Chris Brogan is someone I've enjoyed reading for quite some time now. And while lately he's been knee-deep in the 'new media' space, every now and then he gives some sound solid advice for those of us who are doing these things solely for enjoyment and nothing else.
With my recent experimentation with screencasting, inkscape, linux, twitter and other things tech, I have not spent a lot of time improving my blog (or my blogging). Chris wrote a recent post on making your blog more friendly. One of his first points was about making commenting easier, citing the fact that captchas are a hurdle that should be avoided if at all possible. He also wrote that some blogging software (like blogger.com) makes it mandatory.
Hmm. I know I had captchas enabled, but never really checked if that was mandatory. Lo and behold, it isn't. A quick switch of a radio button in the commenting settings will turn it off.
I put a high value on the few comments I do get because of the opinions, ideas and discussion that can show up there. Therefore, I've turned captchas off and for that matter I've also turned off comment moderation just to see if anything changes. I'll still get email notification of comments and can go in and delete comments if they are in fact spam.
So for now I've freed up the commenting system - no moderation, no captchas. Now on to much tougher things like improving the writing and posting frequency...