In This Chapter
Identifying spam on your blog
Dealing with spammy comments on your blog
Using technology to deal with spam
Handling negative comments on other blogs
Spam! It's everywhere, lurking in your e‐mail inbox waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting click. It also hangs on your blog hiding in the comments — you might never escape it! Fortunately, you can slow the stream of spam messages and even block most of them from appearing on your blog.
I don't recommend disabling comments just to keep out the spam. Blog comments are crucial for the life and health of your blog; if you want your blog to be more than just another Web site, to have real conversations with your readers, you simply can't forego comments. You just have to take the good with the bad. And I won't lie about the bad: Fighting spam can consume valuable time and energy. If you're serious about blogging, it must be done, no matter how unrewarding it feels. It's like taking out the trash: no fun, but if you don't do it, your house will fill up with garbage and become uninhabitable.
Unfortunately, comment spam isn't the only thing you need to worry about. Blog comments are like a playground where you need to play referee for your community. You might end up with some opinionated, cranky readers that leave nasty comments directed at you or other commenters. In situations like this, you must draw a line in the sand about removing inappropriate, offensive comments.
In this chapter, I show ...