Thursday, November 24, 2005

Three-month status of a former blogger

It's been three months since I ceased blogging back on August 18, 2005. I figured that it would be good to check in at the three-month interval just to report anything of significance.

Although I no longer regularly monitor any blogs, there have been more than a few occasions where I have read some blog posts. Usually that happens because I search using Google and a blog page happens to pop up in the search results, and on occasion I have visited a few blogs, but I no longer run and feed readers.

On two occasions I have emailed comments to some columnists based on reading non-blog material and my comments have ended up on their blogs. In one case I commented directly on their blog at their request. In the other case they asked permission to post my comments.

I had left my blogs wide open for comments, including anonymous comments, but after getting a fair amount of spam comments I recently enabled a new Blogger feature which requires the commenter to read and enter text from a graphic image. That eliminated all the automated spam.

There have been a number of occasions when I felt like blogging something, but not so much that it was worth breaking my pledge of blog celibacy. Mostly I just post my own material directly on my main web sites, but unfortunately people won't get any automatic alert of changes as they would get with a web feed subscription to my blog web feeds.

I have checked in on just a few blogs over the past three months, just to see if I was missing much, but nothing has seemed compelling enough to draw me back into the fray. I did leave a comment or two, but for the most part have not seen any significant impetus to reverse my decision of three months ago.

I'll probably check back in another three months from now.

My main web sites are:

  • Base Technology - main business web site, including my resume
  • Agtivity - software agent technology
  • Finaxyz - finance, including my daily stock market column
  • EntEng - entrepreneurial engineering
  • Opixia - global commentary and other personal ramblings

Feel free to comment. I will read any comments. They are automatically emailed to me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Blog Spam comments

When I ceased posting to my blogs back in August, I left commenting enabled and even permitted anonymous commenting. That was fine for several weeks, but gradually in September I began to get more and more blog spam comments. Since I have email notification turned on for comments, this blog spam ended up in my email inbox. I left things as they were as an experiment to see how blog spamming evolved. Some days I'd only receive a couple of spam comments, other days upwards of half a dozen, sometimes a dozen, and occasionally as many as 18 spam comments in one day.

Today, I decided that I had had enough and that the experiment wasn't yielding any new and interesting results. So, I decided to disable anonymous comments.

I logged into Blogger and was about to change the comment setting from "Anyone" to "Only Registered Users", but then I noticed that Blogger had some new settings since I last used it in August. In particular, they now have "word verification" so that spam "bots" can be kept at bay, and that seemed to cover virtually all of the spam comments I was receiving. So, I turned on word verification, but kept the other setting so that anybody (but mindless bots) can still comment.

I left the existing spam comments in place since they are fairly innocuous and allow people to get a sense of what spam comments can be like. I hope others gain at least a little bit of insight from my experience. I only encountered one spam comment that I felt was over the line and merited deletion.

Now let's see if I really can have my cake and eat it too.