One thing bloggers complained about after the Challenge was over is "Word Verification" (a.k.a. "Captcha"). If you're not familiar with this term, lemme 'splain:
1. You're reading someone's blog and something in it tickled you or resonated with you so much, you feel compelled to leave a comment:
2. You enter a long, thoughtful note for the blogger and prepare to submit it by clicking the "Publish" button, thinking that's all ya gotta do to share the love:
3. But, NO! Due to a fear of spammers, that blogger has turned on "Word Verification" to make you prove you're a real, live human. Only, who the hell can read that, much less type it into the box?
At this point, you either break out a magnifying glass so you can press on with the "Word Verification" step or consign that blogger to the devil and go comment on some other blog. (Or maybe you pour yourself a stiff drink, I dunno.)
On the face of it, it doesn't seem to be such a big deal, but trust me: it's a pain in the ass to have to go through this step, as it's hard on the eyes and folks with not a lot of time (and a LOT of blogs to read through) will lose their patience with you, not comment, and possibly stop following your blog altogether. Which would be le suck, n'est-ce pas? Oui.
Now, when I started the Challenge, I could've sworn I'd turned off the "Word Verification" feature. But when I saw so many fellow participants complaining about other participants still having this on, I got paranoid and decided to view my blog through the eyes of a visitor. I logged out of Blogger/Google and visited my blog, following the steps pictured above. And, damn it, I was wrong: "Word Verification" was totally turned on! Chagrined, I made haste to turn that annoying shizz off.
If YOU'RE not sure whether you've got "Word Verification" on or off, do what I did in the preceding paragraph to check. If it IS on and you want to turn it OFF but don't know how, here's whatcha gots ta do:
1. Log back in to Blogger:
2. From the log-in landing page, click on the title of your blog to access the Overview:
3. On the Overview page, on the left-hand side, towards the bottom is the word "Settings." Click on that sucker:
4. On the "Settings" page, left-hand side, click on "Posts and Comments":
5. On the "Posts and Comments" page, you're asked if you want to "Show word verification." For the love of all that's holy, JUST SAY NO!
6. Once you've turned off "Word Verification," click "Save settings" over on the upper right-hand side of the page:
7. You'll know you successfully banished that bane of bloggers when you log out, visit your blog, type in a comment, click "Preview" and see this:
Whew! That involved a whole lotta clickery, huh?
Now, all of these instructions are for the newest Blogger version. Users of other blogging tools, I'm afraid I can't help y'all, but perhaps the steps are similar to the ones I listed above.
In any event, I can't guarantee that your blog will now get oodles of comments, but please believe you've done a good thing by ridding yourself of that pestilent option. Your followers will thank you. (In their heads, at least.)
A note to all my pals in the Blogosphere: I'm behind on my reading of/commenting on y'alls' blogs, for which I'm sorry. I'm traveling for my day job this (and next) month and also packing up my apartment for my move back into my parents' place at the end of September. So, while I will try to keep up with your blogs, I won't be able to dedicate myself to them over the next couple of months as I would like to. Sorry, folks. Forgive! :-(