Is TypeKey a failure?

If you want to leave a comment on this site, you have the option to identify yourself using your TypeKey account. TypeKey is a centralized authentication service from Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type. It was developed as a measure against comment spam, and made available in version 3.0 of MT. After TypeKey was released I changed my templates to include this system. I do not force commenters to use TypeKey, since my spam problem is not that big.

This was in May. Now after some months more, I have some observations:

  • Besides me, only onetwo commenters used TypeKey to comment on this site;
  • No other MT–powered site I comment on has TypeKey activated;
  • A Google search on the default TypeKey comment link — TypeKey Profile Page — returns only 21000 hits. So only 21000 pages on the whole web have TypeKey authenticated comments — remember that some sites have many pages, with many posts.

To me it looks like TypeKey is not used a lot.

Why can that be?

I think the main reason is that most of the sites using Movable Type never update their templates. They might update to a newer version of MT, but leave their templates alone. And they are right in doing so; I remember that it was quite a puzzle to add the TypeKey code to my template.

So TypeKey is a failure?

After only four months, it is very early to make this kind of conclusions. Every new site that starts using MT will probably have TypeKey activated, so I expect more and more sites to use is. And when the base grows, other sites might benefit more from this service as well.

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers

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