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Comments in blogs

Many people have recently posted in Planet Debian regarding the use, usability and usefulness of having comments enabled in blogs, of using comments as the right way for following discussions, of dealing with spam, and so on. I’m sorry I’m not linking to more of them, but I’m too lazy to look them up. This is one of the down-sides of not using comments - Ideally, if I were interested on commenting on a topic, I would just leave the comment on the blog that started it. It goes somewhat against Joey’s logic of posting both the comment and the posting itself - Of course, we all want everybody and their dogs to read our comments, don’t we? And, given we know that (most of) our target readers regularly follow Planet Debian, we continue ranting on our personal blogs (as I’m doing now). Besides, that will rank our page higher. We all want Google to love us, right? Of course, following discussions on a bunch of blogs is not optimal, as it’s easier to miss parts of it (hey, would somebody volunteer on writing threading support for Planet? It’d have to be multidimensional, as postings often refer to different threads… Bah :) ). Besides, many of us are syndicated on different planets (and many people read our blogs as individuals as well), so many of my postings start with a stupid amount of background information so the martians understand the terrans. But still, here I am, writing a post that provides nothing but a braindump, serves no purpose, and links to your posting. So there, the world is not ideal. QED. As always, MJR rants against captchas (and yes, thank you, you have commented on my blog that most captchas are trivially crackable by automated means). They do reduce spam, but they are REALLY not a strong barrier against it. I have thought of some ideas, or thought about implementations for other ideas I’ve read here and there, but I’m too lazy to implement them on my blogging software. I could switch, but I happen to like Jaws. I would like to contribute to making it better, but have had a permanent lack of time for a long time already :-/ I do get swamped by spam comments, and every now and then mass-delete whatever looks like spam (hundreds to thousands of comments, for crap’s sake!), but anyway… It’s not too important for me. I like having comments on my entries, but sometimes a long time must pass until I even read them (I read my own blog syndicated via the Planets, on a RSS reader). BTW, Lucas: I used to have trackbacks enabled. The amount of spam, and the control I have over spam in my blog, makes me favor comments against trackbacks. My trackbacks used to be so wildly abused that it almost made me cry. I hope it is not your case :)


Joachim Breitner 2006-12-19 23:19:43


Hi Gunnar,

I think trackbacks are really great, and should be used more. At the moment, a simple fix against trackback spam is to have your blog software check if the trackbacking url actually links to your page. Since serendipity supports that I had not a single trackback spam, and I had loads before. Before that I had a litte script that went through the list of trackbacks to approve and automatically delete those who do not link to me.

Lucas 2006-12-20 06:50:57

Re: Comments in blogs

I don’t receive much spam via trackbacks. Actually, akismet (nicely integrated with wordpress) doesn’t seem to let a lot of spam through…