Are you willing to let your blog go naked for one day? No, it isn’t time for CSS Naked Day. Mark on Akismet was intrigued by the announcement by Jesper Rønn-Jensen to turn off all comment spam protection on December 15, and now challenges all Akismet users to turn off Akismet for a day.
It’s easy to forget just how much anti-spam solutions help bloggers. It’s not just Akismet — there are many other methods from CAPTCHA to Spam Karma.
It was not so long ago that a blogger could wake to find a couple of hundred (or more) spam comments that arrived overnight. Deleting them not only took time but it also took some of the fun away from blogging.
You can pick December 15, or choose your own day – a day when you have lots of time on your hands to deal with all the comment spam that will flood your blog comments. If you do, Akismet wants to hear from you about your experience.
To give you some ideas about what you will be facing when the comment spam protection comes down, here is a screenshot of the chart on Akismet’s Spam Zeitgeist page. The orange area is comment spam. The little tiny blue/green area is good comments, they call “ham”.
Here are the stats and I’ve added the percentages:
Total spam: 3,662,998,863
Total ham: 320,216,342 (9%)
Today (UTC, 18 hours left)
Spam today: 2,992,297
Ham today: 513,436 (17%)
As of today, Akismet has caught 234,512 spam for me since it started in October 2005. In the past few months, I get 500 to 2,000 comment spam a day. Sometimes more, never less. Over 97% by my best guess are caught. Some days, it’s 100%, and other days maybe a few more slip by, but all are marked and submitted automatically to the great comment spam secret collection database hiding within Akismet’s great servers.
Here are my guessing game stats for comment spam on my blog:
- 15,310 good blog comments represent 7% of the total comments “attempted” on my blog.
- Divide up the number of comment spams across the past 26 months of blogging on WordPress.com, the average comment spam per month is 9,019.
- That’s an estimated guess of over 300 a day.
- And 167 per blog post.
This doesn’t count all the rest of my blogs. I’d be overwhelmed without Akismet.
Going through all the comment spam looking for false/positives was a nightmare of searching, made even worse by Akismet’s lazy and frustrating interface. Thank all the gods for Engtech’s Akismet Auntie-Spam Greasemonkey Script. Comment spam is still a bother, but it’s easier than ever to deal with it once Auntie is on board.
On WordPress.com, I cannot turn off Akismet, not even for a second. Would I do so on my other blogs?
Are you kidding! Do you think I’m that stupid? I have much better things to do with my time.
But if you would like to step back into the dark ages of only a couple years ago, then be my guest. See what it is like to read through long lists of sexual fantasies and fetishes, mortgage rate ads, drugs, car ads, and so many gross and disgusting entrails. Have a good time.
Me, I’m sticking with what works to keep my blog safe, and my readers safer.
Also check out It Really Is Spam? on Akismet. Mark explains what comment spam used to look like, and how it is grown with splogs and scrapers, including covering those annoying automatic scrapper Plugins which say “Fred said something interesting” when you and your blog aren’t Fred, and important points you need to know about including how the nofollow doesn’t work, comment spam/trackback spam association, spam economics, pingbacks/trackbacks and content theft, and how Akismet works best when we all work together.
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.