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Lots of blog changes

I introduced a few changes to the way this blog works yesterday while still perfecting the remainder today. You probably notice that it looks a little different because I finally got around to putting some badges and advertising here. Some longtime readers expressed astonishment that I have two books out despite my occasional posts referring to the books. (Maybe they are longtime subscribers rather than actual readers.) So I have added some advertising for my books and sprinkled in some AdSense to pay the bills. But the biggest changes involve commenting.


I’ve made several changes to the way comments work on my blog:

  • New human detector. I have finally given in, having failed to stem the onslaught of spam comments in my inbox by any other mechanism. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it’s better than a captcha full of squiggly letters and numbers for you to decipher. So, now you must enter a random letter so that your post is accepted.
  • No more preview. As ugly as it is to be forced to enter a random letter, it’s even worse when you have to deal with it to preview your comment and then enter a different letter to submit. After much agonizing and gnashing of teeth (all right, all right, I don’t really know how to gnash my teeth), I decided it was best to just eliminate the preview mechanism. Other blogs have done so, so I hope that is OK with you.
  • No more TypeKey IDs. I thought a lot about this one, because some of you are probably using them, but I continually found bugs in the Movable Type templates associated with TypeKey and it wasn’t helping me stop spam anyway, so I have eliminated them from my site. Apologies to those of you that liked them—I hope the “Remember me” setting will suffice.
  • HTML now allowed. If I can be absolutely sure that real human beings are behind each comment, then there’s no reason for me to limit links and other HTML in blog comments. And I am not placing nofollow attributes on the links. If your link is to a legitimate site for a legitimate purpose, I will publish the comment. If it’s not, I will delete the comment. I think that is the best approach.

I hope these changes are acceptable to all of you—I tried to mix in a little sugar with the medicine. I couldn’t continue to deal with dozens of spam comments each day, so I hope you can understand.
At first I thought that this kind of blog trivia might not be what most of you want to read about, but I decided that it shows the practical problems that every successful blog must deal with along the way. Perhaps someday we’ll be able to carry on our conversations without being interrupted by heckling spammers, but until then we need to learn how to cope. I hope that some of this might help other bloggers working through similar issues.
On a side note, I was gratified to see that yesterday the Miami Herald named Do It Wrong Quickly one of the eleven best business books of 2007. Thanks to all of you for your support of my writing—that book would not have been written without it.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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