ELDER MUSIC: Almost Angels
Do Old People Smell Funny?

Important Blog Comment Problem

As they say, shit happens and for the past month or so, many of your comments at this blog and, to a lesser degree at The Elder Storytelling Place, have been relegated to the spam folder instead of being published.

I dislike taking up an entire post to discuss this kind of blog housekeeping but it has been going on for so long now I think you need an explanation.

Since it began on 23 May, I have been working with the Typepad (my blogging service) help desk to fix the comment system. The problem is that some comments, including my own and those of readers who have been publishing comments for years in some cases, are tagged as spam.

I can go into that folder and post the wrongly-categorized spam comments but I cannot spend all day checking for them and sometimes I forget to do it for two or three days.

The help desk at Typepad tells me they are working on this and I spend a great deal of time publishing the “spam” comments and then sending the URLs of those comments to Typepad so they have something to work with. So far, no solution.

A special note to Colette, Linda Skupien, Ann Shaw, Madeleine Kolb, Pamela (Lady Luz) and Lynne Spreen:

Over the weekend, the six of you left excellent comments on our terrific conversation last week about elders and the need to be touched that ended up in the spam folder.

When I tried to publish them on Sunday morning, they disappeared. My apologies but, as this note explains, I can't do anything about it; I must wait for Typepad to find a fix.

UPDATE: Reader Lyn Burnstine just let me know that Colette's, Linda's, Ann's, Madeleine's, Pamela's and Lynne's comments ARE posted on that story. They weren't there on Sunday morning after I published so something got better since then.

That was an important conversation about something that is almost never spoken of in public (anyone who missed it should definitely read it and all comments).

So if the six of you whose comments got lost would like to try to rewrite and republish them for the record, I'll keep watch to be certain they are published. I'm sure I'll return to this subject in time and your thoughts will be important to have.

For everyone, I'll try to remember to check the spam folder at least twice a day and publish any missed comments.

My apologies for this but undoubtedly you have personal experience too with how technology just screws up sometimes for no good reason and how terribly frustrating it is when it's not within your ability to fix.

In addition to the comment problem, I lost six or seven hours (!) over the weekend trying to figure out why my printer suddenly tried to fax everything I wanted only to print. It's finally fixed but I had different plans for those hours. Grrrrrrr.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Jan Adams: Do You See Rabbits?


Ah yes, I so understand. G and I were on the way to the gym when the modem quit. He works from home. I am so sorry.

I just figured my comments were always off topic! (That's a trait I have in conversation too!)

That explains a missing comment from a week or so ago. Thank you for working on fixing this! yes, I have spent hours trying to get my wireless printer functioning correctly so I feel your pain.

That's the thing about technology ... just as you begin to feel you've got a handle on it, there's a glitch. Or perhaps that's the thing about life ...

Bugs, bugs everywhere. These must be Junebugs, sorry.

This is the best true blog I have ever seen and you have done a GREAT job shepherding it for a long time, now. You deserve a medal at this point! :-)

You have my sympathies and do not wish tech woes on anyone. However, I have to admit your post provided some comfort with the feeling that I am not alone and maybe not such a big crybaby when faced with my own tech woes.

Technology glitches out of our control are an under-reported dental hazard --all that teeth grinding.

I just wish I could get people to leave comments on my blog. LOL The "prove your human" feature at Bloggers does a good job of getting rid of the spam though. Whenever I turn it off to make commenting easier for people, I can see a difference in the spam level and I turn it back on.

Since my Type Pad blog does not get a lot of traffic, I can deal with the spam usually. But the other day I got 400 spam comments and had to eliminate them without looking at each one, so some legitimate comments may have been lost. I just found one comment by Naomi in my spam filter that suggested I come over here and read what you are saying about spam.
It sure is aggravating to deal with these malicious activities, and then when our electronic machines malfunction on top of all that...GRRR!
Thanks for staying on top of the Type Pad situation, Ronni.

Ronni, you have my sympathy in spending those hours trying to fix a glitch. I think I spend half of my life trying to fix computer woes. The loss of my blog was the biggest computer woe that I had and I was never able to fix that one.

Alerted another TypePad user whose comments often do not appear on my TypePad blog. Not in spam.

Generally, think something amiss since my stats indicate visitors but no comments for some time. Thanks for bringing this up. Be interested in a TGB post about changes you've noticed in Elderblogging since you began.

Oh, just noted my email address here is old one have not used for years. Need to talk to TP again it seems.

That sucks! Guess I won't be trying to use Typepad given the problem you are having with them. Love you and your column. ((Hugs)) Tricia

Patricia Whitney-Jones...
Typepad is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary and my blog has been hosted by them almost from day one.

They have always been enormously helpful to me even when I have asked design and html questions which they certainly do not have an obligation to help with for free.

The help representatives, via email, answer swiftly - usually within a couple of hours - and they are really smart and knowledgeable.

This problem is undoubtedly a result of trying to cut down on the amount of comment spam and the fact is that aside from mistaking some real comments for spam, I have RECEIVED NO SPAM comments for a long time.

So I'm willing to be patient while they work this out because they have always done an excellent job of providing a good platform for blogging and responding to questions swiftly and accurately.

Well, my last comment did not get posted! I find Type Pad blog comments to other Type Pad blogs are the most apt to go astray.

They post, and then they disappear. What's up?

Hi Ronni! Since the subject of comments has come up, I have several times tried to leave a comment on the Sunday music column but for a reason I cannot explain, I'm not allowed to post. It seems if I don't hurry up (if the pieces of music are long or if I wander away for a few minutes) I get blocked from making any comments. I thought I'd email you about it but I figured the software was identifying me as a trouble maker or lingering ne'er-do-well or something and it was probably not happening to others. Anyway...like I said, since the subject came up.

Your blog is one of the most beautiful out there...so well designed, a real pleasure to read and navigate--so both you and Typepad are to be congratulated. I know you'll solve this problem.

Yes, TypePad is a very responsive blog server. This issue may be part of larger "mysteries of the ever-growing online world."

I first told TypePad about disappearing comments on 5/7/2013. They told me to look in the spam folder. Mystery solved. Unfortunately, the problem has not been solved. Worse than having real comments sent to the spam folder is the fact that, for the first time in 8 years, real spam is being posted in comments on my blog. Arrrgggh!

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