Draining the Digital Moat

I am planning to remove the strangely named CAPTCHA feature on my blog.

CAPTCHA is what you confront before responding to my reflections. It’s a digital moat around my web castle. When I shifted to using WordPress for my blog, spammers assaulted my realm. They were evil invaders from the far reaches of the Internet, grimly focused on providing information about low interest rates, cheap vitamins I can’t live without and drugs to help a certain part of my body extend to stunning lengths. On one day, months ago, I had 70+ “comments.”

And so you, the innocent reader, needed to fill in an odd collection of letters before commenting. Who wants to do that? Hey, I don’t like to do it at other sites.

A book I’m reading about blogs recommended not using CAPTCHA. Be vigilant, she cautioned, but stay friendly and accessible. She had other suggestions I may try over the next weeks and months.

I enjoy your comments. I want our digital conversation to be easy.

Soon, I’ll drain the CAPTCHA moat. (Even now, I distantly hear spammers sharpening their weapons for the next battle…)

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Notes about a novel: desire YOUR feedback!

I want your help with some ideas.

I’ve been musing about the structure of a possible novel. I think the opening will have a woman killed in a hit & run “accident.” Prior to her death, she and the story’s main character would have met every morning in the last month during their daily exercises. Though the “hero” doesn’t know it, she’s intentionally bumping into him, trying to discern if he’s trustworthy. Part of how the “hero” will begin to realize she may not have died accidentally will be based on some of the brief conversations they had during their morning encounters. He will recall several key, troubling comments or questions she asked him.

But first, I need them to get to know each other.

If you met a stranger, say on a morning walk/run, what would you say to get a conversation underway? Maybe there will eventually be a little flirting, but I wonder about authentic questions and comments that help two strangers know each other, and make them look forward to the next day’s brief sharing.

What might you ask or say?

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