….and why I am not using Akismet
Bloggers matutinal joy, grabbing coffee and weeding spammers out! That is how every single day starts for me, killing spam comments. Apart when I was on holidays / vacations and didn’t have regular internet access. I went one time a week to an internet cafe and did a mass killing. Joy, oh, joy, 500 comments to go through, to weed and mostly to delete. At the moment I guess this blog has around 10% genuine comments and 90% spammers. So let me explain what I consider a spam comment, how I handle comment moderation and perhaps, just perhaps, one or two of my regular spammers won’t bother to come back! Woman can dream…
When I do my first visit of the day to my blog dashboard, I find typically around 20-30 comments in the moderation queue. I will delete everything that was obviously posted by a spambot, you know this type of comment with 200 links in one blog comment. Or the ones that were written in a foreign language with a different alphabet, one my browser doesn’t support. If the comment looks like this:
????? ?????? ??? ?????????? ?????? ????????? ????????? ?????????? ???? ???? ??????
it will get deleted, mercilessly! Next I will see who that I know has commented. If I know you and your site, I will approve your comment. Doesn’t matter if you agree with me or not, if your comment is two or two hundred words long, if I know you, I will approve your comment. I believe in moderation, but not in censorship, I will never, ever delete a comment for the sole reason that somebody disagrees with me 😉
So, after having killed the black sheep and approved of the white ones, I take care of the flock in the middle, the grey sheep. I look at each comment separately, taking into account if the comment has anything to do with the blog post it is on, adds to the content of this blog in a meaningful way and to which site it links. For example, if the comment reads “Great post but I don’t agree with everything you said.” is posted on a blog post that simply states that I am going on holidays / vacations and links to a pharm, gambling, warez or otherwise dodgy site, then it is good-bye for this comment. If the comment is related to the post, remember it doesn’t have to be positive or to agree with what I say, is meaningful and links to a non-dodgy site, it gets approved. If the comment fulfills only the first two conditions, but links to a site I don’t want to link to, I will approve it, but with the site url removed. Evil? Perhaps, but in the end this is my blog and I decide to whom I link and to whom not.
Finally, I go to all my recently approved comments and answer or acknowledge them. Blogging is a two way communication tool, not a dead end road 😉
Why do I go through all this hassle and don’t install Akismet on my blog? Very easy, first Akismet tends to give quite some false positives, means it puts those comments in its spam folder that I would have approved. Bad, really bad. Second it can’t detect the meaningless comments and it can’t make a decision to which sites I want to link to and to which not. The last bit is important, as this blog is “dofollow and keyword luv” enabled. And that means Google checks and takes note to which kind of sites I link and to which not. And apart of this, there are certain types of sites I simply don’t want to link to, period!
So tomorrow morning I will start the day again by grabbing a mug of coffee and weeding through all the comments I have received over night. And how do you handle comment moderation on your blog? Manually, automatically or something in between?
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