Problems leaving a comment?

The site was upgraded this week and there were a few glitches to work through. Some Safari users report that loading the main page, even if clicking through via their Feedblitz subscription, results in loading a copy of the page that’s over a month old. We think this is because many internet service providers cache sites for faster loading but these cached files will reset themselves after awhile. You can circumvent this by clicking on Blog from the blue navigation bar running across the top of the page. Presto! Newest entry followed by others in descending order on the page. I also updated the archives page so it lists every entry published September 9th and earlier so you can catch up on what you’ve missed.

I have known for some time that comments from some visitors are not posting because they’ve written to tell me. These visitors get an error message instead. Unfortunately, the system had not been notifying me so I’ve only known if you’ve written me directly to say so. The spam filter is a bit too exuberant and it’s not something I can configure. To address this problem, I’ve installed a widget that will log every comment that does not post. I can use the file generated by this widget to have the spam filter fixed. Long story short, if you have gotten an error message after writing a comment that did not post, it would be marvelous if you would post a comment again. Yes I know it likely won’t post but the error and failure will be noted in the log file that we can then use to troubleshoot better comment posting.

I can also use the file to analyze failures because no one is blacklisted from this site, but some words are. Examples of blacklisted words are things like “carinsure”, “worldwidecraps”, “medicalplan” etc but if you were to write those words separated by spaces, that would not be the problem.

If you want to participate in repairing my spam filter so you can leave comments, please leave a comment. Yes, I know it may not post but it will be logged in the troubleshooting file that will be used to repair it. Please fill out all the fields accurately and say something in the body of the message so I know it’s a real person and not spam. Maybe “Hi Kathleen” or “I haven’t been able to post”. I also know that if you try to post using a proxy, the comment will be rejected because most spam is posted through proxies. If you don’t know what a proxy is, I doubt you are using one. A proxy is a service you go through to deliberately conceal your IP and location. I realize people are worried that some site owners may pore over this information but with thousands of daily visitors, I just don’t have the time and after five years, I don’t care either.

It’s important to leave a good email address in the comment form because that could also be the problem. Spam filter software doesn’t like some email addresses. Maybe a spammer spoofed your address and left a lot of spam across the web so your email address has been flagged in internet databases. Or maybe your email address contains words spammers like to use such as baccarat or holdempoker or something like that. If your email address is a double entendre or implies you’re eagerly looking for a date, it may also be flagged as a spam email address and has failed to post for this reason. Some people use anonymous email address services but those are also often rejected because spammers use those just as easily as you can.

Anyway, leave a test comment if your comments have not been posting so we can fix it. If by chance your comment does post, you can see you’re not blocked and past failure may have been related to other factors (listed above) or some sort of temporary glitch. For what it’s worth, on rare occasions some of my comments have also gone *poof*.

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  1. David S says:

    This isn’t a real comment. (It’s a comment to look at why the site seems to behave differently when OS X firefox has cookies set, compared to when it doesn’t.)

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