free html hit counter Comment Spam, Registration News - John Battelle's Search Blog

Comment Spam, Registration News

By - May 06, 2005

As many of you no doubt recall, Searchblog is the target of some pretty determined comment spammers. To defeat them, I reluctantly implemented TypeKey, a comment registration system. But I really prefer allowing folks to comment as they wish to, without registration, and when Scot Hacker, my zen webmaster, suggested an alternative, I decided to go for it. (I have noticed a dropoff in comments since implementing TypeKey, and an increase in emails from readers saying “I’d post this as a comment but…..”). Many have very intelligent things to say but wish to remain anonymous, for example, and don’t want to go through the process of creating (and remembering) a fake TypeKey account.

Scot explains what we have implemented:

“Our concern is keeping spam out of my inbox and off this blog. The web host’s requirement is that the server not be strained by comment spam attacks. We’ve enabled Brad Choate’s excellent SpamLookup [], a Swiss Army toolbelt of comment and trackback spam tools. We’ve just enabled SpamLookup’s passphrase option. TypeKey logins are no longer required, but you will have to answer a simple question with each comment submission.”

So, comment away, but you will have to answer a simple question to do so. If you all like this and it seems to be working, we’ll keep it instead of TypeKey. Thanks!

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18 thoughts on “Comment Spam, Registration News

  1. alek says:

    Nice change John … love the “question” … and lets see if it works! 😉

  2. Yeah, I really wanted to tax you all with that one.

  3. Jim Geurts says:

    I’m curious why a CAPTCHA control wouldn’t solve the problem… anyway, it’s nice to post comments w/o registering…

  4. Someone says:

    Buy Viagra and Cialis at low, low prices!

    Just kidding. Like the new comment system. Hope it sticks around.

  5. Voodoo says:

    I liked the idea so I had to take it for a spin.

  6. Jon Gales says:

    Much nicer! And luckily the question is easy :).

  7. Tom says:

    I, too, appreciate your decision to offer this alternative. I discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago, and would have posted comments earlier, had it not been for the hassle of the registration requirement. Thanks! P.S. You might want to ask your “zen webmaster” to update the copyright notice at the bottom of this page to include 2005.

  8. Scot Hacker says:

    The current system is very similar to a captcha, but doesn’t have the accessibility downsides that a captcha has (that is, blind people using screen readers can still use it). And this system is built into SpamLookup, so it piggybacks on SpamLookup’s control and logging features.

    I’ve tweaked the copyright date in the template and will make the change global later today, thanks.

  9. Joe says:

    Trivia questions! I love trivia questions!

  10. Chris says:

    I really like this solution, and your blog is great — plus, it’s one I can actually read *for* work!

  11. randfish says:

    Very nice John, I didn’t mind Typekey, but I did notice the dropoff in comments. I hope this new system serves you better.

  12. Doug Mehus says:

    Testing… this is only a test of the new commenting system. 😉


  13. Robert John says:

    Love the idea. Hope it’s meant your comments are back up to the previous levels.

  14. eJoe23 says:

    What is “Searchblog” Alex.


    I’ll take foods that start with Q for a thousand.

  15. test says:

    what’s the question? When does it appear?

  16. george bush says:


  17. francis says: