inessential by Brent Simmons

Step one in comment spam fighting

One of the drawbacks to rolling your own weblog software is that any time you want to add a feature you have to do it yourself.

For instance, I’ve wished a few times that I could use Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist plugin. It would make it easier to fight comment spam.

(I have very good reasons for sticking with my own weblog software. I’m not going to change; please don’t suggest it.)

However, my software has a feature that would be cool to see in other weblog software, so I wanted to mention it: there’s an RSS feed that shows the last n comments, no matter which post they’re in reply to.

This means that no comment spam appears, even in very old posts, that I don’t see. I still have to go to the trouble of deleting it—but it’s much better than not knowing about it.

It may be that some other weblog software packages already have this feature. If so—cool. If yours doesn’t have this feature, you might want to consider it. I totally rely on it myself (and not just for fighting comment spam).

You might say—well, my weblog software does email notifications of comments, so an RSS feed of recent comments isn’t needed.

And I’d reply—well, my software has email notifications too. I found that I hardly ever looked at them. In amongst all the other email noise, comments notifications don’t work that well.

But an RSS feed for recent comments works wonderfully.