It was brought to my attention a few weeks ago, by a friend of mine who is new to blogging, that Akismet is now charging for their product. My friend had asked what I was doing to combat spam as her blog had recently been found by the spambots and she was being eaten alive. I suggested Akismet, since it had been working well for me. She wrote back and explained that she wasn’t quite ready to start spending money on blogging. I was confused, because I’ve been using Akismet for 3 or 4 years, and never knew they were charging.
Since I do consider my blog a business, I took a visit to Akismet’s site to check it out. I learned that I should be paying $5 each month for the service. Since I have received no notification from Akismet that I should be paying anything – you would think the plug-in would spit out an alert of some kind – I hesitated on signing up. You can still use their product free if your blog is personal, and you are asked to donate a yearly amount. They use a little slider and there is a smiley face at the right end of it. The more money you donate per year, the wider the smile becomes. Of course, if you choose to donate zero, you see a frown on the smiley face.
Coincidentally about a week later, Akismet went nuts. Every single comment, including my own comments written within my very own dashboard, were being sent to spam. Now instead of having to sort through piles of spam to find a few comments here and there, I was having to go there and unspam everyone.
I actually became slightly depressed before I realized what was happening, because it didn’t seem as if I was receiving any comments. I’m unable to spend much time blogging on the days I work so I didn’t get a chance to dig into my spam folder until the weekend, and that was when I learned that Akismet had turned against me.
I wondered if buying Akismet would offer me anything. For example, if you pay, is there a quicker way to delete spam comments? Right now the only option seems to be click the check box at the top that marks the 20 comments present and then choose to delete them all. Then wait for the page to reload. It’s a laborious and time consuming process, in my opinion. It could be a lot faster. Perhaps allow me to see 50 or 100 at once. Or what about just letting me see the names and email addresses? I don’t even need to see the comments because the same address and names are used over and over again. In the process of trying to figure out what more Akismet would do for me if I started paying for it, I came across some other solutions.
I hate filling out captchas, and I know many use them because they feel it is the best choice, but seriously have you ever tried leaving a lot of comments in a timely manner when there are captchas to be guessed at? They are annoying, and I’m not going to inflict that on anyone.
It is also a nuisance to have to sign up with a commenting service, like Disqus, so that was out as well.
But I was being overrun with spam and all my commenters were being treated rudely by being tossed into spam, and I had to figure out something. Then I came across a solution which I feel is a good compromise. It’s called G.A.S.P. GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plug-in. It is completely free. Visit this link and look for G.A.S.P. to learn more about it.
In the process of looking into G.A.S.P, I saw that it is included with Comment Luv Premium*. I decided since I was going to ask my readers to check a box to prove they are not a spam bot (which still annoys me a little bit to have to prove I’m human), I would also reward them with a link back to their site using CommentLuv. There is a setting within CommentLuv which requires people to sign up in order to have more links to choose from, but that can be waived. You do not need to sign up for anything at my blog, CommentLuv will automatically look at the last 10 links from your blog and allow you to select the one you wish to have shown with your comment.
Now how is this product working for me? In the last week I have had two spam comments. Compared to what was happening before, this is amazing. All because I’m asking my readers to check a little box.
I apologize for the little box, but I thank you for understanding that it is not only making my life easier, but your comments should now come through right away, instead of my having to search through dozens or hundreds of comments left by automated spammers.
*This is an affiliate link. If you click on this link and purchase CommentLuv Premium I will earn a small fee which goes toward supporting the costs of blogging. G.A.S.P. is