This is not that interesting, but then it is Friday and none of you are reading anyway. Happy Thanksgiving, by the way, to readers from the USA.
Blog comments. As I mentioned the other day I’ve been having some problems knowing what to allow and what not to allow on the SPCK threads. There is much righteous anger which I’d like to allow, but on the other hand I don’t want to get into trouble. I’m still in the process of writing a clearer comment policy which should make the boundaries a bit clearer.
The other issue I face at the moment is comment spam. Lots and lots and lots of it. A few months ago I put some miraculous measures into place which halved the amount of spam I get overnight. I can’t tell you what those were in case the spammers are reading. Unfortunately the situation with spam has, over the last 10 days in particular got significantly worse. I’d say I now average well over one spam comment a minute – at times it is about 100 an hour. I’ve always accepted that wasting hours scrolling through spam is just a part of writing a blog you have to live with, but the amount of time it takes to go through them all is beginning to get ridiculous. I have reactivated the ‘Akismet’ anti spam device, which does a very good job of not letting very much spam though at all. The problem with it is that I have found that it marks a reasonable number of legitimate comments as spam too, meaning that you still have to go through all of the spam comments. I’m not alone in this unfortunately.
As I see it there are 3 options for the Cartoon Blog comments:
- Allow comments as they are, but we must all accept that the Akismet device will eat about 5-10% of them, so those ones will never see the light of day
- Make everyone fill in one of those CAPTCHA things – in other words a series of numbers or letters that you, the commenter, have to type in.
- Give you the option to register, so that if you are logged in you can be sure your comment will get through. I know some people don’t like having to register for more and more things, so I’d still like to make it optional if I go this route.
Any thoughts welcomed. Which option do you find best on your blog? (As a side issue I’d also be interested to know whether certain blog platforms perform better then others when it comes to comment spam. Do you Blogger / Typepad / Movable Type users find that your anti-comment-spam measures work for you?)
Meanwhile other bloggers in the UK Christian sort of world are debating whether to have comments at all. Adrian Warnock has done away with comments, owing to the amount of time it takes to moderate them. Peter Kirk sees this as a refusal to be accountable, and a debate has sprung forth in his comment section and also at Methodist Dave Warnock’s blog. Dave is an unrelated Warnock, in case you were wondering. See also Dave’s post ‘Do blog comments work?‘.
All in all a bit of a kerfuffle, but there are some interesting points being made for those who are interested in such things.
In the meantime if any comments posted here don’t appear after 12 hours or so send me an e-mail and I’ll try to fish them out of the fiery comment furnace.