Quiz is a plugin that allows you to put a question into your Comments form. Before anyone can leave a comment, they must answer the question correctly.
You can specify a default question, but the real beauty of the plugin is that there is a “Comment Quiz” box added to the page/post edit screen, which allows you to specify a Q/A specific to the content of the current page. This should block just about any automated spambots, and limit the human ones to those who take the time to actually read the article. (This last point also, conveniently, helps cut down on trolls or people who just don’t bother to read before commenting.)
Cleverly used, it can also cut down on “I don’t understand” emails and comments — for example, on the Virtual Multiblog page on this site, the question is:
If the readme doesn’t answer my questions, I should check the ______
You can’t get past that one without realizing the page has a FAQ!
You can also enter multiple correct answers. For example:
Q: Name one of the original Three Stooges
A: Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp
Any one of the answers will be accepted as correct.
The only real caveat is that you must be careful to make the questions easy to answer. I would suggest using one-word answers, and only ask questions that are answered within the text of the article. For example, you shouldn’t ask about the Three Stooges unless you talk about them in the article — somebody from another country (or younger than you) might have no idea who they are. Remember: you only want to frustrate the spambots, not your readers. Keep It Simple!
My (still evolving) question rules:
- Only ask questions for which the answers are:
- within the text of the article, or
- self evident (e.g. How many letters are in the word “cat”?), or
- a matter of definition (e.g. Which is taller, a dwarf or a giant?)
- Inserting a _______ blank can go a long way in making the question clear
- Stick to short, simple answers. One word is a good length.
- Avoid asking about niddly little details, unless it’s core to the point of the article
- Be aware of obvious alternates (e.g. “three”and “3”)
- I’ll ask just about anything related to a really short post, but don’t make readers dig through a really long one looking for some detail
The main download page is over at WordPress.org.
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