I’ll probably always blog about things related to Six Apart after their big splashes – I’m always skittish about saying something too early.
Yesterday Six Apart released TypePad Antispam a service that any blogger can use to guard their blog against spam. Here’s how it works:
Each time a comment or trackback or pingback is submitted to your blog, TypePad Antispam takes a look at it to see if there’s anything fishy going on:
- Does it contain just URLs and links?
- Does it manage to reference viagra, mesothelioma, casinos and mortgages in the same comment?
- Does it contain words like ‘hardcore’ or talk about anything getting ‘pounded’?
- Is it part of a string a comments submitted within seconds from the same comment?
TypePad AntiSpam flags suspicious comments as spam and they are either held for you to approve or discarded and no longer an annoyance.
Automattic, the makers of WordPress, have a similar system called Akismet that is used by thousands of bloggers as well. The trouble is if you are a successful blogger or make income from your blog you have to pay for a license to use Akismet. TypePad AntiSpam is a completely free service for anyone to use no matter how popular their blog is or how many comments they get.
It is a ‘self-learning’ system meaning that as it sifts through more comments and learns which ones are spam and which ones aren’t, it’ll only get better (and we will be watching it to make sure it doesn’t become self-aware). And it is open-sourced as well, if you think you can do an anti-spam service better you can grab the code and off you go. They’ve already been training the system on TypePad comments for quite a while so it is pretty highly-tuned and expanding it to more blogs and bloggers will only make it stronger.
TechCrunch had secretly done the Folgers switch with TypePad Antispam and reports back:
But last week we switched to TypePad AntiSpam as a test, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. After a week I’m pleased to say that as good as Akismet is, the TypePad product has performed as good or better for us.
Part of our launch is also a broadening of ‘what TypePad means.’ Our BlogIt application for Facebook is ‘powered by TypePad’ even though you can post to any blog platform. TypePad Antispam is a further extension of creating a toolbox for bloggers of all shapes, sizes and platforms so they can spend less time managing their blogs and more time posting, creating community, conversation and income.
Congrats to the brainiacs down the hall that worked hard on this!
I’ve been beta testing this on my blogs that are WordPress-powered and it works bing-bang-boom fantastic!
Update: Just got back from our weekly meeting and realized things I need to kinda emphasize are that this is really not a service in spite of our competitors but part of Six Apart’s commitment to the overall health of the blogosphere. I was thinking about it like infrastructure.