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As far as I’m concerned the answer is obvious, there is absolutely no reason today for anyone to moderate their comments. Sure, once long ago it was necessary because there was no real way to combat all the spam that was out there. That’s not the case today because there are plugins that will deal with just about everything that the spammers, those low life miscreants, will throw at you.

I actually use two plugins. The first is the GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin, better known as GASP! The guy that put this plugin together is the very same guy who developed commentluv, the one plugin that almost everyone loves. If you’re still using those annoying captchas I seriously suggest you switch to GASP. I was shocked at how much of  the spam I was getting was from spambots.

The other plugin I use in conjunction with GASP is Akismet as it catches all the human spammers. Using the two together frees up my time, time better spent doing other things like commenting on other blogs.Knowing all this I can’t imagine why so many bloggers waste their precious time moderating their comments. Get with it you guys, STOP MODERATING YOUR COMMENTS!

Still not satisfied? I mean it’s your blog right, and if you want to moderate them you should be allowed to? Why should you listen to me anyway, who am I to tell you how to run your blog.? Your problem is that I am not a lone voice on this matter. Just the other day I was reading one of Mitch’s post where he was talking about decluttering his online life. Mitch went so far as to say he would no longer subscribe to blogs who moderate comments!

I’m sure if I did a search I would find many more examples of people who are pissed off at their comments going into moderation. I know I am. I take a lot of pride in my comments. I take the time to read the post, to think about what I’m going to say and the the writing of the comment itself, only to find that it goes into moderation or it disappears altogether and I think to myself, ‘What the frack is that all about’?

If there was one other plugin I would say is essential if you want a successful blog it would have to be a subscribe to comment plugin. There’s a lot of them around, just pick one that only notifies the commentator when someone replies to his actual comment. This is important as some plugins send an email every time someone leaves a comment and this can be quite annoying, especially if you have a busy blog.

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Ever since I wrote my post on Why I Chose MailChimp Over Aweber I’ve had several people ask me about what other auto-responders I had tried out. Before I get into that there is something you need to know about me. I hate to shop around, I feel its just a waste of time. If I find a product or service that I like I just go out and buy it. This surprised the heck out of my wife but she’s used to it by now. It’s like when we needed a new car,  I knew how much I wanted to spend so when I found a car that was within the budget I bought it.

In the case of auto-responders I wanted one that was free and so I was pleased as punch when I found MailChimp. The only reason I looked any further was because Ben brought to my attention how they wouldn’t allow affiliate links to be used in campaigns. Read the above post to find out how you can use affiliate links with MailChimp as long as it’s done properly and in a non spamming way. Once I had found that I could use affiliate links the search stopped, but just I thought it best to post my results of the other two I had tried out.

List Wire

List Wire is the brainchild of Gary Ambrose. This auto-responder is completely free, forever, no matter how big your list grows. A word of warning though, the sales pitch starts from the moment you land on the home page where you will see a rather entertaining video where Gary uses a sales pitch to promote Listwire as well as trying to sell you some of his other products. Nothing wrong with that as that’s what online marketers do.

So, knowing full well I would be signing up for a list that would more likely than not fill my inbox with offers, which it does on a daily basis, note to self to unsubscribe, I signed up. After using MailChimp I found Listwire to be cumbersome and that it lacked the features I was used to. I’m a person that likes things to be easy to use and my personal opinion is that Listwire lacked that. Perhaps if I stuck it out it would have become clearer but I wasn’t prepared to do that when I already had one that was so easy to use.

Auto-Responder And Mailing List Manager

One other option I had thought about was to have my own auto-responder. I was sure that somewhere out there I would be able to find a way of having my own auto-responder thereby having complete control and never having to pay anyone for having a list. I came across the Auto-Responder and Mailing List Manager. That link will take you to their home page where you can either try the free unrestricted Lite version or opt to buy the Pro Version for around $74 for one domain. Needless to say I opted for the Lite version.

I downloaded AMLM, unzipped the file and uploaded it to a directory on my Wassupblog domain. The installation instructions are quite simple but there were some technical problems with the installation. I found the solutions to the problems quite easily in the forums, and apparently it only occurs with the Lite version. One would have thought though that they would have resolved those issues even with the Lite version as it makes the whole product somewhat suspect.

Anyway, I got it to work and all and all it is pretty simple to use. You can send plain text as well as html but unlike MailChimp that has professional templates ready for you to use you have to design your own. You can produce your own subscription box of which this is a sample. Take note that although this box is fully operational I will not be using this as a list were you to accidentally sign up. If you want to join my growing list you’ll find the real form in my sidebar over there on your right.

Name: *

Email: *
Country: *

While it does all the basic stuff you would want from an auto-responder it lacks some of the features, which even at such a short time, I’ve become accustomed to with MailChimp. Having said that you may still want to trial the free version, who knows, you may find it adequate for your needs.

Edit: I just tried to unsubscribe from Gary Ambrose’s list and got the following message.

WARNING! You are canceling your List Wire account!

Please read this short message before you continue!

If you remove yourself from this list you will also be permanently, and irreversibly canceling your List Wire account, and any sub-accounts you have under the username, sire!

If you choose to continue the unsubscribe process, you will no longer have access to any of your lists, sub-lists, prospects, messages, and any other data stored with List Wire.

Unsubscribing will also cause all of your subscription forms, squeeze frames, followup messages, and tracking links to stop working immediately.

To keep your List Wire account, and continue using our services, you must remain on this list and continue receiving our promotional messages. Simply close this page, and take no further action.

If you are absolutely sure that you wish to continue with the unsubscribe process, knowing that you will be canceling your List Wire account, and permanently losing access to all List Wire services and data, you can remove yourself from this list by clicking link below.

Needless to say I went and unsubscribed. Lucky for me there was nothing for me to lose. I just thought you should know in case you were thinking of using Listwire.

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For the life of me I never thought that I would be included in an eBook. I figure this is the next best thing to writing your own with the added benefit that it includes a whole heap of articles from up and coming and respected bloggers, which is why you’ll find me in there :wink_ee:

The book is called The Synergy Of Blogging And Business and it’s the brainchild of Michele Welch of NewBiz Blogger fame. It’s a fairly sizable eBook and it’s filled with amazing content. I was really impressed with the quality of the eBook itself and how it was all put  together.

There was one condition to being included in the eBook and that was that we were to offer it to our readers with absolutely no strings attached! This means  that apart from it being absolutely free we could not use it to entice people to subscribe to a list or anything like that. That wasn’t unreasonable at all to my way of thinking and so I submitted an article, with a little prodding from friends, and was thrilled when it was approved.

Usually when you’re offered an eBook you’re presented with the views of one particular author and it’s pretty well covers a single topic. Not with this eBook! No sirree, not with this baby, and that’s simply because, as stated at the beginning of the post, it’s offers articles from a collaboration  of bloggers and we all know how diversified they can be. This is just a small list of some of the things you’ll find in this eBook.

  • Establishing business goals
  • Social networking tips
  • Link building techniques
  • Traffic generating strategies
  • Blogging for business
  • Keyword research

And there is so much more. Clicking on the image in this post will take you to Michele’s landing page. I thought it only fitting that I should be sending traffic her way considering all the hard work shes put into developing a truly wonderful eBook. If there’s ever an eBook you should be reading in 2011, this is the one.

Speaking of lists, I’m happy to report my list is slowly growing. If you haven’t joined yet and you would like join you’ll find the form in the sidebar. As a member you’ll only get an email when I post a new article in this blog. You’ll also be included in My List page and you’ll never know when I will include a link to one of your posts, which means that it will be distributed to the rest of the list.

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About Peter Pelliccia"