At Six Apart, our mission is to help people communicate on the web, and we've always done this by making the best software and services that we can. But part of our larger goal is to help do what's right for the web, and today we're launching the latest initiative in that effort: TypePad AntiSpam.
What's TypePad AntiSpam? A few short answers:
- A free, open source system powered by TypePad for blocking comment spam on any site, free no matter how many comments you get.
- A service for all bloggers, built into TypePad blogs already and implemented as a free plugin for users of platforms like Movable Type and WordPress.
- An open source engine which developers can use to create new antispam services, with customizable rules and logic.
- In beta! We're hearing great results from testers so far, but wanted to open up TypePad AntiSpam to a larger audience so we can make sure the system is getting as smart as possible.
One of the reasons that we think TypePad AntiSpam is performing so well already is that its adaptive learning engine has been trained by millions of comments already. Every time any TypePad user reports a comment as junk, the system gets a little bit smarter and is even more ready to fight future spam attacks. The same goes for TrackBacks and Pingbacks.
So, if you hate spam, you're probably wondering how to get TypePad AntiSpam. It's easy!
- TypePad AntiSpam is a free, automatic upgrade for TypePad users at any subscription level -- it's built in! You can read up on Everything TypePad to find out how this helps your TypePad blogs and be sure to check out the screencast.
- The service is included in the brand-new Movable Type 4.2 Release Candidate 1 and is available as a free plugin for any user of MT 3.3 or later.
- For users of other platforms, TypePad AntiSpam is a free plugin. Users of WordPress 2.3 and 2.5 can download the plugin for free, and other platforms can use our 100% Akismet API-compatible implementation to extend their existing antispam support to use this service.
So, why are we releasing TypePad AntiSpam now? It all comes back to our mission, as stated above: We want to increase the quality of conversation on the web. At the highest level, we wanted to change the economics of blog spamming by introducing variety into the ecosystem.
The more different implementations of spam-fighting technology that exist, the more complex and challenging (and expensive!) it becomes for spammers to keep attacking our communities. At the same time, we want to make sure our economic incentives at Six Apart as a business are aligned with the best interests of bloggers, so that we feel the pain and cost of spam just as you do. And we want to get these weapons in the fight against spammers into as many hands as possible. One of the earliest sites to deploy the new platform has been popular tech blog TechCrunch, which just offered up a review of TypePad AntiSpam from the site's founder, Michael Arrington:
[L]ast week we switched to TypePad AntiSpam as a test, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. After a week I'm pleased to say that as good as Akismet is, the TypePad product has performed as good or better for us.
TypePad AntiSpam has learned from the platforms that came before: Automattic's team has created a dead-simple API for Akismet, and we're 100% compatible with their API. (As Dave Winer once said, "Invention here is hardly the issue. What matters is adoption and forward motion.") The smart work at Defensio has made it clear that bloggers want more competition in the antispam market. And years of work on SpamAssassin has shown the success of making an open source antispam engine that anyone can extend and customize to their own needs.
But most important, we made TypePad AntiSpam so that you don't have to think about spam. So grab the plugin (or TypePad users, just keep on blogging) and join the fight against blog spam.