Instant Karma for comments and trackbacks

Rarely do I get enthusiastic about a piece of software these days, and who would have thought that an anti-spam plugin of all things would be an object that triggers a long absent sense of wonder and appreciation at its elegant design, but here it is.

Spam Karma 2 is the name of the beast, and it works fabulously of course, but more than that it is like a Dyson Vacuum cleaner in that you can peer into it from the WordPress dashboard and all of the cleverly assembled inner workings are right there on show. Even better, all of the settings and fine tunings are easily user configurable, and in a pleasant rather than onerous fashion. So many thanks to Dr Dave, unknown genius indeed, who would appear to be some kind of DJ in his day job when not “wasting his time coding ridiculously elaborate anti-spam plugins”. This is no waste of time, it makes an art form out of fuzzy logic and modular design.

I have been recommended Akismet before, but when I looked into how it works I discovered that all comments have to be diverted to a web service somewhere for processing and I don’t think that’s such a great idea. The danger I perceived is when the web server is down, or broken, or upgraded without notice or turned into a paid-for system then your blog’s comments system is suddenly rendered non functioning for some period of time during which you may not notice. Spam Karma on the other hand is more devolved in that it does all of its clever modular ranking and decision-making all by itself, in situ on the blog installation, and then possibly sends a report back to base if it feels like it. You don’t have to do anything other than to install it and leave it on default settings to get on with its business if you like, but I’ve been checking the closest to borderline cases for a few weeks as well. So far there have been no false positives and only 2 spams passed through out of thousands. Brilliant.

The implications for the DARnet blog are that I no longer need to compromise by disabling comments on some older posts which are heavily targeted, so the possibility of older discussions coming back to life is increased, and indeed a couple of not so old posts have come back to life recently, as I shall show in my next post thanking various commenters.

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