Captcha and Google

or, ‘What I learned about Captcha and Google in my first 24 Hours Trying to Divest Myself of Google (for political reasons.’)

First though, THANK YOU to everyone here reading.  I appreciate you following me.  Change is never fun for any of us; we really are creatures of habit.  🙂

Okay, back to what I have learned.

First though, a little back story, in relation to what Nance mentioned about wordpress.  First, there are two wordpress’es.  WordPress.com, and WordPress.org.

WordPress.com is the easy one.  And the cheap one.  That also makes it the easier one to get up and running.  It also makes it the less-advanced as far as options are concerned   (compared to Blogger.)

WordPress.org is the difficult one.  And usually more expensive one (it forces you to have your own domain and FULLY run it) (it isn’t the cost of the domain that is tough, for me in the past it was that I had to hire someone to at least get the site up and running, it was just too waist-high deep in html knowledge I didn’t possess to get it running.)

This time, I thought about it, and in retirement, didn’t want the hassle.  I’m just a little old lady in retirement, and blogging is simply a hobby for me.  Nothing more.  Simplicity rules in my world these days.

But I digress.  Re Captcha and Google from yesterday.  As, while on my political/moral high horse over Google, I was trying to completely divest myself of the monolith that is Google.  This is MUCH harder than ‘simply walking away’ from Facebook.  Google has tentacles everywhere in the media world.  I knew it and was willing to change emails, change browsers, change blogging platforms.  I didn’t realize how deviously hard Google was going to make my commenting at my friend’s Blogger blogs, though.

I had logged out of my Google account.  I started trying to comment at your blogs.  As about 98% of the blogs I follow are Google/Blogger blogs, I learned that there were two options to me, as a ‘signed out from Google’ human.  Some Blogger blogs allow anonymous and user/url commenters, some simply do not.  (in which case, you comment with a Google account or you don’t comment at all.)  But it goes further than that.  For the Blogger blogs that ARE set up to allow anonymous or user/url commenters, the Captcha was set up.  In every single case.  And the photos you had to check to pass the test were so bad, in every single case I had to go through 8-15 rounds of photos before I passed Captcha.  You can imagine, trying to comment at 15-30 or so blogs in one setting, how difficult and frustrating that became.  I had to walk away.  But when I came back later in the night, I thought to try a different approach.  I logged back into my Google account, and went back to reply at those blogs, STILL using the user/url option, and Captcha no longer appeared.  Great for commenting, but I was like ..?????

So I looked it up.  Google bought Captcha in 2009.  And they apparently have set it up on Blogger that if you are still at least signed into a Google account, you don’t have to go through the Captcha maze other than clicking the little box.  But sign out from Google and try the exact same thing and they put you through ‘pick the photos hell’ that requires MANY MANY rounds of it to pass.  In other words, they use Captcha difficulties to ‘force’ you to continue to stay logged into their Google Account of yours.  There is simply no other explanation!

It’s all really extremely intelligent, and devious.  Talk about cleverly wrapping their tentacles around us mere mortals!

Anyhow, so my options for commenting at Blogger blogs is limited to this:

  1.  don’t stay logged into Google, and try to put up with Captcha hell.  (at 8-15 tests per comment, sorry, not going to happen.)
  2. log into Google and either
    1. post with user/url at blogs that allow that option
    2. for Blogger blogs that do not allow the anonymous and user/url options, either
      1. post with my Google account or
      2. stop commenting at their blog

Those are my choices.  I would never ask anyone to accept anonymous comments, and therefore ‘force’ them to go to moderating comments… for me.  I just have to decide if I’m going to continue using my Google account to comment at those blogs, or not.  It’s the moral pickle I’m in, but it’s my gherkin, not yours.  I just wanted to let you know what I’m finding.

In the meantime, I have discovered that wordpress.com has a great ‘reader’ section like Blogger used to, that once I load the blog urls that I follow, keeps them together and lets me easily keep track of who’s recently posted to go read.  Unfortunately their blogroll option doesn’t have that ability, but I’ve bookmarked the Reader page personally.  Just an fyi for anyone considering the leap for whatever reasons.  It’s pretty cool.

Is Google still the easiest to set up and maneuver, with the best flexibility?  Yes, it is.  No denying it.  But for me, it’s just a no-go.  To each our own.  🙂

16 thoughts on “Captcha and Google

  1. Stacy McKitrick

    Google drives me nuts. WordPress drives me nuts. Facebook drives me nuts. They ALL drive me nuts. But short of staying off the internet altogether (which could kill any kind of sales I have going now), I’m stuck. Funny, but before I became a writer, I didn’t even know what a blog was. Same with Facebook. I just didn’t go on the computer except to read my e-mail. Which I didn’t have much of, either.

    I stick with Blogger because it’s easy and free. Free, to me, is a good thing. Then again, so is easy. I’m just your basic lazy person. 🙂

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  2. Margaret whiteangel

    Interesting your research, none of it bothers me too much – it is what it is, and that’s that.
    You do have to have a google email to comment on googles blogs it wasn’t always that way.
    I personally don’t have a problem with Captcha at all, then not that many people I follow have that.
    Now you are retired you have time to look up all things you never had time to do before – happy searching and researching.

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    1. Silver Willow Post author

      Honestly, I never had a big problem with Captcha either; I honestly think it was set up to fail repeatedly when you weren’t logged into Google.

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  3. John Rayner (Anvilcloud)

    I have used both forms of WordPress in the past. I did host my own blog at one point, just because I could. 🙂

    One WordPress feature that I like is how you can moderate comments. If you want to moderate, you can choose to accept a commenter once and not have to approve every single post thereafter.

    WRT signing into Google and that’s all the Google you do, I’d say you were using them for your purpose and not the other way around. IOW I wouldn’t worry about it, But that’s just my take.

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    1. Silver Willow Post author

      I ad to look up WRT. (LOL) Yes, I’m not worried about having to occasionally use my google account to reply to bloggers. In the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing. Thanks for your input!

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  4. DJan

    I activated anonymous comments just to allow my WordPress readers to comment. I get a little stuff I could do without, but it’s also nice to be able to hear from you. I don’t think I’ll try to entangle from Google, so I wish you well in your quest. Keep me posted as to how it’s going, I’m very curious. 🙂

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  5. nance

    Thanks for all your careful work and explanation. I did not know that there were two WordPresses. I went automatically to the dotcom.
    I’m with Stacy, above, in that WordPress charges a fee for something that I’m getting for free on Blogger’s platform with a lot more ease, flexibility, and customization in the blog itself. If a user doesn’t want to pay on WordPress, there is basically NONE of that.
    The downfall is, as Stacy (and you) also mentioned, that Blogger is basically driving everyone nuts. And, in some cases, Away for a variety of reasons.
    Again, thanks, and thank you for your offer of help.

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    1. Silver Willow Post author

      Misconception; WordPress.com is FREE. I paid a small amount to get rid of ads on the mobile site. But otherwise it’s completely free. It’s also very easy to set up, although some of the whistle and bells on font colors, etc. aren’t there. For me, in the grand scheme, it was not as big of an issue as why I felt I needed to disengage from Google.

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      1. nance

        Hm. When I went to set up my alternate blog on WordPress.com, it offered me a Free Forever option, and immediately took away the .wordpress.com domain, instead tacking on the .home.blog domain instead. The only way I’ve found to get around that is to pay. When you paid for getting rid of ads, you actually paid for a lot more.

        Unless I’m somehow missing a LOT. I’m really frustrated.

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  6. Silver Willow Post author

    I’m sorry, Nance. I set this up back in January…it’s just been sitting here ever since. I was definitely free at that time. I was free after I gussied it up here a couple of days ago. But when I was out and looked at it on my phone, I noticed a few ads, so when I got home, I paid for the cheapest plan to get ad-free for 2 years. I’ve paid nothing since, and it didn’t change my url.

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