From now on, comments will be closed on article older than 14 days and all comments by people who’ve never commented before will be held for moderation. It’s weird, for five years WordPress’ comment system flagged almost all the spam that I got. Maybe one or two spam comments slipped through every month. But now stuff gets through all the time (although maybe 95% of it still gets successfully flagged). I don’t know. Perhaps the sheer volume of spam comments has simply gone up. In any case, it’s odd to realize that spam is still a think. Gmail is so successful at flagging spam that in my personal inbox that I’d forgotten how ubiquitous and overwhelming it can be.
I really do not like WordPress’ internal text editor, so I usually compose my posts in Word before copy-pasting them to WordPress. However, on a whim, I’ve decided to test-drive the Microsoft Word feature that lets you propagate posts from Word directly to your blog. I have a strong belief this is really going to screw up the blog, since, well, it’s Word. But it’s also easy (where is where somebody will pop in and tell me about some third-party application that is the greatest thing since sliced bread and will do everything I want, and then I will put off using it for years until I finally do use it and it turns out to be awesome.
Also, is there some popularity threshold after which your blog’s spam filter breaks down? For years, WordPress’ Akismet system NEVER let any spam comments through. And it still manages to screen out 95% of them, but now hardly a day goes by when one of them doesn’t slip through. So far, I’m going in manually and marking them as spam. I hope that this is just a temporary thing that WordPress somehow learns what is and isn’t legit. To me, the spam comments seem super obvious–you’d think a computer would be able to spot them. I hope I don’t have to do that thing where every comment has to go in for moderation. I hate that.
I’ve also begun the second round of agent-requested revisions on This Beautiful Fever. They’re not so bad. Novel revision isn’t too horrendous a process–especially when the points get finer and finer–because it becomes a little bit mechanical. I mean, obviously, there’s inspiration involved, but it’s not quite the crazy adrenaline- and terror-fueled process that writing a first draft is. However, it’s weird, this novel is officially much more revision than first novel. I recently ran a compare versions between the current draft and the first complete draft and it is crazy how much stuff has been changed. Like the whole beginning of the novel! I’ve gotten so used to the beginning and revised it up so many times that I forget the novel used to begin in a really, really different way. And there’s a whole character that I cut out! In fact, the whole tone of the novel is fairly different from what it was. Even though most of the scenes and events have stayed the same through all drafts, I’ve put a fairly significant amount of work into revising it. I can’t even imagine how much work it must be to take the first draft of a novel and then substantially alter its structure.