I have had some requests to remove the registration requirement for would be commentors. The options for comments are:

No comments. I don’t like this idea, because in general the blogs that work best are the ones which develop a sense of community. Allowing readers to comment is an effective way of building this community.

Unbridled comments. Not possible, because in the end it is my website and I am responsible for what appears on it. Also there needs to be a way to guard against spam.

Moderated comments. In this system comments don’t appear until I have had a chance to read and approve them first. The problem with this is that I have a real world job that takes me away from the computer for extended periods. Blog comments work best when they appear immediately, and sometimes I might not be able to approve comments for several hours or even days.

Comments for registered users only. This guards against spam, and enables registered users to post comments immediately. I can still remove offensive or otherwise innappropriate comments, and if necesary ban a particular user. The registration process is quick and easy – you just need to put in your email address, a user name and password, and that’s it.

I understand the frustration of needing to register, but it seems to me this is the best way of allowing readers to comment, to have their comments appear immediately, and yet for me to have the minimal control necessary to prevent abuse.