I sometimes give Conman a hard time because his journal, The Boston Diaries, has no discussion or commenting system. On the other hand I can’t really give him too much shit–Conman did write his journal software himself (he calls it Mod_Blog), and I ganked my journal’s software from WordPress, mostly because I’m not talented enough to write my own like Conman did.
One thing that Conman doesn’t ever have to worry about, because he doesn’t have any kind of commenting system, is Blog Spam. If you allow comments to be added to your journal, then robots can come along and post advertisements in your comments section. I’m not sure anybody ever buys anything after seeing a Blog Spam post, but they sure are obnoxious–especially when you have to go in and delete them.
I haven’t got enough regular readers to make all of them sign up for an account just so they can comment (although I could, if I wanted to). But then the bots would just sign up for accounts and then Spam anyway.
So I came up with a happy compromise.
WordPress has a plug-in for a pretty effective bot-deterrent called reCAPTCHA (CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Touring test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”), which lets me add a CAPTCHA challenge to the bottom of my comment form, like so:
So of you’re a human, feel free to comment to your heart’s content. If you’re a nasty Blog Spam bot, you can go pound sand, fucker.
EDIT: it should be noted that if you register for an account on The Corsair Journal, then you don’t have to answer a CAPTCHA challenge whenever you comment (but you do have to answer one to get an account. So there).