The comment about comments that has likely happened before.

So, while a number of us here have not got people chattering away in comments below the fruits of our labours, a quantity do.

My objective is this, whether you get comments or not, how do you have the whole thing set up?

Personally I just currently have it that people can comment on new posts, I have to manually approve comments and they have to give a handle and email.

I'd much prefer to allow people not to leave an email or even a handle, but I already get masses of bots that are for some reason mostly trying to flog clothing. A lot of Ugg bots in fact, further proof in my mind that uggs are evil.

I was thinking of putting a captcha in that would kill a lot of bots, but on the other hand captchas really annoy people.

Your thoughts please, my fellow serialists.

I run a Drupal site instead of a WordPress site (which makes me a statistical anomaly on WFG). When I was running Drupal 6 I had my comments set up to close after 30 days of activity. The module that made this possible broke after the move to Drupal 7, and I had to set it up another way. The problem at this point is I didn't discover this until this month, when I got flooded by spambots, so I don't know if the new way works yet.

Re captchas: I use captchas but I have it set up so that if you're logged in with a valid account you never see them. So basically people who post anonymously have to use them, people who have accounts don't. It seems like a fair trade-off and there aren't a lot of local accounts so apparently most people are willing to deal with the captchas.

@Snowy, an evil Uggbot sounds like a creature that would not be out of place in your story world ;-)

I've seen that spam too.

As for comments, I've got things set so that I have to approve the first comment a person makes, but they appear automatically after that. Wordpress does a great job of filtering the spam out. I've received more than 200,000 spam comments and had to mark very few of them as spam.

Captchas: I do hate them, but that is just my opinion.

I'm doing the same thing as the other WordPressers, if that helps: manually approving the first, clearing the way for the rest. It's fun reading all the spam patiently waiting to get junked. Some of it's written pretty well, and I almost go for it, and then I see it's been written by, "Cheap Nike 4 realz".

Hermes bags. All my spam for the last six months has been about Hermes bags. I almost don't want to write that here, since there's probably a bot crawling around the WFG forums that will cue on that as an excuse to bring some of it here, but it's important to understand that someone decided my site was a demographically rich target for knockoff Hermes bags.

Hey, ubersoft: trade you a 4 realzies cheap Nike for a bag. I'll throw in some 'expert google it seo' advice, too. I'm apparently a hub for that. I don't get it - I'm on Google!

Man, I wanna know what it is that gets one spam strain over another.

I one time legitimately got a spam comment telling me that my credit card debt was bad and I needed it fixed.

The funny thing: I don't have a credit card. Luckily, it was caught by the spam filter and I was able to delete it. I think this was back when I was working on I Am the Devil.

Fiona Gregory

"@Snowy, an evil Uggbot sounds like a creature that would not be out of place in your story world ;-) "

While I could totally get away with that in one setting, I have a setting that has not yet had stories done in it. The Evil Uggbot otherwise known as the Booter would fit right in with Avacado Girl, Earwigman, Paperbag man and The Great and Terrible Rabbit (who is actually a hare).

Interestingly enough the setting isn't actually a superhero one. Could have fooled myself.

Anyway thanks for all the replies so far people. Interesting to see what folks are doing and the flavour of bots they get.

Haha, I'm really enjoying these spam stories, so I figured I'd add one of my own.

Haven't gotten too many on my fiction blogs, but I was running a comedy blog a while back with a couple other guys, and once we got a message that was like, "Do you like blogging? If so, I would like to talk to you about blogging. Would you care to check out my website and tell me if my blog is good?"

Which, first of all, is a total d*** move. But more important, I loved that it started off with, "Do you like blogging?"

YES we like to blog. That is why we are WRITING a blog, you DUFUS. It was the classic "Make sure they say 'Yes' to your first question" sales tactic, done in the dumbest way possible.

What's annoying is that the rest of it is so innocuous. If it'd been, "Hey, I really like your blog! You seem to know your way around a good post. Would you mind checking mine out to give me some of your feedback?", I would merrily click the link and stroll right into the Nike-Ugg-SEO-bag trap of Trojan spyware. Just... some effort, is all I'm asking for.

... My God. I could be the greatest spambot to ever exist.

Eh, they don't pay enough. All those 'cheap' ads spell 'low profit margin'.

Oh my god. Tartra...what if you ARE the greatest spambot to ever exist?


This is just one of many things I find myself dreading about my site going public next month. A very little thing compared to; "Hey internet, come and comment on my original fiction!" But a thing to dread nonetheless

@alex5927 - Oh my God! This is Blade Runner all over again! D:

@Oniwasabi - Hey, don't be worried! The influx of spam isn't actually hard to deal with, especially when you accept that it's coming. Make a game out of it: what bot's got the best chance of passing the Turing test? And - not to be pessimistic or anything - for the first while (aka. the stage I'm in), you might not get any comments at all. Spam's a good way to feel productive as you keep checking over and over. :)

Has anyone else discovered the Ultra-Spam-Dump? It's like the master template for every message one bot runs:

{Hello | Hi}! I found your content {very | really} interesting! I enjoyed the way you {presented | wrote} your post.

Et cetera, et cetera, but there's like twelve of those full-on paragraphs - just, one right after each other in the same damn comment!

Darren Caddis who writes The Brink just has a checkbox to tick to confirm you are not a bot before posting your comment. Seems like a nice simple easy solution if it's effective enough. I've also seen (on a non-fiction website) a recaptcha which again was basically just a box to check,no weird word to type in.

I've seen anti-bot things that are like, "Click the image of the cat!" and that's all it is. I mean, why don't people just do that? I think it worked. Also, cat pictures, people.

I got a cat pic right here you can use. It's a cat clicking the image of a cat clicking the image of a cat clicking the image of a bots here.

See I didn't suspect Fiona of being a bot until that strangely specific denial there.

"No bots here, there's too many cats for that, am I right fellow humans (of which I am one)? Those bots are just the worst, and I would know because I'm not one!"

I think my favorite spam comments are the ones that go "from what I read here, you spend a lot of time writing your posts. Here's an easy trick to cut down on your writing time..." as if writing were this chore that I was really looking for a way around.

The WORST WORST WORST spam comments by far I've only gotten a handful of times, but they say that something doesn't work on your site. "Hey gal I signed up for comments but now it's sending duplicates to my inbox, can you look into that for me?" or something of that nature. I absolutely hate these, because I'll freak out and go bug hunting sometimes for half an hour before thinking to google the question itself and see it posted, verbatem, on 100 other blogs, all by the esteemed Mr. Half-Price-SEO-Ugg-Boots.


I once got one that ripped its content from an angry Reddit rant. Literally - I not only remembered reading that post, but found it again. I was seriously concerned at first, thinking I'd pissed that guy off. But then it turned out to be a free watches thing or something in its email address. Check EVERY field that needs to be filled out; sometimes, it takes a minute to clue in.