Not being one to bite the hand that feeds me (much), I won’t go too deeply into how badly WordPress dropped the ball with their “new” commenting system. I think it was done with the best of motives in mind (stopping drive-by harassment and spam) but the implementation was done with a chainsaw where a small surgical knife would have been better.
Forcing folks to log in (or even create an account first) serves a purpose even if one doesn’t immediately see it. It helps to log an IP address of a commenter. While this is done in the background, and is not intrusive (except for having to do it), it still annoys people. I had my blog set up so that once I approved a person’s first comment, other comments could be made without approval. This has gone by the wayside. Where before, I enjoyed seeing colorful avatars, I now see only the default ones because there is some sort of mix-up between logging in to Avatar.com and WordPress.com so that using one email to log into one service is not sufficient for the other service. This is a problem to be worked out between the two services and I don’t think it was intentionally caused by WP.
I feel certain that WP will eventually work this out to the satisfaction of all. What does bother me is that there is absolutely NO comment (joke intended) from the WordPress staff anywhere except a few scattered posts in a now-locked thread concerning their change of policy. This is just wrong. They should be making sure their point of view is known to everyone who uses their service. This is not the case. All we can do is grouse about it – and even then not very effectively because we don’t know who to grouse AT/TO (choose correct grammar – I know it’s a preposition).
So, until things get straightened out, I am just going to ignore my statistics because they will be skewed out of shape because not everyone wants to have to log in to comment. The whole point of blogging is to let the free association of ideas actually happen. Having to put yourself down in a log file somewhere just to make a comment is just not the right way to go. I feel I am perfectly capable of screening comments for my blog and keeping the obvious spam and whatnot out. I don’t need some Java code doing the thinking for me.