Over the past few months traffic to this site has more than doubled and my non-monetary 'effort' costs of maintaining the site have increased more than proportionately.
Spam. I have again begun to receive Spam. Unless I impose the letter-recognition procedure that I used until recently for comments made (this increases commenter time costs) I get repetitive Spam each day to particular sites (which increases my time costs).
An alternative to imposing the recognition test is to require people to register for use of the site – something I am reluctant to do since it cuts out the occasional reader who has particular interest in one topic. The difficulty with the Blogger software I use is that I need to enter each posting individually to delete any Spam. This is time-consuming.
An alternative is to switch to using Wordpress and use some anti-Spam software. Given problems that I observe other sites (with far more volume than this site) have experienced in making this type of move I doubt it would be effective.
I welcome views and advice but need to do something.
Comments policy. Recently I have received some narky, negative, personal comments so, yes, I took a big step – for the first time ever I deleted comments.
I just can't be bothered dealing with personal attacks based on assumptions of bad faith – particularly, but not exclusively, when those attacks are made under the cloak of anonymity. If you do use a pseudonym that is fine but please be careful about the character of your comments.
Some commenters now change their pseudonym and make abusive comments under different names (they ‘sock puppet’). Such comments are easily identified by me and will be deleted without any remark on my part. One advantage of making the spam reforms cited above is that I can ban such individuals permanently from this blog.
I publish many comments critical of my own views – sometimes the negativity gets to me – but I expect to receive such comments. Blogging is a conversation and in some cases I have changed my own view in response to comments. But I dislike abuse that suggests bad faith and which is primarily designed to insult.
Contrary to the impressions of some this is not a public place. There is no automatic right to comment. Comments are welcome from anyone willing to engage in ordinary civilised discussion but not those which are nothing more than personal attacks.
Discussion of this policy is very welcome. My main intention is to enjoy blogging without spending too much time dealing with spam and without getting involved in the antics of serial abusers.
If you don’t wish to abide by these rules it is very easy, go elsewhere.