|Fri Dec 30 2011 09:30:04|
Should EcommerceBytes Blogs Be Verified Only?
By: David Steiner
This topic has been percolating in my brain for a while, and since we're on the cusp of a New Year, with all the change, improvement, resolution, yada-yada, that comes along with it, I figured this was as good a time as any to broach the subject.
Last year, we introduced AB-Verify for our blogs and other features that give users the option of logging in when leaving comments. AB-Verify requires the user to register with a valid email address in order to leave comments on this blog and the Letters to the Editor blog. Verified users create a "handle," and their real names and email addresses are not made public unless they choose to publish it themselves.
We still left open the option to post without becoming verified, but we're strongly considering making it mandatory to be AB-Verified to use our services. There are a myriad of reasons for considering this change, not the least of which is spam. The problem of spam has increased exponentially in the 12 years we've been running EcommerceBytes. Because I am the person who has to clean out the 200 or so spam comments left overnight, anything that puts another obstacle in the way of a spammer is, in my estimation, a good thing.
I have also empirically observed that since we implemented AB-Verify, the level of discussion has improved. Users with a single ID tied to all of their comments often take a much more thoughtful approach to a discussion - and we like that! Our readers may be outspoken, but they are usually out in front of an issue, and, as a publisher, it is invaluable to have a readership that is "plugged-in."
We are interested in your perspective, in case we've missed anything. It's a departure from how we've handled things previously, so let us know what you think. We'll be listening!