Friday, March 29, 2013

Parish Notices
– Comments and Google Reader

The practicalities of dealing with Comments

I have received feedback from several regular commenters on this blog that the Blogger Captcha feature (word verification) is really, really annoying. I know, because I encounter it when I’m commenting on other blogs.

The problem for me is that without Captcha this blog gets over 50 spam comments per day (generated by spam bots) and Blogger makes no distinction between these and genuine comments on the email notification facility, which clogs up my inbox. Blogger does though seem to be getting better at identifying spam and filtering it out to a spam file.

So, if I switch off Captcha I also have to switch off email notification. I have now done both. This has the following ramifications:
  • I now have to log in to Blogger and view my dashboard to see if there are any comments in the moderation queue. This inevitably means that the delay between posting a comment and its publication will be increased.
  • If a comment is wrongly deemed by Blogger as spam I will not know because I’m not going to look in the spam file simply because there are far too many in there. If this applies to you, tough! But you can always email me and complain.

Google Reader

If you don’t know what Google Reader or RSS is then you can go on to the next post now.

The RSS feed for this website has been “burned” via Feedburner who record how many recipients of the feed there are. There is a count widget over in the right hand side bar and it is currently fluctuating around the 170 mark. It did drop to zero a few days ago but that was probably a malfunction or Feedburner was off line for maintenance.

To read an RSS feed you need a Reader and by far the most popular is/was Google Reader which is the one I have been using for several years. True I have criticised it in the past, but I still used it. Now though, Google have announced that they are withdrawing this facility as of 1st July. They are already trying to wean users away from it by removing the feature from the drop down menu. So, I need a replacement.

I have opted for The Old Reader which, eventually, has produced some surprising results. As could be expected, a sudden influx of many new customers has caused delays to their service and it took a couple of weeks for them to upload my feeds. But now that is done I have discovered that what I thought were dead feeds (nothing coming through) are in fact not dead at all (Mike Gapes and Redbridge LibDems included). They just didn’t work in Google Reader but do in The Old Reader. So what I’m wondering now is which ones worked in Google and which don’t work in Old Reader? I am also running both in parallel for the time being. At this moment in time there are 51 posts waiting on Google but only 39 on Old Reader. So, at least at the moment, Old Reader is slower than Google.

So, people who read this blog via an RSS Feed, what Reader are you using and what do you think of it. Let’s compare notes in the comments.


  1. I have some sympathy with B21 in respect of the CAPTCHA facility and the consequences to him of not having it. From my own point of view parts of it - partiularly the numerals - can be very obscure and, at time, impossible to read.

  2. its never bothered me,i treat it as a free eye test....