Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ways Your Blog May Be Scaring People Off

If you're working hard to write and post blogs, you probably want people to read them. If you're getting a lot of readers and don't want any more, ignore this. There are just a few things that drive me crazy when I'm reading blogs.



Captchas

Spam sucks. We get it. But is it really that much of a problem in this advanced era of blogger spam-catching software? I have never had captchas in place and in the past year, I've deleted maybe four anonymous spam comments. Yes, captchas have gotten easier. They went from long confusing hard-to-read letters to short confusing hard-to-read letters on doors and mailboxes. But I think I speak for MANY readers when I say we're tired of having to solve a puzzle to comment on your blog.




Hide-and-Go-Seek Comment Button

I can't count the number of blogs I've read, only to not be able to figure out where to comment. Ideally, the comment link should be at the bottom of the blog, not the top. That's where we are when we finish. But there have been at least a few times when there was no comment button at all that I could find. If you don't want comments, that's fine, but I'm probably visiting your blog because you commented mine. I'd just like to return the favor.




Hide-and-Go-Seek Blog

Half of us are using Blogger. Half are using WordPress. When you leave a comment here, there's no telling where your link will take me. But one of the most confusing things is to get to your Google Plus or Blogger page, only to not be able to figure out where your blog is. Maybe you have a list of blogs a mile long that you "contribute" to. Maybe your Google Plus page lists every blog you've commented on for the past year with no post to your latest blog. I'll battle it to find your blog, but will everyone else?




Auto-Launch Audio

I watch TV shows while reading blogs, so your auto-launch audio makes me have to pause my show and mute my laptop temporarily. I probably won't come back unless I really enjoy reading your blog. Remember...people may be sneaking to read your blog at work and the sudden blast of Stairway to Heaven through their computer speakers is a dead giveaway that they aren't working. Have some compassion!




Speak up in comments. What are some things you wish bloggers wouldn't do?

85 comments:

  1. The links to Google+ are the most challenging. Half the time, I can't find the current blog.
    I get a lot of readers, but I'll always take more! Making friend here is the best part of blogging.

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  2. I know, Alex! I have figured out that in Google Plus, if you click on "About" and scroll down to Links, the person's blog is often listed there. I try to always remember to link to my latest post on Google Plus, plus I turned off the feature where it lists every time I comment on a blog. I did that last part mostly because it's nobody's business what I'm saying on everyone else's blog! That's a lot of information to have out there for the world to read about you...

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  3. I also don't like moderated comments. Not sure what kind of trolls people think they're going to attract, but I never see that sort of behavior in the circles I hang out with. After three years of blogging, I've only had to block one person for a stupid comment.

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  4. I agree with all of these. My pet peeve not listed is the weird comment systems some folks have that make you sign in to a whole new program or only allow you to comment via Twitter or Facebook, neither of which I do.

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  5. YES, Shell! Sometimes it'll let you comment through WordPress, so I have a blog there that just directs people to my Blogger blog. If I didn't have that, though, I wouldn't be able to comment on those blogs. I think those people have their settings set that way. But linking to my Twitter won't help. I rarely link to my blogs over there, so it won't direct people here.

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  6. L.G--I agree. I think a few years ago, spammy comments were common, but Blogger put spam protection in place and it catches all of them for me. I can go look through them--yep, there are a lot. I think the captcha people maybe don't realize that spam control catches most of those comments.

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  7. In the past 24 hours, ELEVEN spammy comments were moved to the Spam folder on Blogger. That stuff works VERY well!

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  8. totally laughing at the graphic on the auto-play. :) i detest google+ i.d. - even if folks properly show their blog link (and only have one to choose from) it negates the ability to email back to them from their comment in your inbox. google is deliberately trying to force us to g+.

    i don't allow anonymous comments and have VERY little spam, ever.

    i don't like the blogher platform. pop-up ads, slow loads. too much trouble somedays when i have a full reading list!

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  9. I have to admit I did not know all the problems. In fact, I had that "read that letters/#'s" before one could leave a comment. I didn't even know I had it until someone told me I did:) I am not knowledgeable about these things. If I have anything irritating on mine, let me know:) I know what you mean about google. I am on it but have no idea how someone could find me by using that:)

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  10. I really hate auto music, since if I have audio on something like pandora is already playing

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  11. YES it is hard to find people's blogs on Google + sometimes. And Captchas are the worst things ever.

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  12. TexWisGirl--I was reading blogs before Google+ took things over and it was even worse. When you visited a WordPress blog from a Blogger or vice versa, you had to enter a username and password...and everyone used a different service. It was a nightmare. This is marginally better, but it's always best if you're reading blogs on the same platform as yours.

    Birgit--Yeah, there are a variety of settings. Some people turn comment moderation on to avoid spammers, but if you're on Blogger, it really does catch most of the junk. As I mentioned in another comment, I looked at my Spam folder here and in the past 24 hours, 11 comments have been caught by Blogger and put there instead of on my blog. It's so rare I see a spam comment these days, I forget how annoying that used to be for bloggers!

    Adam--For me, I'm streaming TV in the background. My biggest annoyance is when I'm researching an article I'm writing and videos are auto-playing all over the page I'm visiting, but that's usually not a blog--it's an article on a news site I'm using for research! I've actually copied text from an article and pasted it in a Word doc because, even though I keep pausing videos, they keep replaying every so many seconds.

    Optimistic--Some of the captchas lately have made me wonder if I'm going blind. They're photos of numbers on mailboxes and curbs and such--but about 50% of the time, they're so blurry, I can't see them. It's like a bad eye test!

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  13. I don't mind having a comment moderated... I had some very nasty comments from one person, she still tries from time to time...

    I will never have messed up words to decipher, I wish know one had that... I find it painful to comment sometimes.

    I like getting comments, so I hope I'm making it easier for people ... I also love getting comments♡

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  14. Though I've been blogging for multiple years (deleted two other blogs in Oct. 2013), I'm still feeling that I know more than the average person but less that I need to know to approach it as an expert. I welcome input or suggestions to improve The Flipside!

    Cherdo

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  15. I read this whole post going, "Yes! YES! TOTALLY!" You got all of my pet peeves here. I also figured out the 'About' trick on Google Plus, but some people don't even list their blogs there!!! It's so frustrating. I actually switched back from a Google Plus profile to a Blogger profile for that very reason. There's a REALLY easy setting you can choose so that your blog is the first thing that shows up, at the top of the page, above all of the blogs you follow.

    And finally, really, whose blog is THAT popular that they need captcha?? Blogger has a great Spam filter; it has caught almost every single spam comment I've gotten. And let ME play the music if I want. LOL, I can keep going, obviously!

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  16. These are the same pet peeves I have about bloggers. Some make it almost impossible to comment. You wonder if they even know.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  17. Excellent list! Thanks for writing it.

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  18. I did have some problems with commenters in my early days of blogging, Liz. Several times, I had someone decide they didn't like me so they spammed my comments 1,000 times overnight. I had to moderate then, but that was during the MySpace days, when my blog was getting 100+ comments a day. Over here, we're all friendly and good-natured! I always feel bad when someone comments my blog and I can't return the favor because there is simply no way to find his/her blog. There are actually some people who don't blog at all--they just read others--so that explains some. I just feel bad if it's someone that has a blog that may be lost somewhere in that Google Plus mass of posts!

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  19. Your points are excellent. I add the following: make it easy for me to read your blog by using black lettering against a white background, or something very close. I can't always see what's on a blog with a dark gray background and blue text. I made this mistake for a while. My blog was black, and I think I used yellow text. A friend told me to get rid of it, and so I did. Easy peasy. I just noticed L. G. Smith's comment. L. G., I use comment moderation because I've received some cruel comments on my blog. I have an ex-husband and his many girlfriends. I don't want their comments showing up on my blog for even two minutes.

    Love,
    Janie

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  20. Oh yes! The captcha and audio drive me the most nuts. When music plays, I kill the page.

    I wish Google could let us put a link under our profile picture, like Twitter does. That would solve the find-the-blog problem.

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  21. I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. Lately, the Post Comment button has been hidden on a lot of Wordpress blogs by their Subscribe To box. You have to hit the space bar ten times to make the comment button appear after you've written your comment!

    I get frustrated by YouTube videos on Blogger that don't appear on iPads. I have to go to my desktop to view, even on my own blog. No clue how to fix it, even after researching it online.

    I'm also not a fan of Discus commenting. If you shut down your computer or iPad, it logs you out and you have to log back in with a password to comment.

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  22. Yeah, iOS doesn't run Flash. Some YouTube videos will run, some won't. The interesting thing is (I didn't realize this until someone told me), if you go to YouTube on an iPad or iPhone, it will list only the videos that will run. You don't even realize you're missing out on a large # of videos unless you go to a PC and try it. I wish Apple and Adobe would work that out!

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  23. I'm with you - especially the blogs where I look and look and look and can't find any way to leave a comment. It's frustrating. I feel terrible if they've left something on my blog and I can't return the favor.
    btw - we got "30 Day No Gossip" yesterday...it's my daughter's first choice for her 7th grade reading list. very exciting!

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  24. Apple and Adobe controversy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_and_Adobe_Flash_controversy

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  25. YAY, Lisa! That's so exciting!!! Let me know if you want some bookmarks. I can send you a stack for her to hand out to her friends, if she thinks they'd like it. :-)

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  26. Captchas make me go away, small font and huge arse posts does not make my day. Disquis and all that fancy comment crap, makes me go "click" and avoid them like the clap. lol Nowhere to find a link, really does stink. The umm err ones that come and say "followed" and that is it, can go eat umm err poop? lol and those with 50 blog links and you don't know which one to click, I sometimes want to hit with a brick. Plus the music sure does annoy and they super long loading ones bring no joy.

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  27. Yeah, Pat, somehow I ended up reading some blogs from women who just post pictures of themselves in various fashions. They come and leave vague comments like "Nice post" with a link back to their blog in exchange. I quickly weeded them out once I realized that's all they did in return!

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  28. Word verification is Devil's business and all who use it should be exorcised :)
    What I hate most are white letters on very dark background, it makes my eyes go blind... and yet there are lil' devils around who still do it....

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  29. Captcha drives me batty! Not being able to easily find a blog does as well. I'll try but with Disqus sometimes it just isn't possible unless they've filled out their profile.

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  30. Thanks for the info on the controversy, Steph! And I have to laugh at your last comment about people who clearly are not reading blogs, but just say, "Nice post!" That always kills me.

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  31. I also loathe and despise captchas, the Google Plus profiles, and having to sign up for a special commenting service just to leave a comment. Moderated comments are also annoying, particularly when you have to write a captcha first. I could only understand moderating comments on a post which might be particularly hot-button and bound to attract drive-by commenters determined to tell you how wrong you are for voicing your opinion on your own blog. (I turned comments off on my anti-Arbonne post, my most-viewed post by far, because I didn't want to risk more abusive rants from butt-hurt Arbots.)

    I also dislike the surprise music when opening a blog. One blog (the creepiest I've ever seen) not only has dirge-like music on the front page, but a sidebar full of disturbing pictures of her miscarriages. No warning whatsoever that you're about to see these graphic pictures of miscarried fetuses.

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  32. Oh, how I love this post! Everyone needs to read it! I'm having a hard time with Google+. I can never find their blog unless they keep up with posting entries. Drives me crazy!

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  33. I think you hit on all my biggest pet peeves, except for one. If I have to sign up for a very specific account in order to comment on someone's blog? I'm not going to do it.

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  34. Since you brought it up I will say it is a little frustrating that the link you leave for a comment brings to your google plus page and not your blog. Just so you know :)

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  35. cestlavie, actually you're the one who controls the settings on your blog. A lot of WordPress bloggers set it up so we can enter our URL and that shows up instead of our Google Plus page. If I could control how it shows up on your blog, believe me, I'd much rather have it as my URL. Since so many WordPress blogs only let me send it to my Google Plus profile, I make an effort every morning to post the latest link to my blog on my Google Plus page. Just so you know. :-)

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  36. I think these are all valid and really great points. I've experienced the same headaches when trying to "follow" and comment on blogs. I'll have to double check to make sure I'm not committing any of these faux pas. ;)

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  37. I love this post and Im absolutely agree, to comment would be easy !
    I hate captchas and verification word are terrible.
    Some blogs are really difficult to comment!
    Amazing post Stephanie!!
    xo

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  38. I think you nailed the most annoying ones. I usually respond to everyone that comments on my blog, but there have been a few times I couldn't find their blog AT ALL, and I'm pretty persistent.

    The other one that gets me is when you pop up on a webpage with about fifty different posts and you have no way of telling which one is the most recent. I mean, really? Come on, people.

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  39. I get very hissy when people have CAPTCHA and comment moderation together. Taking belt and braces toooooo far. I rarely get spam comments and even more rarely comments that I want/need to delete.
    Google plus? Sigh.

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  40. I wholeheartedly agree with everything on this list. Especially Captchas and Google+ profile pages.

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  41. Stephanie, you are telling it like it is. I agree with you and I'll add some of my pet peeves about reading blogs.

    Black backgrounds and white letters just about make my eye balls fall out. Very hard on my eyes and I have difficulty reading grey prints.

    I get annoyed when bloggers don't use paragraphs and fill the whole page without a break between their subjects. I usually skip reading out of frustration.

    Thanks for bringing out this discussion.

    Hugs,
    JB

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  42. The Google+ issue you mention is the most irksome for me. I blame our corporate overlords rather than the blogging public. I know they want to herd us all onto Google+ so they can kick Facebook where it hurts but isn't it in their best interest for us to be able to find each other easily?

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  43. Word verification and comment moderation on the same blog; kind of redundant right? I do have comment moderation sent up for comments on posts 14 days or older since that is when spam seems to happen the most.

    betty

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  44. Yeah, Google Plus is taking over the world!!! It is tricky...someone above thought it was me choosing to link to my Google Plus profile when I comment her blog. It's all on the blogger to set those options--we can only pick from the choices the blogger gives us when we comment. For my blog, I have it set so that you can choose whatever you want to link with your name--you can type your URL, you can use OpenID to comment with WordPress, you can just post anonymously, etc. I try to leave it open! Unless we stick to only reading blogs of those who are blogging on our platform (either WordPress or Blogger), I think the Google Plus thing is here to stay!

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  45. I agree with these! I feel bad when I try to find a link to someone's blog and they don't have it listed because then I think they don't have one. Captcha I often have to do multiple time!

    Great advice. :)

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  46. I have problems on word press. And I agree with google plus being a challenge. I need to reset mine. I'm on google plus.

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  47. I wish Blogger would separate the anonymous comment from the Name/URL, but if you turn off anonymous, the other goes with it. I refuse to use captcha though. I hate it. I get very little spam that makes it through the filter and I just delete it.

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  48. Stephanie...It's always great to hear from you! I hate having to try and read the numbers or letters to comment and after reading some of these comments, maybe my friends don't know they have that on their blog or how to get rid of it. I'm alerting them ASAP! I have a hard time reading blogs with dark backgrounds and weird colored wording...I let one blogger know and she changed it...so much nicer! Have a good week!

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  49. Love this post :D HATE Captcha! Hate, hate, hate it grrrrr. Ok, I feel better how hehehe.

    I also dislike Google+, but it's a necessary evil in some cases. I try to remember to update my page with my latest post, so it's easy for people to find my blog when they end up on my google+ page.

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  50. Hmmm, don't think I have any of these gotchas but then, I don't necessarily look to get readership. At that, i believe I am quite successful.

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  51. I don't get Google+. I have it, but I don't do anything w/it. It just...sits there. =) Great list, I agree w/them all!

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  52. Last night I got up and wrote a post about arithmetic. Scared everybody off!

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  53. As for the hide-and-go-seek comments: I found that if you click on the post title, the post becomes a separate page and the comment box appears at the bottom. It took me a long time to figure that one out.

    Yeah, I don't do well with Google + either.

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  54. I so agree with you on this. I stopped going to some blogs that changed their layout and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to comment or where their blog page actually is. And don't even get me started on the capchas. I love getting comments but when I click on the person and it takes me to their Google+ account, that really doesn't help me be able to make a comment on their blog. I wish they would stop linking to there.

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  55. Mary--I think I've figured out it's when you turn Anonymous comments off. It gives people who aren't on your platform no other choice but to link to their Google Plus. If they're WordPress bloggers, it automatically does it. I'm a fellow Blogger user, so it links over here when I post on yours (I think). As someone above said, it's a necessary evil but I'm pretty sure it's the blogger who controls that unless the person is deliberately typing a link to their Google Plus profile in with their comment.

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  56. Yes, I hate "prove you're not a robot." For some reason I often fail (I need new glasses?) and I have to try multiple times!

    Yvonne

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  57. I thought it was just me and my inexperience at Blogging. Your Blog is right-on! I hope everyone in the world reads it and follows your advice so I can continue to read those Blogs that now scare me away. Thanks!

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  58. I don't like captchas either. Having said that, I hadn't realized I had one turned on until recently. Ha! Just a couple of days ago, I visited a blog that did not have comments enabled. I thought that was strange. Doesn't everyone want comments?

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  59. Wow. I concur with everyone one of your beefs. Especially hard to decipher captchas.

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  60. I so agree with these! I noticed almost all of them during the A to Z blog, except the music one. Maybe my software is so behind in updates I just can't receive the noise. Oh darn!

    I wouldn't be too hard on the folks with moderated comments, because they may not be aware that moderation is standard for some Google blogs and has to be turned off in the settings by the blogger. I didn't know that for years until someone kindly suggested I turn mine off.

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  61. Captchas are my biggest annoyance, but I also don't like very light text on light backgrounds, to the point I have to squint to read it. I like a really great contrast while reading.

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  62. I don't mind moderated comments--couldn't care less. I do like when the blogging site lets you see that comment moderation is on...sometimes you post a comment and it just vanishes and you aren't sure that your comment even posted! But a lot of that is outside of our control--it all depends on the site we're using.

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  63. Ah yes you're right, the worst in Captchas mainly when you try and try again because noooo it doesn't want to work.

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  64. Yeah, captchas need to go away. I mean, I like the fun ones where you move an object, but otherwise, nope. The different comment options are always a plus though, I love commentluv, so much easier to get to someone else's page. If they don't leave a post, google plus is my go-too. If there's no links on google plus though, I'm stuck. And then I google, or try and find them on twitter, but sometimes I just can't find them at all, which is awkward. :(

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  65. Those captchas are really annoying. I get a little confused when I'm taken to a Google page. Obviously, you have to hunt for the blog. I hope nobody experiences that when they come to my blog. Is there a way to know?

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  66. I have learned the hard way after getting the wits scared out of me one too many times to shut off my volume when I hop around blogland. NO MUSIC at all is best.

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  67. On a regular basis, people try to put odd things on my blog -- anything from selling purses to links to sex sites. So I moderate my blog, but I don't use captchas.

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  68. Your spam filter isn't catching it, Mark? Mine does. I wonder if there's some setting on yours that's off? Either that or you have some determined spammers!

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  69. Sometimes when I post something that is supposed to be humorous commenters try and one-up my post (I am guilty of this as well ) I appreciate it when they try to at least then say something positive about the post.

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  70. You don't have to worry about me doing that, joeh! I'm not very quick witted.

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  71. Yes to ALL of these. I hate music on blogs, because my sound is always on, and it scares me.

    And Captcha is just AWFUL.

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  72. I've encountered the first three of these today alone! I'm never surprised by audio, because I have my sound turned off as default, and turn it on when I want it. I think my blog passes your tests :-)

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  73. Amen to everything. As for capchas, I deactivated anonymous commenters and that did the trick. There's still one or two that manages to come through and that's manageable.

    I dislike auto-launches too whether it's a video or music, I visit a lot of blogs a day and that slows down the page.

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  74. Or crashes it, Braine! I visited something earlier today that crashed my Shockwave player and I had to get out of everything and open it all back up again. Probably the fault of my sensitive computer, but I didn't go back to that blog afterward!

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  75. Yes..I hate captcha I cannot read those darn things. Google+ makes me bat crazy as well, but the musically blogs make my heart stop..like those videos of a peaceful stream where all of a sudden a monster pops into the screen and screams...LOL

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  76. I so agree with all of this! I always get the captcha thing wrong. ALWAYS. And it's amazing to me how difficult it is for me to comment sometimes...what's that all about? Why is it hiding? I want to communicate and be friendly for goodness sakes! Oy.
    ~Katie

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  77. I am totally right there with you on all these. Captcha annoys the crap out of me. Not many spam comments get through on blogger anymore. And yes, I can never find blogs on people's google+ pages.

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  78. So true to all of these! I'd like to add white type on a black background...ouch, that hurts!

    The most annoying thing I've seen these days (and no offence if you occasionally do this, but I don't think you do) are people who fill their blog posts with animated videos. Those are so frustrating! I don't know any way to shut them off, and it's hard to concentrate on words when a cartoon character is bouncing up and down. Ugh.

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  79. YES. Oh YES you speak truth. XD I hate the automatic sound. It scares the living daylights out of me...particularly when I hate their choice of music or have my headphones on. Ugh to captcha too. Maybe it deters spammers, but it also deters me. -_- Plus I don't use it and I have blogger and I don't get a lot of spam...so I don't know what people are concerned about?!!
    Love these tips. ;)

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  80. Thanks for the tip about Google +. I know I have an account, but I never use it or look at it. Apparently I should be to make sure people can find me over in WP.
    I appreciate the info!

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  81. Haha love the gifts. And yes, to all of those. If I see capcha, I'll be making a note not to return unless I really really love you. It's too much effort especially when combined with my tablets auto correct.
    And not seeing a comment box, this puzzles me so much. I'm zooming up and down and have often left without finding it.

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  82. Fully agree!!! HATE Captchas!!!
    Point by poit I agree!!!

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  83. People who only approve of really positive comments. Yes it can be offending to get criticism to you blog post but it if they write a really controversial blog post they know a lot of people do not agree with them.

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