First of all, even though it’s been almost a year since I started using WordPress blogging software I still feel like a newcomer.  And that’s OK, as I;m focusing on other things like Android programming, and some web programming, including HTML, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL and even database design.  Those are the current tasks,  Wordpress is a tool to record some of my experiences, as well as a vehicle to deliver my profound insights to my spellbound  readers.

I’ve noticed a sharp uptick in readership the last few days.  Unfortunately, the reason for the uptick seems to be that the people that get paid to post spammer links on websites have found Stillwater Stories.  .   I only noticed because I have comment moderation turned on, and I’m getting about 10 emails a day to moderate a new comment.  So, I need to divert attention from other work hobbies to cut down on these spam moderation notices.

I immediately installed the ReCAPTCHA tool to try to keep nonsense and spam comments out.  It works pretty well if no one reads your material.  Not so well for the there’s a financial reward to post a spam link on your site.   The spam comments have a pattern like While checking out DIGG yesterday I found this…”.  The ellipsis is a pretty good clue that it’s a spam comment.  I found that reCaptcha had an update due to some vulnerability and updated it in case a robot was exploiting the vulnerability, and let it go for a day, but the spam continued.

So, some more research led me to the Akismet plugin, and it is made for these human spam mills. According to Akismet, comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks posted here get routed to the Akismet server, which has some filters which return a pass / fail status on the comment.  I’ve installed and configured it and let’s see how that works.

Akismet sign up screen with payment info

I thought it was free! What’s with the payment method input?

Akismet sign up with slider set to $0

Oh, cool! Moving the slider to $0 eliminates the payment method.

Akismet is free, for some value of free.  When you sign up for the free account you are presented with a screen to enter your payment info.  I would have been looking for a different alternative, had I not noticed the slider control, which I even took time to get a screen shot of.  It’s a clever interface, as moving the slider to a value of $0 causes the payment info fields to disappear.

Not that I’m cheap and don’t want to support the developers; if Stillwater Stories ever becomes a popular enough spam island to require a higher level of support, it should also be bringing in some revenue.

There you have my experience with Akismet to date.If you came here to learn about ReCaptcha, Akismet, and WordPress spam control, at least I’ve given you some links to info.  If you came here because you know about the subject, and are just browsing, please comment.  If you came here because you’re being paid to distribute apam links, I hope you can find a real job soon.