Thursday, 3 May 2012

Oh, Blogger! The Missing Comments Mystery

I've been contacted by someone who has often posted fascinating comments on this blog - to cut a long story short, his comments recently have been disappearing into my spam folder, without any obvious cause. I'm not aware that anyone else has suffered similarly, but if the same thing has happened to you, on this or another blog, please do let me know. The problem seemed to begin in early April.

The commenter is on Wordpress, but that doesn't seem to be the reason why the comments have gone AWOL. It's a mystery, as he says, that might demand the investigation techinques of Hannah Scarlett to solve! But if anyone has any idea what could explain this little puzzle, we'd be glad to know.

And I'm extremely grateful, by the way, to my correspondent for letting me know and not just assuming that I had, for some weird reason, decided not to approve his comments. I've often published comments I don't agree with, and I certainly have no intention of censoring anyone who expresses reasonable views in a civilised fashion, whether or not I share those views. Once or twice, though, I have deleted comments through sheer personal incompetence. But I don't intend to make a habit of this!

Maybe the problem is something to do with the way Blogger operates? I just don't know, but as I mentioned yesterday, I was very frustrated when the system refused to upload Judith's picture of Kate Stacey and myself. Technology, eh?

14 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - That's Reason #9 for which I am so very happy to have switched to WordPress. I'd never go back.

seana said...

I had this happen recently too--someone who has commented frequently before just arbitrarily dumped into the spam folder. Luckily, for some reason I happened to be somewhere that the spam folder showed up before too much damage had happened. Mostly, the spam folder does a pretty good job at filtering the right stuff out, but there is just this random error that means we should check from time to time.

Richmonde said...

Blogger's lovely new look has a few bugs. Bloggeration!

Maxine said...

I have a Wordpress blog, and comment fine on other Wordpress blogs. I also comment on, eg, newspapers using the Disqus system fine. (Disqus is a system that allows people to comment in their preferred ID eg Facebook or Twitter, so they don't have to sign in to each publication individually). The only way I can comment on a Blogger blog, however, is to use my Blogger account. Otherwise my comments get eaten or go into spam. This is a common occurrence as people are always complaining about this (not being able to comment on Blogger blogs in their preferred ID if that ID is not Blogger's).

However, you can change the spam criteria in your "settings" I believe, for example most spam filters work on the basis of numbers of links in the comment- a lot of links usually means spam so if the person is putting links in their comments, that could be why. You can raise the default setting if you want to risk it.

Wordpress has a good system by which the blog owner has to authorise the comment the first time someone comments, then after that, that person's comments always go straight up to the site, as they have been "approved" as a real person. I don't know if Blogger has anything like that in its settings- the "blog members" is I suppose the way to do it - if you activate that setting, the blogger has to nominate individual people as blog members and nobody else can comment - which would be very annoying for any genuine people who want to comment for the first time at your blog.

Deb said...

So far, all of my comments here have shown up, but a few I've made on other Blogger-hosted blogs (especially on Pattinase, where I frequently post comments) have disappeared. Yesterday, Bill Crider posted a link to an article with the evocative title, "The On-Going Disaster that Is the New Blogger Interface." Yes, indeed.

Fiona said...

I can't offer any words of wisdom but want to say that a very good friend of mine is on Wordpress and rarely manages to make a comment on my Blogger blog. Her comments just disappear into the ether - and I wish my spam folder had some sort of filter because nothing goes into that unless I put it there.

I do like Richmonde's word 'Bologgeration'!

Paul Beech said...

Hi Martin – From Seana and Maxine above, it seems there may be an element of ‘Blogger Behaving Badly’ here. So I thought I’d try a little experiment. I thought I’d whiz you this using my name only, not my Wordpress URL. If this appears on your blog normally when my last three comments as a Wordpresser haven’t, this would certainly be indicative. Here goes – let’s see what happens…

Paul

Martin Edwards said...

Very many thanks for your input, everyone.
Seana, I will start checking now, whenever I remember!
Richmonde, well said...
Maxine, as ever your knowledge is far greater than mine and I'll look into it as you advise, though I don't want to risk allowing more spam.
Deb, I'll check out Bill's link.
Paul, alas your comment went straight to spam before I rescued it. So frustrating!!!!!

pattinase (abbott) said...

O have had similar complaints. I get an email telling me of their comment but it does not show up.

Dorte H said...

And this is exactly why I switched to WordPress last year. Blogger had tormented me and my poor readers for too long.

Martin Edwards said...

It's interesting that those of you with WordPress blogs seem pretty happy with them, more so than us poor Bloggers. And I bear in mind that you, Margot, Maxine and Dorte, are very experienced in the blogosphere, so it may be that I'll summon up the courage to make the change one of these days.

Kathryn said...

I am a blogger, but I have recently noticed that when i comment on other friends' blogs they get the email from the comment but it never shows up on the post.

Andreas said...

you made my day!
I was'nt aware of the spam folder but your post made me have a look at it - and here we are!

Jozelyn Ng said...

I experience this recently. I received comments notification from email but the comment was not visible at the blog post.