Weblog Comments Ideas
Anil's discovery about We Blog related comments spam is just another reason why better identity management is needed for open weblog comment systems. Beyond an identity bank like I mentioned a few days ago, I think there are some other steps weblog authors could take to weed out unwanted comments. First, create a quick "terms of posting" that lets people know what is acceptable and what isn't...and publish it where people will see it before they post. Also, enforce consequences for violating the terms. I'm not sure what that should be. Maybe making the IP Address of the offending poster public (this is like putting up bad checks at your local food joint) would help. Blocking that address (or range of addresses) from future posting could be the way to go, though it's trickier with large ISPs. I think the real key is heavy moderation. As soon as someone violates the terms, delete the comment; no note that you've changed something, no email to the offender, just delete. The idea is that trolls and spammers will get bored when no one listens. (But we all know how well that works for email.) These aren't long-term solutions, but they could help while the ratio of unwanted contributors to good contributors is still low.