Since using Typekey to authenticate commenters, I’ve seen no spam. None. 3hive is getting killed, and I found a sweet helper post from Jay Allen that has shut down whoever the little bitch is spraying his crap across the net. We’ll probably do authentication at the hive because it’s worked so well elsewhere.
If you don’t like authenticating or using Typekey, as a site owner, I don’t have a lot of sympathy because wading through thousands of junk comments stops me from spending time writing, taking pictures or learning new tricks. I’m reminded of something I read in Derek Powazek’s Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places. One of his points is that there are times you want to make feedback a little work for visitors so they have time to cool down or think about what they might say.
The comments here have been markedly different since forcing people to give a real email address to my authentication service of choice. Plus, I have a lot more options open to me before things appear on my site. If I feel someone is being sucky, I can send them an email and either ask for clarification or give them a less public warning about being banned from the conversations. I feel empowered as a publisher. It is in this area that Movable Type has really shown it’s strength. Sure, I wish it had a faster interface and better category templating, but shutting down thousands of spam comments with a few steps is sweet.