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.

2 thoughts on “Is TypeKey a failure?”

  1. Registration can be used to fight spam, and TypeKey should prevent me from remembering logins for each site I want to comment on. But as I wrote, the only site I am actually using TypeKey on, is this very site. TypeKey needs to be implemented on many more sites to fulfil its promises. By the way, you are now officially Braintags TypeKey user number 3!

  2. I thought TypeKey was developed to combat feature requests for individual registration, that would make us have to remember a separate login for every weblog. As a spamfighter, it’s not particularly useful, but it does a pretty good job of stopping Balkanized registration.

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