Spam Filters and Blogging

A number of readers have informed me that their comments disappear when posted. I follow up and find they have been dumped into the spam folder. The comments, not my readers.

Why do the comments go to spam?
I asked google Blogger, the platform for my blogs, and I’ll share what I learned.
The popular blogging services have spam filters to weed out the mass-produced junk or known trouble-makers.  They are sometimes identified as troublemakers because other bloggers have labeled them spam (a common way that Get Real Post deals with people who offer up opposing arguments). Or sometimes they just fall into a pattern that the computer does not like. Maybe several comments fired off within a short time or some other trend.
It is possible for a blog host to train his blog’s spam filters. The best way to do that is to moderate comments. This enables the editor to establish a track record of “accepts” that becomes a strong argument that a contributor is legitimate.
Of course, moderation has its problems. One, people don’t trust the blog editor and think he is weeding out legitimate comments. Two, remarks don’t appear in a timely way, logical to the discussion thread. They can get buried or overlooked in the real time of discussion.
So JoeAm does not moderate. I’ll work to train the spam filters the slow way, by re-inserting comments that inadvertently get dumped into the spam folder. That way most legitimate comments will flow directly to the discussion threads and no one need suspect that Joe Am is filtering out important arguments.
It isn’t a perfect approach, but it is reasonable.  If you find one of your comments has “disappeared”, check back later to confirm it has been reinserted.
By way of underscoring the importance of filters, I note that my spam folder contains 120 messages that properly were recognized as spam and did not get through to clutter up the blog and trick readers into linking to porn or virus outlets.
Philippine Blog Center
Have you bookmarked the Blog Center yet? It provides a real-time update on important blogs about the Philippines. I pop over to it two or three times a day to scan what others are writing about. Blogs are often juicier than news, so I find myself going there before my news reads in the morning.
The link is right over there, the garish red button in the right column.
I find myself visiting Rappler and Raissa Robles frequently. They are busy sites, Rappler issuing real-time news and commentary, Raissa with the most extensive dialogue among all blogs.
Although it bugs me mightily to include sites that ban JoeAm,  I have to include GRP and the anti sites in the blog list. They are active both in publication of articles and diatribe . . . I mean, dialogue. They are about the Philippines. And articles are well written.
Father Bernas has been a spot of enlightenment on the RH Bill. He gives me faith, if you know what I mean. Faith that intelligent men and women can belong to the Catholic Church and not have to sell their intelligence down the river for a rigid Dark Age doctrine that can be harmful, if applied narrowly.
The other blogs also pop up some great new insights and commentary.
If you know of an important site I’ve missed, please let me know. Just connect to the comment link provided at the Blog Center and make your recommendation. The featured blogs need to satisfy the following criteria: Be (1) about the Philippines, (2) reasonably active, (3) reasonably articulate, and (4) open to comments.
Read on.
6 Responses to “Spam Filters and Blogging”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Can one financially profit or lose money from maintaining a blog?

  2. Not much, I think. The readership has to be huge to get volume hits on the ads. Most bloggers have low readership. But I am not the best guy to ask because I am not in it for the money, and have not done ads.

  3. Edgar Lores says:

    Father Bernas, no doubt, is an interesting thinker for a Catholic.I like that he admits the fact of the plurality of religions, both theistic and non-theistic.But, you know, he admits plurality and stops there. Surely, if you admit the plurality of religions, you must be open to the possibility that Truth is not singular but plural.For too long, man has lived with the paradigm that Truth is monolithic, that there is just the One and True Faith. And in most part this view has been the cause of endless division.I try to see it differently. I imagine that beliefs are colors. Colors are different wavelengths of light. Each man adopts a color, a wavelength that resonates with his being. Simple, yes?Then imagine the colors side-by-side. What do you see? A veritable rainbow!And isn't that beautiful? Isn't that wondrous?We should celebrate this diversity of colors. We should see the light that shines in all of us.

  4. What a wonderful way to see things. You find harmony by including all colors. I center on one God so mysterious that we need not bother trying to guess what he expects. We ought to strive to care for ourselves by caring well for one another, rather than submit to superstitions that drive us apart.We get to the same place, but your view is infinitely prettier.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, JoeAm. Blogging may just be what my wife told me I do to beat Alzhiemer in my retirement

  6. Ahahahah. Me too. Thanks for reminding me. I keep forgetting why.

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