THE INSIDE VIEW laboratory crew has spotted the last gasps of comment spammers as they occasionally try to probe the soft underbelly of my Typepad blog. I've gone through several rounds of successfully bashing spammers as they leech onto my blogs with comments and trackbacks but recently I've watched mechanical turks as they politely leave a comment and then return a few days later to leave behind a hyperlink to a spammy site. I feel for these spammers because they are not automated. These spammers are real people, probably sitting at home following a checksheet of tasks and then being paid for their piece work. And who am I to get in the way of working from home? Truth be told, I don't get in the way of these homebound sole traders. But the spam blocks used by Six Apart must be making life tough for the spam commenters because alhough my average number of daily visitors (1005 every day since opening this blog in 2003) have remained relatively constant over the years, the amount of spam I have to scrape from this blog has decreased. As the screenshot of my manual deletions shows, my spam burden is actually well below "one out of every 2000 visitors", the number I share with people who ask about the effectiveness of Six Apart's spam controls.
A word about the methodology shown in the screenshot. The IP addresses shown in the screenshot were manually blocked by me. Most of the comment spam that's attempted on my blog gets stop-cocked at the Six Apart server. I can see three or four attempts at commenting through Statcounter that Six Apart's controls stop from publishing. I appreciate that kind of control because it means I don't have to do anything to stop the spammers. Although the Wordpress fanboys will defend their spam barriers, I wonder whether anyone who gets more than 2000 daily page views on their Wordpress installation can honestly say they get no more than one comment spam appearing in their moderation queues or on their blog pages during the course of serving those 2000 pages. If you're that fortunate and you run a Wordpress blog with a Google PageRank above 6, I'd like to ring you to compare notes because you're probably further ahead in the comment spam control game.
For those who are starting a blog--especially for those running a client's installation--you need to control spammers while encouraging comments. As a senior member of the Typepad community who has run with Typepad since it was in beta in the early summer of 2003, I can unabashedly recommend its spam control features.