If you have created a blog, you may have experienced the problem with spam bots creating large numbers of comments. That is a major nuisance for many of us and one of the reasons why the blogs have been very quiet in the past couple of months.

In recent weeks, I have looked for a solution and found a suitable plugin for LifeType (the blogging software used for RBW blogs). The plugin shows a "Catcha!" - a number in front of a background picture, which the person who want to comment need to type into a field on the form. Without this number, no comment can be posted. The Catcha! is not (easily) machine readable, so only users who are alive and breathing (pun intended :)) can post comments, spam bots are out of the game.

The plugin is now installed and works with one particular template called "blorange". If you would like to try it out, you can switch your blog to this template and enable the plugin for your blog. Instructions can be found below. You can switch back to your current template later. No information will be lost. An example for how it works can be found here:

Because of the way LifeType and the plugin work, I would have to manually include program code in a particular file in each of the templates currently installed (87 at the last count). Of course, that's not feasible. So, if you would like to use the plugin, could you please follow the instructions below and reply to this post with the name of the template you use.

I will then go through the most frequently used templates and fix them. When done, I'll notify you so you can enable the plugin for your blog.

If you want to use the new plugin, in order to allow people to comment on your blog, without being spammed by bots ... follow these instructions:

How to find out which template your blog uses:
(1) log on to your blog, you will get to the "Dashboard" screen
(2) click on your blog name, next to "Login"
(3) click on Control Centre in the menu
(4) under "Settings", click on "Blog settings"
(5) in the "Template" tab, the name of the chosen template is shown in the drop-down box
(6) post a reply to this post with the name of the template
(7) in the "Plugin Centre", check the "auth_image" plugin is shown
(8) click on the "Control Centre" tab
(9) at the bottom, under "Anti Spam Management", click "AuthImage"
(10) under "Configuration", activate the "Enable" checkbox, then set the length of the key (default is 6), select a background picture if you want (default is "sky.gif")

How to enable the pluging
(11) if you have followed the steps above, you can select the "blorange" template in the drop-down menu as a first try (no other template has been fixed as of yet)
(12) you can activate the "Enable comments by default" box. If you don't do this, you can still enable comments when you create/change a post in your blog.
(13) click on the "Update" button at the very bottom of the page in order to save the change. You can always go back to your template later.

If you need help, please reply to this post or PM me. Also, if you find any problems, please let me know.

One last thing: I have not yet found an easy way to delete the existing spam comments. I'll keep you posted if anyone is interested.

Cheerio from the land of Oz!