The community we are building here and discussions we are having are really because of you, the readers here at BCM and those who read by the various feed readers out there. I am deeply appreciative of the hundreds of you that come by each week to read what I have to say and, in many instances, comment on my writing or position.

Recently, the spam meisters found BCM and added automated spam of the porn and gambling variety to the mix here and, much to my annoyance, would not let up. To combat this, I activated the Akismet plugin and had a large measure of success. The spammers tactics changed, however, and they began leaving comments on older posts hoping to get their message on the site unseen. That, too had a measure of success and took up a lot of time weeding through the site and the comment log to make sure that no valid comments got deleted along with the spam. There were days where over 200 comments were hung in the moderation queue for me to review.

During that time, many of you were commenting only to find your comments not appearing immediately since they had to be moderated and I didn’t get to them for a couple of hours. I apologize.

Finally, to combat the spam and get a plugin that would not require so much moderation, I installed Spam Karma 2 as a solution and am very pleased with the result. Dr. Dave, SK2′s developer, deserves kudos, shout outs, money and referrals. If you are experiencing spam problems, please consider using SK2 to solve them! In the event someone comments and the comment is eaten or lost, please contact me at Email the Muse to let me know and I’ll begin looking for your lost thoughts.

So as to reward the folks that comment here and add to the value of BCM and our readers, I’ve also added the following plugin, LinkLove. LL removes the “NoFollow” restriction on the site links provided by those leaving comments who also have blogs and sites. After leaving a specified number of comments, the commenter is rewarded by having his comment generate a link back to his site. The default setting is after 10 comments. I lowered that significantly but am not saying by how much to prevent taking advantage of the opportunity.

So comment away and enjoy the linkbacks from BCM. One final note on this matter. I will be monitoring comments. If someone is trying to trigger LinkLove by leaving comments like “Thanks!” and “Sweet!” I’ll deal with it. This is meant to reward readers and bloggers adding value to the site.

Let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say …

Blue Collar Muse