Movable Type allows users to determine whether or not they will allow anonymous comments. I prefer not to, which means you have to submit your e-mail address when you comment. On one occasion, a rather cowardly individual who posted my only negative comment ever provided a fake e-mail address, so I know there are ways around that. I wasn’t sure why he did it, though. Did he do it because he wanted to do the online equivalent of running up to someone on the schoolyard, smacking him/her, then running away? Or did he do it because he was afraid he’d get spam? I almost think spam is more dreaded than a tongue-lashing from yours truly. On the other hand, if he was who I think he was, I believe he’s web savvy enough to know that MT allows users to insert the following code in the comment post form to help prevent spam:
However, since I can’t figure out whether it was fear of little ol’ me or spam, I decided I could at least take spam out of the equation. I have fixed my comments so that while you still have to submit an e-mail, it will not be displayed, like so:
I have also added a feature that will protect my comments from spam. From what I’ve read, it seems comment spam is on the rise. That’s because Google rewards comment spammers by increasing their page rank. As long as it works, you’re going to keep finding inducements to chase after nebulous investments in Nigeria, penis enlargement hocus pocus, and phentermine, phentermine, phentermine! I personally have not had problems with comment spam yet, but that is probably due to the fact that until this week, I had the “noindex,nofollow” meta tag for robots in my header. I really don’t care if a bunch of googlers wind up here by mistake and get disappointed when there’s not any really freaky naked pictures here, but I was miffed that I couldn’t get Technorati to work correctly. I’m not positive this was the problem, but I think they were unable to spider my site. On the other hand, even after I’ve removed the meta tags, they still haven’t listed my site on the profile, though they got The Pensieve. I don’t know why I care, but it’s making me crazy.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. So I did have that safeguard in place, and you all didn’t even know it. Now that I’ve removed that safeguard, I wanted you to know that not only will your e-mail address not be shown, but I have also placed a “noindex,nofollow” meta tag in my comments templates, so search engines shouldn’t try to index them.
All this talk about comment spam made me a little worried I’d start getting some, so I decided to be proactive. I tried to install MT Blacklist, but I couldn’t get it figured out. Flashbacks of installing MT threatened to overtake me, so I tried Junkeater instead. Not only do they filter my comments before they are posted, but they also provided a handy little java script whereby posters will need to provide the code shown in the little box to prove they’re real people and not spambots.
I hope all this extra security encourages you all to feel safer about leaving comments here. Mainly I’m just kind of becoming a web geek who likes new toys, though.