Ok, some background for those who may read this and go, “I don’t get it”.
yfrog, is a popular web service that allows Twitter users to share photos (because Twitter wasn’t designed for that).
I signed up for the first time, yesterday.And I tried to finish the new user registration process today, and was stopped by a captcha. Trust me, you know what that is. It’s that completely illegible picture of words some websites make you fill out before you can click the submit button for ANYTHING (look at that picture on the left).
And you fill it out 5 times, cussing the whole way, and either your post or message gets through, or you give up in frustration and leave the site, still cussing up a storm.
It’s used to fight spam. But there are other ways to fight spam. We used to use it over on Skippy’s List (yes, that’s my husband and sometimes he says “get in the kitchen and make me a website, woman!”).
We finally ditched the captcha because it’s just a pain in the butt for users. The audio on reCAPTCHA, the one we were using (and the one yfrog uses), absolutely sucks. And any web developer paying any attention knows this. It’s been a complaint for years. I would think that by now, reCAPTCHA knows too because everyone has been making a stink everywhere about it for a while now.
So for some people, there was just no way to ever post a comment. We found other ways to fight spam and have had no problems since ditching the captcha. And that site gets a fair bit of traffic too.
So here’s what I sent yfrog this morning. And the image in this post is the horrible catpcha that was the final straw. And I have to say, for dealing with such a pain in the butt first thing in the morning when my kids woke up an hour early and I’ve had no coffee, this is pretty darn polite.
Also, this is pre-coffee and probably one of those “who cares?” kinds of things (Ok, I get that a lot even after coffee.) Although really, if you own a website, or work with one, you SHOULD care. Really. Blockades between your site visitor and you are a BAD idea.
I got my registration email that said:
“Welcome to yfrog, you are almost there!
Complete your registration by clicking here to change the temporary password we have set for you. Once set, you can login to yfrog with your Twitter login or your email address and password.
We look forward to seeing you on yfrog!”
I failed to be able to log in, because reCAPTCHA has become increasingly illegible over the years (and their audio has been horrible from the very beginning).
So now, when I try and finish this process, I get “We’re sorry, the token you provided is no longer valid”. Which, as a web dev, I know what that means, but if I wasn’t a dev, I’d have no clue what that means or what to do about that.
Further, and I have a screenshot of this, that final captcha has a character I can’t even duplicate! It’s the Greek character sigma, and I *think* (again, hard to read) it’s showing to the 2nd power. I’ll be happy to send the screenshot to you.
Now, I can log back in with Twitter. That’s fine. But will I be able to continue to log in or is this going to stop eventually because I can’t change the password per the welcome email?
The captcha does set a major roadblock between your audience and your product. I understand why you want a captcha. I understand you probably fight bots all day. But if you must use a captcha, can you try another? I know recaptcha is free too, but surely it’s not the only free one you can integrate with your site? We used to use this on my husband’s high traffic humor site, but finally ditched it and thanks to other spam fighting tools, we and the blog are not flooded with spam all day. So, there are other ways.
BTW…to get this message through you, I get to use…another catpcha.
Thanks. And again, I’m a dev, I feel your pain. Maybe whoever set this up was just told they had to do this or use this specific captcha service. I hope this is another voice you can give management or whoever and say, “See? I told you so”.
Your new subscriber,