Sven Killer Robot Spacema wrote:So you don't verify e-mail addresses as legitimate? Is registration mainly a tool for ad sales? I know it's important to show potential advertisers concrete date. "Here as you can see we have this many registered users who are active participants on the site."
No, not at all. On the site, it's not registration -- it's just filling out a form, and your data gets stored in a cookie on your machine so you don't have to type it in next time. That info gets stored behind the scenes, with us, so if some dumbass spammer stupidly uses the same email address every time, we could ban that email address, but even then, there'd be nothing preventing him from just entering a different email address next time.
For advertisers (and for banning spammers), we use the IP address to determine unique readers. Advertisers don't (seem to) care about registered users as much as they care about how many unique IP addresses have hit the site per month.
For us, requiring users to give a name and email address is simply a way 1) for us to get in touch with a commenter if we need to (we rarely do), and 2) to get people to at least make up a name we can associate with their comment. It's been my experience that asking people to give a name heightens the level of civility.
Anti-spam tools have gotten better recently. It used to be a pain in my ass to have to delete a bunch of crappy, automated spam comments. But they rarely get through anymore.
On the boards, here, it's a different story. We require users to give a valid email address that is then authenticated. Similar reason as on the main site, but on message boards anonymity tends to really ramp up the noise in the signal to noise ratio.
Again, though, our anti-spam stuff has gotten better on the boards too. So who knows, maybe it's time to allow unregistered people to post on the boards again. We could always try it for a while. See how it goes... Why not, right?