Back in August, I decided to test comments on phonoloblog. The result was a decidedly mixed success. On the one hand, it was great to be able to comment specifically on someone’s post without having to craft a separate post; on the other hand, I spent the better part of my blogging time deleting comment spam.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to deal with comment spam other than to have it moderated, which means to have it placed in a queue for me to deal with. I came up with a few shortcuts to make this task easier, but whenever I would let things go for more than a few days, I would have to comb through literally hundreds of pieces of comment spam (not to mention the automatic announcements sent to phonoloblog#gmail|com letting me know that all of those tasty comments were waiting for me).
The comment spammers finally got the better of me, and I’m hereby declaring a moratorium on comments. Old comments already posted will still be visible, but no new ones will be allowed. (If you’re unhappy with this result, I refer you to Rule #1 of phonoloblog.)
There are at least two good alternatives to comments that I think should be more than satisfactory for our purposes. The first is to just go ahead and craft a separate post. There’s nothing wrong with a post being brief and to the point, nothing wrong with it just being a comment on a previous post (preferable with a hyperlink thereto). If you’re not already a phonoloblog contributor, all you need to do is ask (but I refer you to Rule #2 of phonoloblog for details). The second alternative is to write directly to the author of the post, who can then post the comment as an update / addendum to the post in question. (This is standard practice at Language Log, for example.)
If there’s anyone who knows how to better deal with comment spammers, I’m all ears. Otherwise, I’m afraid this is it.