In the twenty months that I have blogged, I have learned a great deal about the process of writing. This was my goal in starting the blog. I wanted to become a better writer and I wanted to practice somewhere that there might be some feedback.
I have also learned that not a lot of people are interested in what I have to say. My blog does not get much traffic and gets even fewer comments. I monitor those comments closely, but not to prevent a dissenting opinion from being heard. I am mostly concerned with keeping out spam and trolls.
I have noticed a trend in spam comments responding to posts that were not even read that day. Many bloggers would not notice this trend because they do not have access to site stats. Not many blog sites have statistics available, which is why I am using WordPress. As depressing as those WordPress site statistics may be, they are also very informative. I can see what posts have been read on any day and decide if the commenter actually visited the post. Most spammers don’t.
Another trick used by spammers is to include flattery without referring to anything specific. Comments such as “love your blog”, “great site”, and “wonderful post” are ways that spammers are getting their comments past the watchful eyes of most bloggers.
The “can you help me with my website” approach is meant to prey upon our wish to be generous toward others. I have briefly fallen for this one, until I realized that once posted the comment linked somewhere else and not to the pitiful excuse for a webpage that it initially showed me.
I discovered recently that most of the trolls are also spammers. All those “first” comments hide links to advertising. If you have them on your blog, remove them. And if you aren’t monitoring your comments, you should be. There’s no need to get too restrictive about who can post as long as you keep out the riffraff (aka bloggers and trolls).