Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 19, 2007

Typepad Sucks

Commentators here have experienced serious problems since about 12 days ago.

Before that, there was hardly spam comments (viagra ads and the like) on this blog and comments were running relatively smooth.

Then Typepad, the company that runs the basic system of this and many other blogs, introduced a new feature. Like usually, they didn't bother to inform their customers about this.

Since the new feature was introduced, any comment with more than a few words of plain text is somewhat considered as spam and a CAPTCHA number input is required. Often comments are outright rejected as spam.

There is no way for me to shut off this feature. It is not specific to this blog, but other blogs running on Typepad have the same problem and are also complaining.

As part of the new feature anything falsly identified as spam is now placed in a special folder I can review. I can also manually release comments caught in this scheme from the folder.

But to have real time comments, as it should be, this would require me to sit in front of the screen all day and do nothing else.

This morning there were 48 entries in the spam-folder, 46 of those were legitimate comments (many redundant as people have tried several times.) Two were indeed spam. When 96% of "spam" is legitimate commenting, the spam detection is obviously misconfigurated.

Since December 6, I have complained several times and asked the Typepad help-staff a list of quite specific question. I have received no real answer to my questions on who, what, why, what to do. Instead, they sent me links to some superficial knowledgebase pieces which do not answer any questions and to marketing texts that laud the new feature. Today they asked me if I have any specific questions. Huh?

For now I'll manually release the comments falsly caught as spam. If your comment is caught as such, please do not try to enter it again. I will try to release such comments as often as I find time, which should be several times a day.

When I release such comments, they have the timemark of when they were posted by you. Therefore, as the comment threads are chronological, you suddenly may find "new" comments upthread.

Between the coming holidays I should finally find some time to move the blog away from Typepad. The company has several times shown behaviour like this, i.e. interfered with the blogs the customers pay them to run and being completely unresponsive when they screw up.

It delivers a bad service that does not deserve customers at all.

Typepad sucks.

Posted by b on December 19, 2007 at 14:33 UTC | Permalink


i found that plain text only sorta in rgiap style, form not content obviously, passes thru but anything beyond that is moot or not which is frustrating sorta like partial reinforcement. notably I often use a) and further to make my posts short and try to organize them in my head, this is a built in feature of Pages in that the b and c and so forth come up automatically and type-pad obviously reacts to some little jigger in there.

anyway season’s greetings to all with big kisses and drinks all round. Thanks to B for all his work.


Posted by: Tangerine | Dec 19 2007 15:18 utc | 1

@ i aussi ici - merci to notre boewulf, b

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19 2007 15:55 utc | 2

season’s greetings to all with big kisses and drinks all round. Thanks to B for all his work.

i'll toast to that!

hey, i haven't been commenting much lately. it isn't because of the typepad. none of my thoughts seem worthy. i'm still here tho!

Posted by: annie | Dec 19 2007 16:10 utc | 3

any thoughts on where you'll move the blog to?

I don't want to start any debates on where you should move it. Rather, I'm looking for knowledge about what sort of hosts are out there that seem to be good for a blog like the Moon.

Posted by: citizen | Dec 19 2007 16:56 utc | 4

I was finally rejected and my thoughts are never worthy but I can't help myself.

Kampai! and thanks b, for giving us a home.

Posted by: beq | Dec 19 2007 17:15 utc | 5

any thoughts on where you'll move the blog to?

Most likely to Laughing Squid and based on WordPress software. I am open to better ideas ...

Posted by: b | Dec 19 2007 18:06 utc | 6

Why I switched to Wordpress two years ago....

Posted by: donna | Dec 19 2007 18:10 utc | 7


Posted by: donna | Dec 19 2007 18:11 utc | 8

really it sucks

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19 2007 18:44 utc | 9

Barry who runs BigPicture, a blog with a huge participation, today posts Comment Problems: Typepad Goes Anti-Spam Crazy

The typepad folks seem to have no idea of how to run a huge computer system. (I'll pull rank on this unless your a Google CTO).

Posted by: b | Dec 19 2007 19:52 utc | 10

From today's answer typepad "help" staff gave me:

We block literally thousands of spam messages a day on TypePad and the changes we're making is to improve this number. This will require some trial and error to find a balance that works best for everyone.

These are amateurs. "Trial and error" on a productive IT system??? Did they ever hear of test-systems???

I suggested to use "trial and error" on their pay too.

Posted by: b | Dec 20 2007 8:19 utc | 11

Typepad well and truly sucks

The system needs improvement? How often has this establishment been flooded by spam , other than my own posts? I can't recall.

Did they ever hear of test-systems??

We had to plead to get a test lab at a former employer

Of course, the incredible shrinking budget ensured we ended up having to fight the war with the army we had

and artificially contrived project deadlines meant to meet bonus time more than anything else, ensured any testing process was subverted due to time constraints.

leading to the auditors demanding a do-over of the whole process because IT (primarily management) didn't take it seriously

Posted by: jcairo | Dec 20 2007 13:28 utc | 12

B, again and again, thanks for all you do to give us this wonderful gift... here is wishing you a restful, restorative, and joyous holiday season.

Toast to Bernhard--Skol!--and a round of pre-holiday drinks for the house on me. Never mind that it's 8 am here...

Posted by: Bea | Dec 20 2007 13:56 utc | 13


Last July, when the first few spam comments hit one of my typepad accounts, I went to "Configure/Feedback" and selected "Always require CAPTCHA". Is that the setting you have checked? If not, maybe it will help. It should allow any comment through made by a human (as a bonus, that test should keep rightwing spam out as well...)

I had to poke around to find this setting, as you observe TypePad isn't very good about keeping us informed.

Very best holiday wishes to all!

Posted by: OkieByAccident | Dec 25 2007 17:18 utc | 14

& best wishes to you too okie

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 25 2007 20:27 utc | 15

Okie! Same to you too.

Posted by: beq | Dec 26 2007 16:08 utc | 16

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