Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blogger improves Comment Management

The recent update from Blogger to comment management will make life much easier for teachers managing class blogs and for any of us managing personal blogs. At this point in writing the Manaiakalani schools have 240 blogs posting student content and we have had very little problem with inappropriate comments on any of these blogs. But we have had a real issue over the last 6 months with spammers. And when they have hit a blog they have defaced 15 posts at once, which has been very tedious for teachers to remove.

We have very reluctantly responded by turning comment moderation on (for posts older than 14 days) and activated the capcha / word verification tool. We do not like doing this because between them these actions create real barriers to our students and whanau - and anyone following this project will know that one of our major goals is developing student voice and authentic audience. Removing barriers to interaction with our students' online learning is important to us.

So it was with real pleasure we saw this notice on Google Support:

"To make it easier for you to manage your comments, we’ve created a new Comments tab for you to access them. Here, you can manage published comments, comments that have been flagged as spam and comments awaiting moderation if you have turned on Comment Moderation..."

They have made a lot of useful changes at once:
  • Being able to see all your comments in an editable list - just as we do with posts and labels.
  • For our researcher, having a tally of how many comments have been made on a blog at a glance is useful
  • Being able to select some comments as spam and 'train' Blogger to recognise similar ones in the future as spam - just as we do with GMail. I have already had success with this in the past week.
  • Being able to remove spam comments from one checklist without having to track them down on each individual post