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The best and worst about weblogs

The best thing about having a weblog is the comments. It’s a great feeling when people comment on what you have to say. The worst thing about having a weblog is also to do with comments. It’s the comment spam which makes the site look like a haven for pornographers. I’ve had to do something about it.

Relevant comments from people who have read what you wrote and take the trouble to reply. It makes you feel like you matter, like people are aware of what you write. It also adds to the value of the site for other users in a big way.

Comment spam is a real problem. Sometimes I have to spend hours clearing it all up. I’m not talking about unfriendly comments here. I’m talking about people who want to promote various products. Sometimes they disguise the link to their website with some inane comment, but it’s pretty clear what they’re up to.

Astute observers will already have noticed that I have added a rider to the comments section. This contains details of what will happen if comments are posted in future whose purpose is solely to promote commercial goods which are irrelevant to the discussion.

I intend to report all offences to the Irish police force. The Criminal Damage Act, 1991 clearly allows for this type of prosecution, especially where the poster has been made aware by the rider that what they are doing is unauthorized criminal damage. The act allows very little ‘wriggle room’. The act applies equally whether you are inside or outside of Ireland.

As I say in the rider, it is pointless to post links on this website to influence the Google PageRank of your site. This site uses a redirector to stop these links from influencing PageRank.

This type of rider is not a completely original idea. It is based on a commercial licence written by Roger Wood.

However my rider is more powerful, because it explicitly provides for pursuit of offenders through the criminal system. The Act also allows for compensation to be paid to me on the order of the court.

In conclusion, thanks to everyone who posts relevant comments, complimentary or critical on my website. And a warning to those who post commercial messages: be prepared for a rough ride if you post again on this site.

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  1. Question. You’re talking about comment SPAM here. I’ve posted on various blogs, where I’ve spoken specifically to the subject of the post, no submission programs involved — just me speaking my piece on whatever — and at the end of my writings, I put a link to my new opinion, personal writings sites (I have three of them). Do my sites have advertising on them? Yep. Do you have advertising on this blog? I’ll bet you do. My question to you is, do you consider an individual making a specific, topic-relevant comment on a blog and adding a link to their own personal website, a site whose goal is not to specifically sell something, to be comment SPAM? And if you do, well, I have to wonder why you’ve added a box above for someone to put their URL in. Your thoughts please.

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