New Commenting Hurdle

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.) 

Subscribing and Commenting

I very much appreciate all of you who now regularly read this blog. Several of you have told me that you enjoy reading it and that what I've written here has led to further discussion elsewhere. I've been asked to improve the mechanism for subscribing to the blog which I've now done. You'll see a box in the top right of the page with a box "Subscribe to this Blog". I hope this will make following the blog easier for those of you who use feed readers to keep up with your blog reading.

I've also received requests to turn on commenting. This blog initially had commenting turned on when I started it in October of 2006. However, I started to receive spam-like comments and then decided to turn commenting off. I know that other bloggers have also turned off commenting due to this problem and yet others have taken down their blogs entirely in favor of using such things as newsletters instead. The essential problem appears to be anonymity and too easy access. When people are anonymous, they tend to express different views than when they are not and too easy access to commenting makes it easy to receive spam too. I really believe in blogs being a conversation so have wanted to turn commenting back on for some time. I've now turned commenting back on but you have to sign in with your gmail account to leave a comment. I may be wrong but it seems to me that pretty well everyone has a gmail account. We'll see how this goes. [Additional feedback I've received since this posting proposed that I allow open commenting with moderation which I've now switched the settings to. Thanks for the feedback!]

Please feel free to go back to previous posts in this blog and leave any comments you may have. I do really look forward to hearing from you.