Defensio Comment Spam Prevention: TechCrunch had a writeup on Defensio this morning and it is mostly an unbiased review of the features, benefits and weaknesses of Defensio as it stacks up beside Akismet. I had to check it out for myself. Here are some thoughts.
Defensio is a spam prevention tool much like Akismet that seems to be aimed directly at the Akismet audience. Even the back end of the WordPress plugin seems to be Akismet-esque with the requirements of an API password for use. You sign up for the service, wait for an email, download the plugin, install, activate, add API key and then sit back. The major benefits touted over Akismet was a more streamlined ability to moderate comments by spamminess rather than date, and an open API that much like Akismet, can be used to check spamminess of any commenting system. The service also (apparently) adapts itself to each individual blog.
I found the
response from the API to be slow (leave a comment here to check for response times), slower than Akismet. The downloaded zip for the plugin was scattered with MacOS junk and the Defensio website broke on validation when I tried to signup. It appears that the accounting/provisioning back end is Ruby. I hope their spam checking script is not Ruby based or they are up for some headaches.
I hate to say this but someone should come up with a plugin that load balances between comment spam services.
I will leave the plugin on for a few but for me, Defensio does not have any major advantages over Akismet which has served me tremendously well in the past. This time the first to market wins.
[EDIT] This is taking too long, re-enabled Akismet on this blog and disabled Defensio.
[EDIT] Carl from Defensio took a look at the speed issue and it seems to be working pretty well at the moment.