A decade without blog comments


This anniversary completely slipped me by, if one can call it that. I was still on WordPress in June 2012, and I made the decision to turn off web comments permanently.

I wrote that it was due to spam, which certainly was escalating on my tiny self-hosted site at the time. But trolls were the real reason. I was tiring of cleaning up the mess they defaced my pages with, and didn’t want to deal with moderation queues.

This worked well: no more spam comments! And wouldn’t you know it, when trolls have to put effort into emailing stuff as opposed to filling out a web form for instant gratification, most lose interest. I feel like there’s a larger lesson there.

I suppose over time I’ve engineered a new problem. People now routinely email me with interesting, useful, fun, and friendly comments; and now I have a backlog to reply to and quote here. I apologise if that includes yours. I do read every email I receive, unless Fastmail’s aggressive filters block it and I fish it out of spam a month later.

Still though, is a phrase with two words. I kinda miss inline blog comments, but nowhere near enough to turn such a feature back on, however that may be implemented.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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