Blogs have had comment submission forms for years. The ability to comment gave blogs an element of interactivity. Readers could respond and interact with the author and other readers. It was great!
Then along came spammers, submitting links to their websites in a desperate bid to get more visitors, and trick the search engines into ranking them higher in the search listings. Search engine companies responded by updating their algorithms, and blog owners responded by adding "anti-spam" features such as "captchas" to prevent automated spam submission.
Spammers responded by figuring out innovative ways to work around the anti-spam measures. I heard some even copied the "captcha" image and presented it on another website to some unsuspecting human, who would decypher it for them and unwittingly help them spam another website in the process.
I've gone through multiple anti-spam measures on this website. This site is currently using Google's recaptcha. One or two readers complained about the recaptcha, but it has been relatively effective. Well, effective until fairly recently. Here's a snapshot of this website's comments statistics:
That's over 16 spam comments to every 1 genuine comment. And I'm removing another 70-80 comments as spam every day, so it's moving rapidly to the 20:1 mark.
EDIT: In fact, this very blog post got spammed within minutes of publishing.
I do like allowing readers like you to respond to what I write. But, the continual flow of spam is rather tiresome. It's getting very tempting to disable comments altogether.
What do you think? Has blog commenting reached the end of its usefulness? Should I disable comments? Or, is there a more-effective anti-spam tool I could install?**
Please let me know by submitting a comment below.
** Reminder, this blog runs on Silverstripe, so any tool needs to work with Silverstripe. Wordpress plugins are useless ... for this blog, that is. ;-)