Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blogger's comment infrastructure - the end of anonymous

Google's Blogger has fought the good fight against spam comments for years, but it's failing now in several different ways. In the spam wars, failing to keep up is equivalent to surrender.

I assume that Blogger, like Google Reader itself, is slowly going the way of Google Reader Shares. Blogger is legacy GoogleMinus, not a good fit for the post-2011 Google. A small but dedicated team doesn't have the resources to keep it healthy.

I have looked at Disqus but $1,200 a year for SSO is too much for my budget. Other suggestions are welcome; I'd like a commenting system for Blogger that:
  • Gives me control over what identity-authentication systems to enable, or, better yet, lets me define comment-rules on the basis of identity-authentication.
  • Lets me blacklist authenticated users.
  • Costs about $100 a year.
Anonymous comments would be nice to have, but they require spam filtering and CAPTCHA doesn't work any more. I'm afraid they are toast.

I suspect I can't get the commenting solution I want for Blogger, so I may have to switch to authentication via Google or turn them off altogether pending a future WordPress migration.
Update: I've revised the title of this post, because when I actually, you know, looked at the current Blogger options they include OpenID as well as Google's authentication. Blogger comments support is still dated by current standards, but I'll switch to Google/OpenID, reenable notification for comments by email when > 2 weeks old, and leave out CAPTCHA. No more anonymous comments sadly.


Martin said...

For self-hosted WordPress installations, excellent anti-spam plugins are available. Google seems to abandon its anti-spam measures for Blogger, probably in favor of Google+ … Gmail shows that Google's anti-spam can be top-notch.

From a reader's perspective, I've never understood the attraction of blogger, neither reading (themes!) nor commenting is user-friendly.

Anonymous said...

I used to blog using Wordpress. (I eventually decided that there was very little I wanted to say or blog about, so let the blog go dormant.

Wordpress used to present me with two or three spam comments a day, even after I had stopped blogging. Not even closing comments after x number of days seemed to help. The only solution was to make the blog invisible to search engines, and of course that I did only because the blog was by then dormant.

This was at least three years ago, but might help in deciding about Wordpress.

JGF said...

Since I disabled anonymous posting, allowing OpenID or Google authentication with moderation, things have been MUCH better.

I'd like more authentication options, but OpenID covers a good range.