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Achieving the proper balance in commenting is a challenge for a blog. We would like to have good discussion in the comments. However, we want to avoid (1) spam, which requires no explanation, and (2) food fights that detract from the quality of the blog. Each blogmeister must decide how to strike this balance. Some don't allow comments at all. Some take a laissez faire policy. We tried to take a middle-ground approach by allowing comments but requiring commenters to authenticate.

I have received a lot of feedback that the two authentication methods provided to date, OpenID and TypeKey/TypePad, are too difficult. I am particularly disappointed that the Movable Type folks merged their TypeKey authentication service into their TypePad hosting service, producing a very confusing tangle.

Today I have opened up a third alternative, which is to register/authenticate on the blog itself. When you click on the "sign in to comment" link, you should go to a screen which provides three alternatives, the first of which is "Movable Type" with a wrench icon. At the lower right corner of the box is a link that says "Not a member?  Sign Up!" Click on that link, enter a user name and password, go to your email program, get the "Movable Type Account Confirmation" email, and click on the link in the email. Then you should be registered and able to comment with just a sign-in from that point on. If your browser can remember sign-ins for you, you won't even need that. (If it can't, you need a new browser.)

We'll try this for a while. If it causes problems, we'll have to revert.

1 Comment

This works much better.

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