Stuff You Should Know

Spam with duck sauce

I can’t say enough swell things about the brand-spanking new way Blogger is handling blog comments. For those of you without blogs or unfamiliar with how it operates, allow me to turn on the overhead projector:

Comment01Comment03
Blogger has created a new tab especially for comments, which separates the reasonable, cogent observations from the intelligent people who read TDOY from those individuals who are apparently concerned about the size of my penis. Or where I can obtain payday loans. Or Paris Hilton. (You get the idea.) The system isn’t 100% foolproof—occasionally a legitimate bon mot will be stuffed in the wrong inbox—but for the most part it’s tres, tres accurate. I’ve yet to understand why so many people who clearly have far too much time on their hands bombard this ‘umble blog with crap that has nothing to do whatsoever with the conversations at hand (my friend M. Bouffant at Just Another Blog [From L.A.]™ playfully calls them “robots-a-go-go”) but then again, I don’t understand why people go to see Julia Roberts’ movies, either. The worst offenders are the ones who take the time to register a Google account with odd Chinese characters like “佳張張張張燕張張張張張” and then they post some pithy Charlie Chan-like aphorism like “Man with hands in pockets feel cocky.” This is usually followed by a line of periods, as if someone knocked over a box of ellipses, and when you move your mouse (I’m trying to keep this clean, I swear) over them you find a link to something like http://www.sexwithvelveetacom*.

A long time ago, I had a pretty liberal policy regarding comments because I really do enjoy hearing from readers, be it on agreement or an opposing viewpoint—but the spambots have sort of nipped that in the bud. Last week, I eliminated the option to allow people to post anonymous comments in an effort to further reduce the spam content and I’m happy to report that it’s worked—but I still feel guilty about doing this, because the main reason I allowed anonymous comments aside from not wanting to stifle debate was that some individuals had a tendency to forget the password to their Google account (not that I’m chastising; I’ve forgotten more passwords than Carter has little liver pills). The familiar story regarding programs and applications is that updates usually end up annoying the people who use them by making too many changes (anyone with a passing familiarity with Facebook knows whereof I speak) but in the case of Blogger Comments 2.0, they’ve done good.

*I made this up.

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