One of the biggest challenges that bloggers face today is spam. Blog comment spam eats up huge chunks of time and resources and there’s no end in sight. In an attempt to get a handle on comment spam, or at least manage it, bloggers have tried various tools and actions and I thought it would be fun to push back a little; on the inconvenience aspect anyway.
Let me start by saying there are some reasonable actions to take against spam, like spam fighting plugins and moderating blog comments. The problem is that nothing seems to effectively squash the headache of clearing our spam boxes daily. So what’s one to do? Get a little crazy, that’s what…
Hangout (HOA) Video – Crazy Things Spam Makes Bloggers Do
Banning IP Addresses
Taking the time to ban IP addresses, emails and keywords might have a feel-good effect, for a minute, but is it really helping? This seems like an easy task until you’re faced with hundreds or even thousands of blog comments each day. Then what?
Turning off trackbacks
This one isn’t all that extreme and I imagine it can help reduce comment spam since 98% of trackbacks are spam. Personally, I want to know when that 2% that are actually linking back are doing so. I’d hate to deny a legitimate link to a generous blogger going to the trouble to mention a post because spam made me do it. That would just be crazy, right?
UPDATE: Just hours after this post went live I had a legitimate trackback request come through. Yeah, people talk about us. lol Thank you to BlogWorld & New Media Expo for including us in 25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Google+ Hangouts.
Captchas are stupid. Do you know what CAPTCHA satnds for? “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” I told you it was stupid. What are these letters ILli|1vXOPS0Zv and are they upper or lower case? You see, it’s almost designed to make humans feel stupid.
Captchas might even get you sued. Yep, true story, read about it on Wikipedia.
A much better solution is G.A.S.P. (GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin) by Gail Gardner. Sometimes the simplest solusions are pure genious and that’s exactly what GASP is. By the way, G.A.S.P. is built right into Comment Luv Premium.
One last thing on Captchas, I found this funny page while researching this post and wanted to share the laugh: 15 of the Meanest CAPTCHAs ever.
Writing Comment Policies
I’m guilty of this one… We write elaborate comment policies like it’s actually going to change behavior. I’m sure anyone that studies psychology thinks that’s funny as hell. I think it’s funny when bloggers go on a rampage and act offended when no one reads it. Who hasn’t read, or even written, that post. lol
How many times have we watched a frustrated blogger go no-follow across the board in an attempt to stop the comment spam they are dealing with? Have you ever seen it fix, or even help, the problem? Yeah, me neither. (BTW, there are better reasons to go no-follow but I’ll go into that on another post)
Third Party Blog Commenting Systems
Okay, this has to be the craziest step against spam that I can think of short of just turning off comments (below). And truthfully, this one might actually work; but at what cost? You go through a lot of work getting setup to get less reader interaction? I think anytime you require someone to register and login to comment on your blog you are risking a less comments. I think that’s why it’s often blogs that are already established that tend to switch to comment platforms like Disqus and Livefyre. In fact, one blogger friend of mine, Mitch Mitchell, dubbed these third party blog commenting platforms as “Systems of the Elite.”
Closing Blog Comments
This is beyond crazy, its madness! lol Turning off comments on a blog is, in my extremely expertated (wth?) opinion, is shutting down the blog. Like I said in the video (which should be going viral very soon) a blog is interactive and without comments it’s no longer a blog, it’s just another website.
Two Word Names
Alright, here we go… I left my pet peeve for last. I like my name. The problem is that Brian Hawkins is just too common. Years ago I had to register brianDhawkins.com because BrianHawkins.com is already taken.
Okay, so what does all this mean? It means I have spent years branding my FULL name into this incredibly famous super hero of a blogger and now… bam, bloggers all over the net decide that’s just too many words. Anyone using more than two words for their name must be a spammer, right? Be sure to watch the video; Mitch and I like to debate issues like this. Lol
Am I Crazy?
Am I the crazy blogger here? Are these perfectly normal steps to take against spammers? What do you do to help prevent spam? Has blog comment spam made you a Crazy Blogger?