments are going to quintuple here, and I want to make sure the extra work is worth it.