Matt has just posted a good article on the issue of Comment Spam and WordPress.
Not having used MT for long enough to have any issues with comment spam myself I cannot comment from personal experience, but certain things are very obvious:
– Jay Allen recently won top prize for the most useful MT addon / plugin / whatever. While that speaks volumes for his work, it also says a huge amount about the problem in the first place.
– If I happen across an MT-powered blog, chances are that there will be an entry that refers to comment spam and the amount of time that the author spends removing it.
– SixApart have yet to officially change their core files so that comment spam can be defeated.
Other blogging programs also have a big problem with Comment spam.
I’ve been running WP now for over 6 months. I have quite a few visitors, yet I think I’ve had less than 6 comment spams. I only think because it is such a low number – I know I’ve had more than 1 though. Maybe I’m lucky ? I do have spam moderation on, I also have a comment spam killer in operation. Or maybe it’s because WordPress is free, it’s being worked on and improved virtually 24/7, fixes for any small problems are available in hours and because it was written correctly in the first place. Matt and the programmers know more about the ins and outs of how it is done, but whatever they are doing, it works.
That word ‘free’ matters. It matters a lot. Not because it costs me nothing to get the code for the blog, but because no-one is making any money from it. And because of that, anyone can contribute to the project. Take the stuff I do for instance. Would I do this for a company that sold a product ? I seriously doubt it. Why ? Because me making their product more attractive, at a cost of time and effort for me, gives the only reward back to the people who make the program. Now call that selfish if you want, but if the programmers of a paid-for blogging tool are earning their wage based on how many programs they sell, then it should be their work, and their work alone that gives them that remuneration. Why should users of the tool support it when they will not see any reward ? I know that people can, and do indeed support programs this way – I wonder how much MT ‘support’ will evaporate ? – but when a program is free, and genuinely free, there is no issue.
Matt makes the point in a comment on his site that WordPress isn’t just free, it HAS to be free. For it to be taken down a ‘paid-for’ route, it would need the agreement of every single person who has has any of their code integrated into the WP core. By now that must mean a LOT of people. Given their motives now, can you seriously see that ever happening ?
WordPress. You know it makes sense.