Akismet is an awesome spam filter plugin no wordpress blogger should be without. It’s point ‘n’ click installable if you happen to use wordpress, but they claim that hacks exist for 20 other blogging platforms and they do provide an API. Hacks don’t mean evil programs, they just mean ways to enable you to use the software that aren’t quite as slick as for wordpress. Today Akismet flagged 54 spam — all on the Eleven Signs post. (BTW Eleven Signs is my LEAST original post. All the ideas in it had been blogged elsewhere; I just picked my eleven faves and did them up in my own style. ) Previously I had been getting maybe 5-7 spam a day and they were random. I was unperturbed about the jump in spam because Akismet does the right thing.
Akismet looks for comments with many links and flags them as spam. It saves them for you to review if you want, but after a week or two it just automatically deletes them. It also seems to flag comments that don’t have any keywords in common with the post body, because it flagged some of those generic “Great job, I loved this post” comments. The ego reacts faster than the intelligence. The ego said (rather defensively, I thought), “now why did it flag that? little old Giovanni over there in Italia was only trying to say that he liked my post,” and then of course the intelligence kicked in. DUH! Any auto comment submitter can say “Great post.” If Giovanni or anyone else wants their comment published, something in the comment would have to indicate that they actually read and understood the post, and guess what, most human commentators naturally do that.
So, am I a pathetic loser or WHAT? Why would I not be irritated about my spam rate going up? Because, boys and girls, it means that we are on the map!. If a blog is so lonely and isolated that even the spammers don’t find it, that’s a sad, sad thing. You gotta get that link juice flowing. It stands to reason that the spammers will find you first — after all they are just mindless and relentless link spider-droids that follow every little link down to its last submit form. Spam bots don’t care who you are, how popular you are, or what your blog is about.
Real people behave much more like sheep. Ba-a-a-a-a! They tend to cluster on celeb blogs, blogs about celebs, (like celebs crap golden turds or something) then blogs by people who have lots of subscribers in that order. Dorks think celeb worship is a very stupid form of idolatry, deep down we regard popularity as a sign of zero σ*, and some of us don’t network very well, so we have a hard time making it to 100 RSS subscribers.
But I digress. As long as you have something like Akismet, there is no worry that any of that comment spam dreck will ever be seen by the public. I have moderation turned off so most commenters will see their posts immediately. If akismet sees outgoing links in a comment but the comment has keywords in common with the post, it will put it in the moderation queue anyway. But hey! First the spammers, then the people. And people, if you like my post, please refer to something specific in it so I’ll know you’re not Giovanni’s Spambot. And whatever you do, WordPressers and blogger users:
- GET AKISMET!
- Leave real human comments on my blog
*Note: people who engage in cluster behavior probably regard zero σ as a good thing!