Most bloggers want comments, eh?
After jumping through account forms, questionably readable captchas, how much is one’s spirit to comment crushed when a site mis-labels it as spam, and eats the entire comment. I was unable to overcome these obstacles yesterday.
This started when I read Graham Atwell’s post on Creativity costs money in Second Life… there is sure a lot of bandwagon hopping recently with heavy jumping on both pro and con wagons. And I have my own biases as well having been involved a year in SL activity with NMC.
So, respecting Graham’s previous writings, I spent some time, actually too much time entering my comments in his blog. There are multiple buttons on the web form- am I Anonymous/Join, Login, or just plain old Submit? So on first submit, I got bonked as it said I entered the wrong captcha. That’s strange, as it was moderately readable, and I am lousy typist. The second captcha was a bit harder to discern as 2 letters were pushed together. But I took more time with it. Bonk! Nope. The third time, I was even more deliberate.. typing…. really….. slowly… snapped a shoot for my proof:
Better results, at least the web site was chugging along, hopefully moving my honed words into the green light district.
But oh now, Wales, we have a problem, Now there is a box in the upper left accusing me of being a spammer! My comments that wer in the form are gone… fortunately, I was wary of something going south, so before I submitted, I had copied the text of my comment and saved it in a text file. The stinky spam box suggested I email for help to webmaster at knownet.com.
So I did, including the text of my lost comment.
A few hours later, my inbox had one of these…
** THIS IS A WARNING MESSAGE ONLY **
** YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESEND YOUR MESSAGE **
The original message was received at
Wed, 20 Dec 2006 00:58:52 +0100
from ug-out-1314.google.com [18.104.22.168]
----- Transcript of session follows -----
Deferred: Connection timed out with theknownet.com.
Warning: message still undelivered after 4 hours
Will keep trying until message is 5 days old
Final-Recipient: RFC822; firstname.lastname@example.org
X-Actual-Recipient: RFC822; XXXX@theknownet.com
Remote-MTA: DNS; theknownet.com
Last-Attempt-Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 05:20:44 +0100
Will-Retry-Until: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 00:58:52 +0100
--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Alan Levine" <cogdogblog at gmail.com>
To: webmasterat knownet.com
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 16:58:51 -0700
Subject: Booted Comment, Bad Aftertaste!
Arggghhh - I spent a lot of time trying to compose
a comment to
"Creativity costs money in Second Life"
and, got knocked back twice on a difficult to read
captcha, and then accused of trying to spam your
site. This is totally un-welcome to comment, and
I'd hesitate to every try again.
and now this morning the mailer apparently tries to resend….
NDN: Booted Comment, Bad Aftertaste!
Sorry. Your message could not be delivered to:
(Unknown address type)
That’s it, the system has beaten me into submission. It should not be this hard to be a commenter, and such practices only knock the incentive out of an audience.
So I am left with leaving my comment here on my blog, where it is much easier for me to get it through the system… After all this time, I really care very little about the original intent of commenting…
Arggghhh – I spent a lot of time trying to compose a comment to “Creativity costs money in Second Life” http://www.knownet.com/writing/weblogs/Graham_Attwell/entries/2307499287 and, got knocked back twice on a difficult to read captcha, and then accused of trying to spam your site. This is totally un-welcome to comment, and I’d hesitate to every try again.
The environments you described sounds like wnadering in SL– akin to evaluating the entire web by clicking through some randomly chosen web sites that turn out to be porn, get rich quick schemes, cat home pages, and text only rants.
Likewise, as a new environment, this might be the web in 1994, while looking at it with 2006 expectations of what it can do.
As far as avatars, it might seem narcistic to see people focus on avatar appearance, but the mode of identity selection is not fixed by the system to force one to “be something they are not” in RL, the subtext is what people do, not what the system does… a fair number of people seem to design a close mirror to their real selves, and others go the outlandish. I think it’s a mistake to paint this with a huge paintbrush of judgement.
Yes, Linden limits our last “names”, but with some learning of the ways textures and avatars work, there is no limit to what shape you can make– e,g, http://www.nmc.org/sl/2006/10/20/fashion-parade/
I’d agree that a fair number of educators enter with a smaller leap of the environment, the case of seeing a lot of “lectures”, but there are numerous exceptions (spend some time hearing what people are doing on the SLED listserv. To see the kinds of things Librarians are developing on Info Island, the Space Science Musuem (my experience being there live for the space shuttle lift off spelled out what an active shared experience can be- http://www.nmc.org/sl/2006/07/04/third-time-charm/), the NOAA weather simulation, the bio hazards training, virtual Shakespeare… there are activities here which give you a better taste.
Creativity need not have open ended capabilities- there is much creativity in working within limits; and I am not convinced that the opposite holds- a completely free and limitless environment does not necessarily produce more creative works. Many great artists worked with limited supplies. Environments like Hypercard had a limit of tools and functions, but people pushed it far.
Okay, I am sounding like an SL zealot, but I think it is way, way, way too early to pass final judgement with much definite-ness. And I am worried about LindenLabs ability to sustain this monster. Sure some open, shared standards might evolve (in 30 years?). We were asked why we chose SL over some of the other Virtual Worlds, and there was one primary reason– we could use it, explore it, NOW. Things learned here can go elsewhere.
Fortunately today. Sean Fitzgerald posted his much better crafted comments to his own site … so if the lessons is “Forget about putting comments i other people’s sites, just post them on your own” doesn’t that cut out a lot of the feedback/payback for blogging at all?
Don’t let your technology kill the commenter’s spirit!