I’ve made a couple changes to the blog that I wanted to take a minute to note. First, I’ve deleted the Auckland weather widget because it was taking too long to load. I have no alternative, so, for the moment, I’ll do without. But I’ll come up with something else later on—once I find an alternative. Hopefully deleting this widget will speed up the pageload; if not, I may bring it back.
Second, at the request of some of my fellow ABC Wednesday folks, I’ve turned off word verification for comments. This is inherently risky, since it’s the last line of defence against spam comments. To help alleviate that, I’ve turned on comment moderation for comments older than a certain period of time. That’s because old blog posts very seldom get new comments except from comment spammers. Still, I’ll get an email notice if any real person leaves a comment on an old post, so they won’t be lost.
However, Blogger now also sends me an email notice every time a spam email is added to the spam queue (it never used to do that). This is becoming VERY annoying: So far, only 5.36% of the email notifications have been for real comments—94.64% of the comments left have been spam. Mind you, we’re talking about some 56 comments (not including my own), but this morning alone I received 28 email alerts about spam comments.
I never used to receive any email alerts about spam comments; Blogger just quietly filed them in my spam queue using whatever filter they have, and left them sitting there until I reviewed them; there were very few. With word verification turned off, the number of spam comments has skyrocketed, even though only one of those many spam comments was actually posted to the blog (before I deleted it).
Blogger’s current word verification is crap, no doubt about it, but I really hate all this spam. I’m torn between wanting to make it easier for real people to leave comments, and spare myself the hassle of all those spam comments—and the emails I receive because of them.
Still, I’ll keep word verification turned off for at least a little while longer. No promises long term, though.