We posted on facebook the other day that we had made it possible to post comments under articles here without having to log in. Here’s why.
A couple of years ago we disabled the “signing up” option on this site because of the massive bot/spam attacks, which are getting more and more sophisticated and can breach programmes to detect them. Instead, we made it known that if you send us an email with a username and password, we would set it up for you, so that readers could comment on the site.
Now what we have done is simply side step the registering and signing-in option allowing anybody (registered users or not), to comment directly at the bottom of our article.
To prevent spammers using this option, comments have to be approved before appearing – more work for us, but worth it.
The reason that we have taken this step is because many readers comment on our articles via facebook where they are already signed in. Facebook readers see our article taster on facebook, click on the link, read the article here, and then return to facebook to make a comment, rather than signing in on the Seaside Gazette site to leave the comment because either they are not registered on this site or because they don’t want to have to go through the rigmarole of signing in here.
Answer: remove the signing in process here!
This doesn’t automatically mean that people will leave their comments here under the article rather than on going back to facebook to do it, but it might help.
The important thing is the feedback, be it on facebook, or be it here, because it’s helpful to get response to an article; getting other people’s opinions and a spot of flak when deserved.
Anyway, I, Martin, got up this morning and realised that while I had informed our facebook followers about the changes here, I hadn’t actually informed the site readers that reach us directly – duh! should be sacked!
Finally, if we start to get a flood of spammers, bots or lunatics, as we have ‘opened the door,’ then we are going to have to rethink the move, obviously, but let’s keep the old fingers crossed.