Thursday, October 13, 2005

Blog Spam (Blam?)

Over the past several months I've really begun to enjoy and get into the groove of blogging. It's kind of a crazy concept: I write a bunch of crap that is interesting to me and other people out in the world (*maybe*) stop by every once in awhile to enjoy it too. Even if no one else in the world finds my crap interesting, its a nice outlet for me. Don't get me wrong...this isn't a "WHO THE HELL NEEDS YOU!" sort of statment, but for anyone who has ever kept a diary or a journal, you can likely relate to the cathartic aspect of gettin' your thoughts down on paper--in this case, however, my paper is on your computer screen.

So, here I was bloggin' away, enjoying myself and whistlin' a happy tune, and then it happened: blog spam. I love getting comments just as much as the next guy. In fact I have my settings set up such that when a comment is added to my blog, I get emailed--that's how much I love em' (so keep em coming!). But a month or so ago, I was checking my email and noticed that I had 7 or so new comments added to my blog within the course of a few hours. I'm well aware that the size of my readership is...well...a bit on the petite size, shall we size, so needless to say this was highly unusual. After further investigation, I realized that *all* of the newly added comments were bogus: "hey you have a really great blog! Check out (%$^^&.com for some fun online poker games!" Uhm, no thanks.

As with email spam, it seems like once you get on one list, within days you are on hundreds; in weeks you are on thousands; and within months you need to hire a personal assistant to simply deal with all of the spam crap filling up your mailbox. So it went, with blog spam too. I reached a point where if a comment showed up, my first response was to roll my eyes. Blog spam was beginning to affect my life. In fact, it nearly caused me to abandon my beloved blog!

Lucky for me, one of my fab, superstar readers solved my problem! (check out Angela Willis fab wedding design & consultation company: Elegance in Bloom

Here is a step-by-step for those of you who are using a blogger template and are suffering as I was:

1. Within your blog (on blogger, that is) click on "settings"
2. Click on comments
3. Click "yes" for show word verification for comments
4. Click "save settings"

Ok, so YES, this will mean that your blog readers will have to take an extra 11 seconds to type in the weird looking letters in the box before they comment, *but* most of your blog readers are blog I don't think they'll mind too much. And trust me, this will really make all the difference in the world (can you hear my sighs of relief!?)

While we're on the matter of insidious blog spam, let me further lodge my hatred publicly for splogs!

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