Blogger recently changed their word verification so instead of getting one clear word that I could usually read and retype fairly quickly, there are two distorted words. At first, one of those was obscured with a background blob, which made it even less easy to decipher. This new setup, even de-blobbed, is not really working so well for me, as my eyesight is strained enough as it is and my patience is not sufficient for me to keep trying if don't guess right the first time. If you have word verification turned on for your Blogger blog and notice I'm not commenting as often as I used to, it's not that I don't like you anymore, it's that I'm too blind and cranky to deal with the wonky words.
If you have both word verification and comment moderation turned on, please turn off word verification, because the reward for figuring out the code should be a comment that posts immediately. Why make your commenters jump through hoops to get into your comment section if you've also got the door locked on the other side of the hoops? If you only have word verification turned on, please consider turning it off to make life easier on people who want to comment. I haven't had it on in a long time and get very few spam comments, mostly because I don't allow Anonymous comments. The spam comments I do get, I mark as spam to educate the automatic spam detection code and then delete; it's easy.
Should you want to try turning off word verification, you can do this in Design mode. (The steps below are using the old interface—I can't find the option in the new one, which I suppose isn't surprising since I can't find a lot of things in the new one. If you're in the new one, you can, for now, switch back the old by clicking on the gear button in the upper right and then clicking on Old Blogger interface.)
1. Click into Design mode.
2. Click on Settings tab.
3. Click on Comments link.
4. For "Who Can Comment?" select something other than "Anyone"; I've found it's Anonymous users who generate the most spam and/or drama. I've got mine set to Registered Users.
5. For "Comment Moderation", select "Only on posts older than ___ days", since some spammers like to hit old posts where they think you might not be paying attention. I've been gradually setting this number up; now I've got it at 200 days.
6. For "Show word verification for comments?", select "No".
7. Click Save Settings button at the bottom.
All that said, over the past few days I've had a persistent spam commenter visiting my blog. I have contacted Google about them (this person has a Blogger profile) and am marking the comments as spam and deleting them as soon as I notice. If this person's behavior continues, I may turn on comment moderation for a while until they give up. In the meantime, the links they're leaving are helping me build up my list of companies to never to do business with.
So, to sum up: if you're using word verification on your Blogger blog, please think about turning it off, and if you notice I've started to moderate all comments, know that there's a slimy SEO spammer to blame and once he slithers off I'll go back to my usual setup.