Sunday, 3 December 2006

Anti-comment spam: Akismet - what about Blogger?

At the London Firefox 2 launch party last night, I'd grumbled to Robert Scoble about comment spam on blogs, which I get more of than real comments (yes I know I could turn on comment moderation, but I haven't time to do the moderation). He must get zillions, it must be much harder for him to sort out?

Well as it turns out it isn't, because he uses Akismet (so no need to blog it specifically, thanks Robert; I figured it out despite clearly being in sore need of an ear trumpet to hear anything over the "background" music! At least I now have more practice than I'll ever want or need in the many different ways to say "Eh?")

Akismet is an open source Web comment-spam fighting system. The FAQs say "When a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your blog it is submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down... no maintenance, no upgrading, no hassle... When the plugin catches something as spam it saves it in the database for 15 days in case you want to check it out manually and then automatically deletes it... Akismet becomes more effective the more you use it."

There's a free plugin for Wordpress, you lucky lucky Wordpress bloggers you. It's meant to be free for personal use for individuals if you're not a pro blogger (that's if you make more than $500/mo from your blog - I wish!). But as far as I can see, there are options only for blogging platforms like Movable Type (see the Development page for other application plugins). No Blogger plugins or widgets in sight, not even Blogger Beta.

I had the impression that if you subscribe the $5 a month you could use it even for other platforms like Blogger, but I'm not so sure now from looking at the site. I'd be interested to know if any Blogger users have managed to get it to work?

Even more, I wonder if the good folk on Team Blogger like Pete (Grogmaster) are planning to oblige with easy Akismet-compatibility or even integration with Blogger Beta? Or would some other gorgeous, extremely smart and sexy developer out there care to try their hand with the open API? (hey, I can but ask very nicely!). Wanna XL Google T-shirt or XL Firefox T-shirt, even...?


Manas T said...

I had posted about in my blogger beta wishlist.

Adding Akismet support would be a great addition to Blogger.

Improbulus said...

Indeed it would Manas, let's hope lots of people include it in their own wishlists too!

kirk said...

Even better, since beta Blogger is the real integration of Blogger into the google family, leveraging google hardware/software and other google technologies, what if they took their most excellent gmail spam filter and tweaked it for Blogger comments?

In other words they have their own technology, I wonder if they will ever use it for Blogger? I wouldn't be totally surprised to see something like that, once the whole migration process is over and the dust settles.

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Obviously the word verification doesn't help much anymore.

Improbulus said...

Indeed, Kirk! I shall leave it there rather than deleting it. Ironic indeed.

Yes I've been getting loads more comment spam lately, which is why my post on this might seem particularly heartfelt. It would be great if they use their own technology, as you say. I've been banging on for a while about how I feel Google (who by the way I'm a great fan of) ought to focus more on integrating their existing family of products/services more closely rather than keep rolling out new alphas/betas, and I do hope they will.

Harry said...

Akismet is notoriously bad for tagging legit comments as spam and blocking them from publication. If you want to drive away your commenters permanently, just use Akismet!

Improbulus said...

Harry, cynical me might wonder if you're an Akismet competitor given that the URL you post for yourself leads nowhere! Or, you're working for Yahoo and they're going to produce a comment spam blocker..

Becke Davis said...

Count me among the people who would like Askimet for Blogger. I use it on Wordpress and have found it very effective. I am tired of having to delete comments in Chinese from my blog on a regular basis. Like another commenter, I prefer not to moderate the comments.

Dave said...

there is a way, fellow blogspot users! i use the disqus plugin and it incorporates your askismet key. disqus replaces your blogger commenting system and replaces it with its own. then it uses the askismet api key and blocks out all your spam. hope this helps :)