Bods’s Blog gets what everyone else had decades ago – comments

Published on 12 November 2007 in , , ,

And congratulations to Kirk who became the first ever person to post a comment on this blog.

Well okay, the second. The first was a piece of comment spam from some muppet who thought readers of a UK based website would be interested in babysitting services in the USA.

So yes, big fanfare because this blog now has something everyone else has had for years, whoppy, hip hip horay.

Actually there are reasons why I’ve not had comments up until now. Editorially I was not hugely keen. Comment spam was just rearing its ugly head, but more importantly, I didn’t know how many people would be reading this stuff, and I decided that there’s simply nothing sadder on a blog than the phrase “0 comments” underneath every single entry.

Then I had trouble setting up Movable Type 2 on the server that hosts this website, and I ended up installing it on my home PC and simply uploading the posts (by rsync). This meant comments were a no-no anyway, but I decided it was no great loss and left it like that.

And so it came to pass that the decisions made five years ago remained fully in force, until recently when I decided to think again – mainly because I was only able to post at home, meaning I wasn’t always as reactive with stuff as I’d like to have been. Which is why a few weeks ago, I moved my copy of Movable Type over to sit on this very webserver.

Once that was done, it was a simple extension to think about finally adding comments. After all, I know people read this site now (hello all of you), and I’m sure some of you have the occassional things to say. So since Friday evening, you can. 60 hours later, that first (well second) post came through.

All posts incidentally are post-moderated, meaning I check them all for spam before publishing them. So far, you can comment on every item dating back for the five years this site has been online, although I’m contemplating locking it down to just posts from the the last six months or so. No registration with TypeKey, no CAPTCHAs – lets see how bad the spam gets (if it does). Maybe I’ll have to resort to a simple Turing test – Martin Belam‘s insistence that we type toothpaste into a box to prove we are human always amuses me! I can’t stand those horrible wavy images of numbers – the number of times I fail to enter one correctly is ridiculous and if I can’t do them on other sites, I ain’t going to subject people to them on my own!

Anyhow, it’s all on trial for now – lets see how it goes. It might be that you lot simply have nowt to say, and that every post has a forlorn box inviting people to say something, but no one ever does. I’m rather hoping it won’t be, but that’s up to you!


  • Kirk says:

    I decided that there’s simply nothing sadder on a blog than the phrase “0 comments” underneath every single entry.

    Like my blog then.
    OK, I promise I’ll shut up now.

  • Kif says:

    Pleased that you now have reader interactivity on your blog – just don’t confuse feedback with democracy, as News 24 keep doing!
    The sort of people who put comments under blogs are not representative of the population as a whole – a lesson News 24 have yet to learn. As Private Eye so well put it recently: “Tracy is a slag. If YOU have any opinions about Tracy, please text them to us on 84966…”
    Good blog – I have been reading it off and on for ages. Just had Central Heating installed here – – hope we have more luck than you – –
    Kif 😉

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    Democracy? On my own website? Never! This is definitely a dictatorship through and through, and proud of it!

  • William T says:

    Can I recommend Its scans your comments and recognises spam (extremely successfully in my view) – originally developed for WordPress but with plugins for Moveable Type and many other things.
    Free for personal use. Never needed anything else when I used to write my own blog.

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I have noticed MT4’s spam filtering is catching roughly 60% of the spam that’s coming through (which isn’t huge in quantity). Clearly the spammers have been watching this site, waiting for this day to come!