Registration Required

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

Yesterday, I was reading a bunch of random blogs that I had linked to from various places. Out of the bunch, I wanted to comment on only two of them, but I didn’t leave my comments. Why? Because both of the blogs required that I register in order to comment.

Why do that? I mean, yes, it cuts down on spam. Yes, it allows you to moderate comments and only allow approved comments on the site, but even asking for the least amount of info possible (my e-mail address and a password) was enough to put me off altogether.

Regular readers will know that I get a truckload of comment spam (every time I write about comment spam, I seem to get more of it, so prepare for an influx). Lately, I’ve been getting between two and eight comments a day that are spam. But I don’t whine about it (much) and I don’t require my readers to register. I simply (and diligently) delete the spam as it comes in. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I want to point out that I’m not complaining. I could write a little PHP script that would detect most of the spam and simply refuse it, but I’m going to be upgrading to the newest version of MovableType soon (the plan is to do it next month) and I’m interested to see how well the built-in spam filter works (the version I’m using doesn’t have one).

The point of all of this was just to wonder aloud what the point of forcing users to register is. I’m much more willing to register if it’s a site like Blogger or LiveJournal, because chances are that I’ll leave comments on several blogs hosted at those sites (and I do). But why in the world would I bother to register for a site where the registration doesn’t apply anywhere else? Especially since I’m not likely to return to the site after I’ve left my one comment. I could require registration on my site, and it’s probable that my regular readers would sign up. But the casual reader wouldn’t, and the internet is composed primarily of casual users.

In my mind, it just doesn’t make sense, but I’d like to hear what you guys think. Have you run into a situation where a site required registration? Did you bother to register, or did you just leave without commenting?

By the way, happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. I haven’t run into a site that required registration, outside of Blogger. I require registration to prevent spam. I have found that it does cut down on the amount that I get. I very much doubt that there is anyone outside of my current readership that visits the site (aside from the few people who happen to hit the “next blog” button at the top of the page and happen to land on my site), so I’m not going to change my current settings. But, like you, if your site gets more traffic than the six or so that I have, then registration probably is more likely to turn someone away than a site that does not require it.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Morah! See you in about an hour and a half.

  2. Oh, and Kisa too. Make sure you give her some of your mom’s turkey or something.

  3. But for you, it’s not such a big deal. As I pointed out, people are more likely to register with Blogger than with Jeff Nobody.

    See you soon!

  4. WordPress’s Spam Karma 2 gets rid of almost all spam comments for my blog. Xanga requires registration to post comments, as well as Blogger. I think this is the only reason why it is so popular, because people register so they can post comments on their friends’ blogs, since as something that is primarily a blogging tool, it’s the worst one I know of.

  5. If it’s relatively easy to register, I might consider it, unless I got some vibe that registering is going to load ME up with spam. It also depends on how much I like the blog and how likely I am to come back regularly. If I know I’m only going to comment once and probably never come back, I probably would just not bother.

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