Sunday, November 20, 2005

Open reply to Tan Kin Lian's post on "Action against Spamming"

[20 Nov 05 Update: After I emailed this post to Mr Tan, he replied that he has turned on the comment feature. He welcomes direct feedback via his email account as well.]

CEO NTUC Income, Mr Tan, turned off the comment feature after receiving comment spam. He wrote that he welcomed feedback on the matter. I was going to email him but decided to post an open reply in line with blogging tradition.

Hello Mr Tan,
I'm responding to your post on comment spamming as a blogger, and as a reader of other people's blogs:

It's not apparent from your post if you've already tried the new "Comment Moderation" feature or "Word verification for comments" that Blogger has provided. If you've not, I strongly recommend that you do. My comment spam problem was eliminated when I turned on the word verification feature.

If you've already tried those features and still feel that it's necessary to turn the comments off, well that's a personal decision. If you find it a hassle to filter the spam, then might be best to turn it off. No point antagonising yourself over it. You might as well spend that time writing.

In your shoes, I would go for Comment Moderation and spend time filtering out genuine comments from spam, even if it takes up substantial effort.

My take is that the whole point of blogging is to engage with our readers in conversations. Better to allow for some spam than to totally deny the chance for genuine comments to come through.

Of course one can still interact with our readers by providing an email address but it's not the same. The comments feature allow others to be clued into the discussion, even if they are not direct participants. Meaningful comments add to the original post. Some can turn out to be more educational and thought-provoking than the main post itself.

Finally, if you still decide to turn off the comments, then you might want to post an explanation on your position (so that other new readers of your blog understand your rational).




  1. i had some comments to make when he turned off commenting, but alas i couldn't because he turned off commenting. (i didn't bother to email.)
    anyway i think he overreacted.

  2. He replied to me and he's since turn it back on. I don't think it's a matter of overreaction. Probably wasn't aware of the new blogger anti-comment-spam feature. Clearing the comment spam is a hassle and I can understand his turning it off. At least he posted his reason why... although I wished he could have left his original post 'cos now I've got a broken link!

  3. methinks he needs to learn a bit of blogging etiquette or 'protocol', like not deleting old posts without terribly good reasons, or giving credit where credit is due ;)

  4. Anonymous7:56 pm

    I have to agree with TinkerTailor that Tan Kin Lian is overreacting to some of the posts on his blog. I visited his blog and found many postings placed by visitors deleted. Not too sure why he did that but perhaps he should learn to be a bit more tolerant of differing views. Judging by the way he "zapped" the postings of others on his blog, he'll probably be upset by me saying this to him,"Welcome to the real world,you cannot expect everyone to think the same way as you."


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