Kas Thomas, a CMS analyst at CMS Watch, published a great article on Mollom and the future of website spam:

If you're in the process of selecting a Web CMS and/or Social Software vendor, and you plan to deploy public-facing blogs or wikis, be sure to take comment spam mitigation into account. Moderation of comments (by humans) is inherently costly. A SaaS service like Mollom or Akismet may not completely eliminate the need for moderation but could be money well-spent. One thing is certain: spam is something you need to budget for and architect around. Ask your vendors what kind of help you can expect from them. And don't settle for the sound of crickets chirping.

When at Gilbane last week, it was clear that nearly all enterprise WCMS vendors are working hard to integrate blogs, wikis, forums, tagging and voting into the core of their offering. Clearly, Web 2.0 is currently receiving the level of attention in the enterprise that it got in the open source world two years ago. Maybe by 2010, they'll have support for OpenID, oAuth, XFN, Twitter, etc. just like Drupal has today. ;)

Anyway, Kas Thomas of CMS Watch is right. Allowing users to react, participate and contribute while still keeping your site under control can be a challenge. Spam is something you need to budget for and architect around. At first glance, I don't think any of the vendors at Gilbane had a strong anti-spam offering, if an offering at all. In fact, I wonder if they understand the spam problem that is ahead of them now that they have begun opening the flood gates on user generated content.

At Mollom, we have a Mollom client API making it possible to integrate spam protection in your CMS and other web applications. The last couple of weeks, Ben and I have also been working on a Mollom reseller API that will allow vendors to seamlessly integrate Mollom into their SaaS offerings and eventually to become a Mollom reseller. You'll be able to create, update, delete and manage Mollom access keys without ever having to send your users to https://www.mollom.com/. The combined set of APIs should give more vendors access to anti-spam technology before 2010 ...

More about our reseller API later, but feel free to drop us an e-mail if you want to help beta test or become an early reference.


Paul Muranyi (not verified):

I do not see the reality of this anti-spam API. The easiest way to block spams on our blogs is to restrict comment pages from the search engines in robots.txt.

A less brutal method is to make all outgoing links nofollow, and of course a CAPTCHA for a comment.

After these modifications the spammers won't waste their robot's time to our blogs ;)

And lastly, if a blogger have no time to delete a few spams daily, then he/she should stop blogging. This antis-pam API will mostly help the spam-bloggers...

dalin (not verified):

@Paul Muranyi you are crazy!

None of our clients would want to move comment forms to a less-accessible external page, or hide their content pages from search engines. Nor is a plain captcha an option. Our clients are trying to break down the barriers that inhibit participation, not build new ones.

Nor do I think you realize the scope of the spam problem. We're not talking a 2-3/day. Our biggest clients get hundreds / day mixed in with hundreds of legitimate posts. The person power that would be required to moderate all of that would be prohibitively expensive.

Finally can you give anything that backs up your opinion of "This anti-spam API will mostly help the spam-bloggers"?

[email protected] (not verified):

I look forward to the reseller API. I have a startup focusing on managed services, one of which is hosted email spam filtering from Postini/MXLogic. I intend to use Mollom as a managed service for web content filtering.