I'll start by saying that this blog has never been a hotbed for comments. Sure, there have been some great comments by loyal readers and many good discussions have arisen. I also enjoy the occasional anonymous tipsters who drop by with a little inside info on the industry--very illuminating. And some of the best discussions have occurred over e-mail and Facebook with people I met through this blog that I now consider personal friends (Katharine, Mark, and Krisan, I'm talking about you!). So comment moderation really hasn't been much of an issue.
Right off the bat, I did set up a captcha so that only real people--and not spambots--would be commenting. That has helped tremendously. But what I didn't count on were the so-called SEO bloggers who are real people that go around comment-spamming relevant blogs. For a long time, I just went in and deleted these types of comments.
But back in November, an industrious spammer in Mumbai took a fancy to Publishing Careers and was daily posting the same spam on different entries. One day he or she was posting them faster than I could delete them, and we were doing battle in real-time. I decided to turn on comment moderation, which means that I get to reject comments before they are posted. Immediately, my spammer went away. I might never find and delete all of that spam, but at least I've stemmed the tide.
With this new "power" comes responsibility, of course. Do I go ahead and allow comments that are critical of me? And what do I do in cases where I really can't tell whether the commenter is sincere or just a very sly spammer? I promise to post all but the most obscene criticism, and to do my best to separate the spammers from the true commenters. And I promise not to let comments sit too long in moderation limbo.
Thanks for reading. Sorry I have been a lax poster as of late.