free html hit counter Comment Spammers: 1, Open Conversation: 0 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Comment Spammers: 1, Open Conversation: 0

By - March 19, 2005

Today we had to implement comment registration on Searchblog, and across all the sites hosted by my fearless Webmaster Scot Hacker. He explains the reasoning here, I commented at the end of his post on my thoughts. In short, comment spam is borking his servers, and because Searchblog is such a target, this site is unfortunately responsible for much of it . I am saddened that this friction has to be thrown into the conversation, I much prefer the ability for anyone to read these posts and comment at will, without first having to register. I particularly appreciate those of you who post anonymously, I know many of you work at companies that I cover here, and often you make your thoughts known under cover. Do not worry, you can keep doing that, but you have to register under a pseudonym. I very much hope this will not stunt the conversation I have grown to count on to keep me on my toes, please let me know how you think it’s going. jbat at battellemedia dot com, if you can’t stand to register and comment!

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7 thoughts on “Comment Spammers: 1, Open Conversation: 0

  1. Scot Hacker says:

    Fortunately, any friction thrown into the openness of conversation is in the form of a one-time registration. Once registered, people can use the same login on any TypeKey-enabled weblog, after which sign-in becomes a one-click affair. So hopefully the openness of conversation will not be affected much.

  2. rustybrick says:

    Mr. Battele, that is a shame. I went to the extreme of requiring people to type in a security access code before being able to comment.

    How are you handling trackback spam? Blacklist can only do so much…

  3. Mike Mo says:

    Ok, I registered and now I forgot what I was to say but I will say this.
    Die spammers.

  4. GoogleGuy says:

    It took me about a minute to sign up, so the one-time friction really isn’t very bad.

  5. I’ve had very good results with a CAPTCHA plugin for WordPress in my blog. It cuts off 100% of comment spam. Also a hack that creates threaded discussions with email notification is very useful.

  6. randfish says:

    The registration keeps wanting to add a “g” onto the end of my username, but other than that it seems painless. I can’t think of a reason why a blog wouldn’t have comment registration required – it’s better for the UI in the long run anyway as you tend to weed out those who have no dedication whatsoever to the community. I think it’s a plus for users and to foil spammers.

  7. Robin Good says:

    There is absolutely no need to do this to significantly calm down comment spam.

    My site ( is a good example of it, and while I have been plagued by the problem over a year ago, I am now sleeping without worries.

    All that is required is a simple numeric password and you will see 95% of your comment spam disappear.

    No registration ever needed.

    Keep the conversation open!