I’ve made a whole bunch of backstage changes to the blog to turn on comments. You may think all one would need to do is to click the button that says “Allow Comments by Default,” but NO.
There were two related problems here. A. I upgraded to MT3, which was probably a bad idea, and B. I was paranoid about comment spam. Actually, it was because of my paranoia about comment spam that led me to upgrade to MT3, because I had an understanding that MT3 was better about controlling it. We shall see.
MT3 led to MT-blacklist 2.01b, which after the installation travails of a few days ago looks excellent. But to enable the new comment registration features in MT3 I also had to completely rework all my templates, and in the process I discovered massive bugs in my style sheets, and one of these days I will redesign the whole site (bleah!) and fix it all (ahahah!) but right now: comments work.
For future reference I found the entries on Concerning Spam and TypeKey Authentication for Comments on Elise’s http://www.elise.com/mt/ site to be enormously helpful for understanding and preventing MT comment and trackback spam, and from there I was pointed to the tutorial on template upgrades at Anzi Design which helped me move and update all my templates from MT2 to MT3.
You may post comments willy-nilly for the time being. You’ll need to include a name and email to post (but, you know, it doesn’t check if you’re secretive about that sort of thing) If I have trouble I may turn on moderation. If you sign up with Typekey you can post straight through without even logging in but you get the dorky typekey icon on your post (and you are contributing to Six Apart hegemony <– joke).
I did look into alternative authentication methods for MT3 but it appears the only one out there right now is TinyOrwell, which allows a local per-blog user name and password file. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a way to let you sign up; I’d have to edit the password file by hand to add you. It was a little too tiny.
Onward and back to actual writing rather than site maintenance. I heard once that blogging was supposed to be fun.