I first started blogging on October 17, 2006 and initially turned on open commenting. Most blogs and sites did that around that time. The idea was to encourage open communication between the person writing the blog and anyone who wanted to write a comment. By 2007, I was getting spam comments on the blog so turned on moderated commenting. That turned out to take a fair amount of time moderating the comments and it also led to questions from users who wondered where their comment had gone. By February 2009, I turned on open commenting again to see how that would work this time around. The plan was to allow direct commenting and publishing the comments automatically but for me to spend some time once every several weeks to moderate comments after the fact. The problem is that there have been have been a surprising number of spam comments. So much so that I've decided to turn on limited moderated commenting.
I had a look around and found out that most sites actually use some form of moderated commenting. The key news sites and tech blogs use this. The only exceptions appear to be sites like YouTube and I've been finding the comments are the worst part of YouTube. The ratio of thoughtful and valuable comments to sheer crap is like 1 to 50. I find unfortunate that virtually everything that is made available has to either be gamed for a cheap buck or taken over by fools.
Please let me know if the change in the commenting system is too much of a hurdle (note that the photo of a hurdle shown above is courtesy of Fanboy30 via Creative Commons license.)