Every once in a while I stumble upon some interesting online project. Being for so long in this market as an entrepreneur certainly makes it easier. One of the most interesting projects I saw in the last few months is called AdCaptcher. And, if you’re a regular commenter on this blog you may already used it. 😉
Brand Your Captcha?
If you tried to post a comment on my form you saw that captcha you had to fill in before the comment gets approved. So far, nothing spectacular, a lot of blogs are using captcha on the comment forms to avoid spam. What’s different here is that if I use AdCaptcher, I can control my own captcha text. Exactly. The words used by me were: ‘a better life’, and I’m sure you wondered how can a simple captcha serve a piece of text so in sync with the blog theme. Well, it wasn’t by hazard, that I can tell you. A bit confused? Ok, let’s take it step by step.
Here’s how AdCaptcher works in just a few simple sentences.
If you have a blog, you go register at AdCaptcher (this is an invite link, it will expire after 200 logins, so you’d better hurry). Once you have an account, you can submit your site. After you submit your site, you can add an image. That image would be the one used for captcha. The text in that image would be the text your users have to fill in order to be validated. Don’t worry, the admin interface is pretty simple.
After you set up your blog and you add your image, you can start a campaign. Your freshly created captcha will start to be displayed on other blogs and that would be what AdCaptcher call a campaign. You can buy more impressions or just use a standard exchange rate. There’s more to be explained about campaigns, but to be honest, this is not the best place for that, you’d better go there and see for yourself. Everything is neatly put into packages and suitable sized for your blog traffic (packages are based on a number of impressions).
After you set up your blog, your image and your campaign, you gotta download a little wordpress plugin to make it all work. There is a link at the AdCaptcher site for it. This plugin will make the connection between your setup at the AdCaptcher servers and your comment form in your blog. Once you activate the plugin, ta-daaa: you have a tiny little captcha just above the comment text area.
First of all, it’s the spam control. I learned a little bit about the technology used by AdCaptcher and I can tell you it’s pretty solid. I won’t go into detail because, usually, you don’t make spam fighting technologies public. There’s a pretty solid reason for that: a spammer may read and learn.
Second, you get to brand your captcha with your own text, helping your users having a better experience. I remember that at least 2 of my commenters were positively impressed by the words I choose for my captcha and believe me, I consider this to be a pretty positive outcome of this little piece of technology.
Third, you promote your blog by having your captchas delivered on other blogs and that’s a pretty interesting advantage. If you run a blog you know how difficult is to attract new readers. And having your own captcha inserted in the hottest point of a blog, the commenter form, could be an incentive for them to click and see what’s all about.
AdCaptcher is still in private beta but it’s working. I used for a few weeks on my blog and it didn’t made any major blunders. Of course, there’s a lot of work to be done, but I think it’s a pretty interesting concept. If only because nobody thought so far to build such a complex application just in order to brand a captcha.
As for my affiliation with AdCaptcher, there isn’t any. I’m not affiliated with them in any ways, I just think this is a pretty cool idea.
So, if you want to try it for yourself, just click on this link to get an invite. Remember, it will expire after 200 uses, so you’d better be fast.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.