A little "housekeeping" here. For the longest time I used the "word verification" feature for the comments on this blog. It was a way of keeping out the mechanized "spam" that you all know about so well.
But after awhile, this simple little tool became not so simple. People started to get frustrated because the system would give such runtogetherwords, or odd pictures that you couldn't see, and it was difficult to get past the little security nazi. I know because I found the same frustration when trying to comment on others who had the same system going. It was a pain. And let's face it. Nothing on this blog is so amazing that folks are going to spend twenty minutes and a dozen tries to get through a word verification procedure. So I removed it.
~Sigh~ Now my comment box is full of spam. I've left the comment moderation on because I had an earlier problem with a spammer going way back in my blog archive and filling old posts with links to all kinds of unwelcome things. It took me forever to find and remove all those. So with the comment moderation, at least I can control what actually appears on the site. But again, now that the word verification is off, I'm regularly deleting a boatload of advertising comments from my email/blog.
I've also noticed that the blog seems so much more popular now, at least according the stat keeper. However, it largely involves a lot of hits to old posts that coincidentally are also the targets of the spam comments. ~Sigh~ again.
This whole thing is a bit frustrating. Especially considering that I don't get an overwhelming number of comments to begin with, at least real ones. I know that the three people who read this blog are often too busy comment, or that what's written here is usually not that comment worthy, so... is it worth it to have the comments enabled at all, or not use the frustrating word verification, or... I don't know.
Anyway, here's the deal. For the next few days I'm going to leave things the way they are. I'm hoping that someone out there will read this and actually offer me some advice on the best way to deal with all this. After that, I'm seriously considering going back to the painintheneck word verification just to empty my spam box and get the stat numbers back in a realistic neighborhood. Any thoughts?