Kids, I really hate to do this, since interacting with readers is one of the primary pleasures of having a blog, but I'm at my wit's end. After several months of constant and steadily increasing comment-spam, I have decided to just shut the damn commenting feature off. You win, you grubby little spam-bot bastards.
Earlier this year, the spam seemed to be on the decline, causing me to naively think maybe it was finally going out of fashion, but it then it came back with a vengeance, with more of it flooding in than ever before. And just to make a bad thing even worse, the programming code that generates this crap has gotten more clever, using commenter names that look like something human beings might actually call themselves, and tailoring the body copy of the comments to my actual blog entries so they almost look like the real thing. This, of course, demands more of my attention when I'm sifting through them looking for the small handful of legitimate comments I still get, which equates to even more of my precious discretionary time being wasted. (Notice I didn't say "free time," since such a thing no longer seems to exist for me except as an abstract concept.)
The final straw was the several hours -- no shit, hours -- I've spent today eliminating 4,114 new spams. Let me repeat that for emphasis: four thousand and fourteen spam comments, received after only about 48 hours of not monitoring this blog. I just can't keep up with that kind of volume anymore, not if I'm going to do anything else with my life. And that includes writing blog entries.
For those helpful souls who would ask why I don't just set up more robust security, I've tried. The Movable Type software that runs Simple Tricks and Nonsense supposedly has an authentication feature to help deal with this nonsense, but my skills have proven insufficient to actually make the thing work. So, until I can chat with my webmaster Jack and figure what to do, I'm afraid I have no choice but to just close the spigot.
I'm sorry, Loyal Readers. I'm going to miss our conversations. Although, to tell the truth, the conversation has tapered off so much in the last year that I've been wondering lately if anybody is still reading my little ramblings, at least on any kind of regular basis. Jaquandor said something similar recently, about how his traffic is down and how discouraging it can be to spend a lot of time working on the perfect blog entry, only to receive a deafening silence in return. I guess Facebook is eating up a lot of the casual conversation that used to occur on blogs, as sad as that is.
Which reminds me, if you really want to chat with me while the comments are disabled, I am active on Facebook, and you can also email me at jason-at-jasonbennion.com (substituting "@" for "-at-", of course). I'm hoping the commenting hiatus will be short-lived, but Jack's a busy guy, too, so this problem may well take a back seat for a while. In the meantime, though, I'll keep hammering out the content, so I hope you'll all keep reading...