Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Feedback Wanted

Some time ago, we started getting hammered in the comments by Asian porn spammers, meat salesmen, and other reprobates. Because we noticed they tended to post a day or more after a post went live, we implemented a feature that would let us screen all comments that appeared a day or more after the post went live.

Since then, we've noticed a real drop-off in comments. I think one of two things is happening. Either the moderation feature is a disincentive to commenters, or comments are getting lost. Either way, this is not a good thing.

So here's my question. If we go back to unmoderated comments and add a rule against all advertisements, will that work better? Got any other ideas? Our comment zone is too important to us to see it harmed by bad policies. We want to encourage lively debate here.



Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I've just been swamped and not commenting most places right now -- but I'm speaking up right now 'cause I think Blogger's been eating comments I've been leaving at other places. If it's happening to others, that might be why comments have fallen off.

Otherwise, moderation doesn't bother me. I used it when I was on Blogger, myself.

writtenwyrdd said...

I've been on vacation and had no internet, so I haven't read any blogs of late. I don't comment here frequently, so perhaps what I say makes no difference, but I'm fine with comment moderation. The blogger version with word verification is relatively painless.

Jami Gold said...

I haven't noticed any of my comments getting eaten. :) But yes, having moderation on probably does create an extra second of 'do I really want to post this' thinking for people. I know that moderation is probably a pain for you two and clogs up your email. Personally, there have probably been a few times that I normally would have posted some silly or snarky comment - but didn't, just because I knew it'd make more work for you two. :)

Is there a way to only have moderation kick in after 3-5 days, instead of just 24 hours? That would probably still catch the majority of the spam, but wouldn't impact most posts.

Just having a rule against advertisements won't stop the spammers, as they don't follow rules anyway. :)

My $.02, :)
Jami G.

Susan said...

I use Askimet on my Wordpress blog -- it blocks everything nasty!! If you can use that program, I highly recommend it...

Lyn South said...

I agree with Susan. Askimet plug-in for Wordpress is a lifesaver! No more disgusting spam showing in my comments!

Riley Murphy said...

Hi guys!

I don't have a problem with comment moderation - other than to say it works really well :D. As in - thinning them out. Nope, what I've had a problem with over the last couple of weeks are managing set goals. I finally conquered the last one I had in mind to do - today! Ha! But it wasn’t easy. I set myself five goals to complete before the end of March (thank you Pen Olympics) - and, until I had them all done I didn't allow myself to blog - NOT AT ALL. I know. I KNOW! I couldn’t believe it either. But it sure did make accomplishing them in a timely manor a slam dunk. Three days in I was looking for blogger anonymous - I was really jonesing for my edittorrent fix.

Murphy :D

Kassandra said...

I think moderation is fine, maybe even preferable. Spam can get overwhelming, especially the stuff that almost looks like a real post. I hate that.

This is a great blog--please don't worry about slow comments. Maybe people are doing their taxes.

MeganRebekah said...

I get spammed all the time, but only on old posts. I set my moderation to kick in after seven days and haven't had a problem since then.

I know that overall I like immediate gratification and I like seeing my comment pop up right away. It's like a disappoint when the moderation label pops up instead. Plus, I like being able to respond to other peoples comments, which isn't as easy to do if the blog owner doesn't moderate very often.

Wes said...

I don't think moderation is an issue. I doubt if most people think about it. Also I don't think lost comments are a problem. When I was posting regularly, none of mine were lost. Perhaps it's work load. I changed jobs within the same company, and I'm swamped. I haven't had time to participate as before. But I'm getting a handle on the new job, and I'll be contributing more, whatever that is worth. I'll also get to work again on my non-mantasy.


Ian said...

My issue is with the pop-up comment window. I normally read your blog when I'm on my phone, and for whatever reason, my mobile browser doesn't like the pop-up comment.

I have no problem with the moderation, though.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for Akismet. I don't know whether you can get it or anything like it to work with BlogSpot, but it's never let an obvious spam comment through. (It does tend to shoot very short comments from first-time commenters into the spam queue rather than the main moderation queue.)

The thing that tends to put me off as a commenter is word verification - I use OpenID so it means at least twice as many clicks before I get to comment, especially since the word *always* changes while you're thinking of what you want to say...

Dave Shaw said...

I entered one comment that went to moderation and never appeared. I wondered about that, but it was silly rather than substantive, so I didn't worry about it.

I don't worry about the moderation, but I suspect it does slow down the comments after it kicks in.

Linda Maye Adams said...

I'm afraid I haven't commented because of the topic choices--grammar posts just didn't elicit much interest.

Genella deGrey said...

Lose weight now, ask me how!


I'm good with what ever you go with. I don't comment all that often anyway - I'm a lurkmeister.


Vonna said...

Another vote for Askimet. I installed it on my Wordpress blog several months ago and have not had a single spam comment get past it.

Comment moderation isn't too off-putting, though a few of my comments have gotten lost that way.

Riley Murphy said...

Geez, Wes, I've missed you. Yup, do you know how much I've missed not being able to offer you some sliced cheese to go with that whine? Hmm...must be your age. :D

Hi JG! Still brown nosing I see.
I normally would have posted some silly or snarky comment - but didn't, just because I knew it'd make more work for you two.

Crapatola, Kassandra! TAXES? You had to remind me. Drat! I knew I had seven goals when I started. Now, how could I have forgotten good old Uncle Sam. He's kind of hard to miss as he's flapping right behind me with his hands stuck in my pockets. Hey, now that I think about it, he's been there so long I've mistaken him an accessory. ;)

And, Genella deGrey: I was just going to ask you how. (insert pout here) Now I'm lunch bag left out.

Murphy :D

Julie Harrington said...

...there's comment moderation on this thing? LOL! Well that goes to show you how much I notice. Eesh. My commenting has been off lately just because of real life, mood, and anything intelligent to say (which is few and far between lately). So to use an old relationship cliche: It's not you. It's me. {G}


Sylvia said...

I comment sporadically but often by the time I read the posts, it's a few days after the post, so the conversation has moved on. Sometimes I comment anyway but often it seems like there's very little point so I don't bother.

The moderation affects me a little bit in that I sometimes think "oh, I won't comment because I bet someone has already said what I'm thinking and it's just held for moderation." If there's a clear question or something specific that I can see hasn't already been said a million ways, then I am more likely to leave a comment.

Wes said...

Nice, Murphy. I come back after a couple month's absence and you give me shot! Ever consider that you might be the reason comments are down?

Oh, dang, did I write that? That's not gentlemanly.......but WTF, it's gonna hafta stay because my backspace key is broken.

Anonymous said...

I'll roll with the moderation punches.

I havent been commenting lately. being too lazy. Will try to be. . . less lazy in the future.

Riley Murphy said...

Wes says: Ever consider that you might be the reason comments are down?

Murphy says: Really? And here I was thinking just the opposite since you felt the need to post twice. :)

Wes says: but WTF, it's gonna hafta stay because my backspace key is broken.

Murphy says: (insert me speaking with loud, slow words - for, um, obvious reasons :) ) Wes, if you put on your glasses and peruse your computer keyboard you'll see a button with the word delete spelled on it. All you have to do is highlight the text you want to get rid of and press that button. I know what you're thinking. Yes, I do. You're thinking - Dang, those newfangled things they come up with nowadays! Imagine that!

Murphy :D

Edittorrent said...

Thanks, everybody. Alicia and I have talked sporadically about upgrading the blog and switching to wordpress. The Askimet add-on might prove to be the deal maker. I just hate the thought that we might be losing comments in the ether. I don't mind playing moderator, but I mind very much that comments might not be getting through.


Sylvia said...

I run a popular blog on Wordpress without moderation using Akismet. Anything with more than one link gets moderated. I get one or two spam posts a day that don't get caught - not enough to drive me crazy although its still annoying. Most of the ones that get through are stupidly vague and on old blog posts - they don't disrupt the conversation.

It won't solve the problem for you but it does catch the great majority.

Dave Shaw said...

Murphy, Wes,

May I speak for everyone by saying


Thank you.


Seriously, good to see you both back!

Riley Murphy said...

Dave says: Murphy, Wes,

May I speak for everyone by saying


Murphy says: A room? But Dave, (insert the back of my hand dramatically draped over my brow) it would be too crowded - you know, on account of my mom and Wes already in there.

Okay, ouch! I'm saying that one for ya Wes. Blame Dave. Men! Sheesh! :D

Seriously, glad to be back!

Jami Gold said...

Gee, who would've guessed that an innocuous question would bring the comments up to 20-something. See? No, comment problem here! :)

* wearing blinders so I can ignore Murphy and Wes, who refuse to get a room * LOL! BTW, hi, Wes! Missed ya'!

Jami G.

Anonymous said...

I haven't noticed any of my comments going astray. And Jami's right, commenting is sure up on this post, lol!

I'm good with moderation as well.

I also use a Wordpress blog (non-writing) and I don't have any huge problems with spamming. But Blogger has this really cool linking tool that doesn't work with Wordpress. The program almost made me switch to Blogger, but your spam issues make me wary now.

Taxes? Nah, down under, we don't need to worry about them until July.

Glynis Peters said...

My comments seem to appear on your blog. I have had a drop in comments on my blog. As I did my rounds, I read that many writer friends were taking a break from blogging.

The spammers ruin comment boxes.

Eva Gale said...

I haven't been commenting faithfully because I'm buying a house and moving in a few weeks.

If you think no moderation will work better, then go for it. We all ahve sharp writing utensils, we'll jab the spammers.

Eva Gale said...

Also, I have wordpress and I love my Aksimet spam blocker.

Wes said...

Dave, I'm shocked. Shocked, I say.

The only room Murphy needs has rubber walls.

Riley Murphy said...

Okay, Wes, I'm taking off the gloves (and they'd be latex btw, because I prefer it over rubber) I take back my earlier apology. And, believe me, when I drop off my mom's walker to her this morning, I'm going make sure her hearing aid is on and then I'm going to tell her - in no uncertain terms - you're not the guy for her. Nope. Because any guy who’s shocked by Dave’s juvenile attempt at humor isn’t on the ball enough to date my mom. Well, there’s that reason and also, I’m thinking my dad might have something to say about you taking her out. :D

You see? With comment moderation I’d know for sure that Theresa or Alicia were reading this banter. Scary. But, with no moderation I can delude myself into believing that it has escaped their notice. ;)


Wes said...

Thanks, JG. I missed being here. Sometimes life takes funny bounces.

Edittorrent said...

Murphy, hate to tell you this, but every single comment is emailed to me, moderated or not. Nothing gets past these tired old eyes.


Riley Murphy said...

Theresa says:
but every single comment is emailed to me

Murphy says: Crapatola! Who knew? Well, JG probably did (does anyone else find that annoying? ;) ) But hey, now might be a good time to remind you that Murray (before his untimely demise) liked to hijack my blogger account. Remember? So, um, I may not be responsible for everything that I seemingly posted and you read. Keep in mind that he was quite the sassy fellow. :D


Jami Gold said...

Theresa said: ...every single comment is emailed to me, moderated or not...

Reaction #1: You're a glutton for punishment.

Reaction #2: Oh, now you broke the comments for sure.

Jami G.

Genella deGrey said...

LOL, Murphy!

Leona said...

Good to read all this. I missed while gone... although it sounds like a lot of us were out recently. *waves to all who are back.

Like Murphy, I missed my edittorrent fix and my grammar lessons. I read this post avidly, and I'm wondering when my family's going to insist on Edittorrent Anonymous for me :D

I'll find a way to sneak you in, no worries lol

Murphy and Wes, please don't get a room. I'm a voyeur and love the laughter you bring, which I need right now. Dave, you know you don't really want them to get a room. Where would we get our vicarious action?? Lol

Anonymous said...

LOL, Murphy - especially for JG!

That naughty sassy Murray ...

Jami Gold said...

Murphy said: Who knew? Well, JG probably did (does anyone else find that annoying? ;) )

Hmm, should I be flattered or irritated by your misplaced faith in my all-knowingness? :) I think I'll go with flattered - because that'd probably be more annoying to you. LOL!

Jami G.

Dave Shaw said...

Leona, I've got the room bugged, cameras and everything. Don't tell Murphy and Wes. >;-)

Riley Murphy said...

Okay, where's the moderation when you need it? Theresa?

MAN, you guys are bad! ;)

I'd say I'm shocked but, I know you'd never believe it. So...(insert me pausing to think here) I', *crickets* Nope, I got nothing. Congratulations. It only took one comment thread with the combination of: Wes, rubber, latex, room, bugged and cameras to render me speechless. Imagine that?
Murphy :x