One of our number recently wrote to me “I cannot leave a message at the stlchesterton.com because I’m not a member.”
Yes, this is true. Requiring registration on WordPress in order to comment gives us some level of control and accountability, and reduces website spam nearly to nil. FWIW, in many years of using WordPress.com I have never experienced anything untoward, like spam, coming from or through or because of WordPress. It is a terrific tool.
What it gives YOU is the ability to be notified when something you’re interested in has been commented-upon, to “subscribe” to the website to be notified of all and sundry updates if you like, to self-maintain your e-mail address so you never miss an exciting communiqué, and to engage your fellow members in conversation through commenting on posts. I hope that one day we might dispense entirely with one-off e-mails and have Society announcements go through the website.
Oh, and it is totally free.
It is possible to relax this restriction, but it would require more of my time & attention, which might not be a bad thing. I could set things up to require comment-moderation, for example. But I had quite liked the idea of having people known-to-us-in-real-life be the only commenters.
Please let me know what you think.