First off, I’m going to try to get all of the off-topicness out of my system before I start the actual post; so today, I was on Forumpromotion.net, which is, quite possible one of the best communities on the web. I saw browsing through the forum advertising section looking for some interesting forums to comment on and possibly join, then I found one that looked pretty and had some interesting content on it. I started to register and failed at it about seven times. Why did I fail? Because of that stupid Captcha code. That wasn’t completely off-topic, and I just realized that that is kind of a nice opener to the following paragraph(s). So, I couldn’t get the Captcha code. Bite Shoot me. It’s not my fault (completely) besides the fact that I have glasses I’m supposed to be wearing and my vision is terrible at just generally reading, the Captcha is ‘effin hard. I would love to show you an example from Tinypic at how hard some of their Captchas are, but currently for some reason tinypics images are not loading for me.

So, is it worth it to have a recaptcha on your forum? If I’m about to join a forum and can’t get past that code, then screw it, it’s not like there are not tons of other forums that are of the same genre out there that I could join instead. I personally think that having questions such as “What year is it?” or “What is 5+2” works so much better. Why? Because it only requires a wee bit of thought process (if that) and can’t easily be gotten wrong. Unless the person trying to register can’t read. Then they may have a problem. I was staff at a forum where the owner didn’t have any recaptcha or spam protector at the registeration at all. Heh, needless to say I was cleaning a lot of keyword filled topics and porn advertisements¬† for awhile until we realized that there wasn’t a recaptcha. He responded with that he does not like recaptchas — really, who does? It’s just extra work. But, in retrospect it is needed unless you enjoy cleaning up ham (According to the wordpress admin control panel, ham=spam) or making your moderators work overtime.

“Why fix what isn’t broken?” is what some may ponder when their forum is new and/or has not had any spam bots and yet have no spam protector-thing on their forum. Well, you see the thing is…hmm, how should I word this? (Don’t answer in your heard, it was rehtorical) Well, think of it this way; you’re driving. You have never worn a seat belt. Someone said that you should because if not your head could go through the windshield if you get into a car accident. You respond “I won’t, I never have and am a good driver”. What about the not so good driver coming head-on to you in your lane? ;) Don’t you wish you had your seatbelt on now hun? (Oh wait, you can’t answer that. You’re dead from brain damage.) The same principle could go with forums regarding spam.

I went onto my test forum and there’s this handy option that lets you choose what kind of recaptcha you have (if any). From my ACPs view I had these options; CAPTCHA without GD, GD 3D Captcha, GD Captcha, reCaptcha, and Q&A Captcha. Examples of them:
(GD 3D Captcha)

My thoughts on the GD 3D Captcha: Don’t use it! With people like myself who frequent forums yet do not have 20/20 vision, Captchas like this can become pretty brutal. Also, it’s annoying.

(Captcha without GD)

My thoughts on Captcha without GD: It’s good. It’s the one I would use..but I’m 99% sure I heard somewhere that bots have cracked this captcha, rendering it useless and purpose-defeated.
(Q&A Captcha)

My opinion on the Q&A Captcha: The best option. If you ask something simple like “What letter comes after “C” or “what’s 3+4” then that would mean there’s almost no excuse that someone cannot register because of the Captcha. Also, I like it because you don’t have to strain your eyes to solve it and register.

(Recaptcha)

My opinion on the recaptchas: Meh, they can be good. Then again, they can also be barbarically terrible. Proving my point that sometimes they can be barbarically terrible would be some of the Tinypic.com recaptchas that you need to do in order to upload your image. One of the main reasons I stopped using Tinypic.

(GD Captcha)

My opinion on the GD captcha: Meh. It’s OK. Can be hard. It really isn’t bad, but then in my opinion the Q&A captcha would still be better.

Why did I write this? How and why does it matter? Well, this is kind of written from a guests point of view. And if you have, say, an extremely hard 3D GD Captcha and your forum is new…well why would I join – nay, how would I join when there’s many other forums of the same genre that don’t have the captcha that I can’t get by on them?

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