/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » a few changes

I really like blogging.  And I really like the people who read my blog.  I’m not so crazy, however, about spammers.  Every so often I get really frustrated and tweet something like this:  Ya know what would be fun? If a spammer commented something RELEVANT to a post or didn’t pick a post that was 2 yrs old! Bleah.  I really dislike spam.

Sure, I have Akismet attached to my WordPress installation.  And I have Bad Behaviour attached as well.  But spam-bots still make it through my defenses – to the tune of approximately 40-50 spam comments in my queue per day.  This just gets old, especially when legitimate comments sometimes get stuck in the queue and I have to actually READ the comments in order to get them “un-stuck.”

So I’m trying something new here, and I apologize that it adds an extra step to your commenting.  You’ll notice a Re-CAPTCHA system when you comment; it gives you real words to type in and they are squiggly to keep bots from reading the text and trying to enter the words themselves.  I explained it to Mark last night:  Re-CAPTCHA helps to digitize books by providing two words to “verify” – one is known, the other is unknown to the CAPTCHA system and to OCR (text-recognition) software, which is how books are digitized.  After a pre-determined number of people enter the unknown word the same way, the system presumes that the word is correct and it enters the OCR database and another word is able to be digitized.  And the squiggly-aspect of the words keep bots from using OCR technology to put through spam comments.  It’s a pretty slick set-up, really.  Unfortunately, this extra step is necessary, because with all of my other responsibilities and adjustments here, spam-proofing comments just isn’t high on my priority list.  My only other solution is to use a third-party comment moderation system like Disqus, but right now, I’m trying to keep it authentic and organic and not moderated by an external source.

So anyhow, the comments will no longer be moderated, but if comments get weird or out of control in some way, I do reserve the right to remove inappropriate or unkind remarks.  Hopefully, re-CAPTCHA will be the answer to my spam-problem and everyone will continue to play nicely.  Of course, I recognize that as part of the Yakezie Challenge, this comes with the territory – when you’re actively working on Alexa ranking and whatnot, there are more bots that are looking to legitimize their spammy/crappy comments by attaching.  So I guess it’s a mixed blessing, but I’m still taking measures to combat it.  😉

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