Tips for managing a blog?

I’m toying with the idea of putting a blog on my website, and posting to it with comments and interesting links and such. I’d like to let others comment and maybe some interesting discussions will occur.

I haven’t done this because I basically don’t know how to manage things. I want to kick spammers to the curb (I’m not sure about trolls), so I’m reluctant to allow anonymous free-for-alll posting; I think I’d like to allow posting only for registered users.

Has anyone here managed comments on a blog?
What do you do about comment spam?
Are there any sort of legal liabilites involved?
What software do you use? My web-hosting site has a very basic blog as a side feature of my account, but it’s not clear how to set things up so it’s easy for users to join. I’d like to require new members to respond to confirming emails, for example.
How much time does moderating a blog take?


I don’t have a very active blog (it’s a friends-and-family-only type thing) which is powered, as they like to say, by WordPress. You have have registered-only posting, and there are lots of plug-ins that allow for just about any security setting that you might have in mind. I had a lot of problems with comment spam recently, and just putting in one of those verification word thingies has cut that to nil. I’m not sure about legal liabilities - in what context would that appear? Not that I’d be able to answer, but I’m just wondering what you had in mind.

I tried both LiveJournal and Blogger but decided, in the end, that hosting it myself was more fun and allowed me much more control. YMMV.

I’ve had a lot of blogs, hosted by myself and others, using several different programs.

Obviously, if you want to host it, places like Livejournal and Blogger aren’t for you.

I’ve tried Wordpress, which is alright but a little weird to install, and I’ve tried Moveable Type, which is also kinda nifty, but once again, a little weird to install. Greymatter is the easiest to install, but it takes up a huge amount of space (it makes a .cgi file and a .html file for EVERY entry) and isn’t nearly as customizable. I’m not sure if it has screen-able comments like Livejournal does because I’ve never bothered to try that on any of my blogs.

WordPress, as far as I can tell, automatically comes with the setting that you have to be registered to post a comment. That’s what we use on a gaming blog that I post on, and the editor had to mess with it something horrible to get it to let everyone post comments.


I’ll understand if you prefer to host your own, but I recently took my LiveJournal off life support and am here to suggest that you give them a try (if you haven’t already). It would be cool to be able to have you as a “friend” there. :slight_smile:

To control spam make sure everyone knows that you will use a “No follow” attribute in your blog. And then of course use it. The no follow means that the Googlebot and other spiders used by search engines will not follow links in your blog.

Then spammers stay out because what is the point. And you won’t be leaking page rank.


Misnomer, I have a moribund LJ as well, that I havent posted to since…
:: checks ::
…October 19th. :eek: It would be cool to have you as a friend there too. :slight_smile:

I’m going to have reformat it as well, to kill off the Comic Sans drop caps. :: ick ::

All in all, I think that starting a new LJ account specifically for the website might be a better idea: placing a stronger differentiation between my other hobbies and doodles and whatnot, and this site. Interest in the subject seems to be increasing.

Dpimi, what do you mean by ‘leaking page rank’?

Well, if you get LJ up and running and it seems to work for you, I’m misnomer971 over there. :slight_smile:

I’m terminusest on LiveJournal. You don’t mind if I befriend you?

Not at all! Anyone is welcome to friend me, which is partly why I mentioned my LJ name here. But, I’ll read some of your journal before I decide whether to make it mutual. Is that ok?

What page rank refers to is your ranking in a Google Search. This is why people Spam blogs. To get their own page ranked higher.

This is a bit of an oversimplification but this is how it works

Google searches are based in terms of the number of other websites that link to yours. Like if you have a blog and somene puts in a comment and links to his own website.

The original and current intent of Google is a link is an endorsement of that site by you. In otherwords Google says if you as a webmaster takes the time to put a link to another site that site must have relevant information to your readers. In other words you endorse that other site.

You can see how with a blog that intent gets lost.

Not all links are the same. For instance if you link to my page it is MUCH different than if the New York Times puts a link from its site to my site. Why? Because for most words the New York Times ranks #1 in a Google search.

So Google give the New York Times a high page rank. By linking to my site Google give a bit of that high page rank to my lowly site. So when Google reindexes my site gets a boost and will be ranked higher in a Google Search.

Because it shared that high page rank with me the New York Times rank goes down a bit because it gave part of it’s page rank when it linked to me. For the New York Times it means nothing because it’s HUGE.

But if ranking high in Google is a concern you don’t want to give away your rank just to anyone. Cause for smaller sites one link can mean the differene between appearing on page 1 or page 3 of a search. Let’s face it when we search how many of us look on page 3 of a Google search.

Now you can see why spammers put anything in blogs. To raise their page rank in Google.

BUT if you can make it so any links in your blog contain an HTML code that says <no follow>. What does that mean. To your readers it means NOTHING. They will still see the link and be able to click and go to the site. But the Google robot or spider (Called Googlebot) will NOT follow that link when it reads your site and WILL NOT give page rank to that site.

So by using the <no follow> attribute you are allowing your readers to go to the site but saying to Google I do NOT endorse this site.

MSN and Yahoo work similarly.

So if people know in advance there is a <no follow> they won’t waste their time putting garbage in your blog just to increase their page rank

Like I said I oversimplified a bit but that is the jist of how it works.

Go to to learn more.

(And you will note that since the Straight Dope Message Board does NOT allow Googlebot to even READ their site) that link won’t be indexed


Not a problem.