I get way too much spam on my blog and I’m getting tired of having to moderate the messages.  It takes away from the instant gratification for users, and it just eats away at my time…  so I’ve installed some new plugins to try and fight back.  I’ve taken a three pronged approach

1. Installed Math Comment Spam Protection – this validates that there is an actual human being entering the comment by asking a for the answer to a random math question.  It would not be too difficult to create a robot to figure out how to answer this question, but currently it should be sufficient for 90% of spam.
2. Installed Mail-Validator – This ensures that there is a real email associated with a comment – although it doesn’t seem to work… I tested with some fake emails with incorrect syntax, and it still passed this level.  Since his site is in German, I can’t really figure out if I’ve set this up wrong.  Seems to have good feedback on the WP site though.  I’ll keep it for now…
3. and finally Akisimet – this is becoming a bit of a defacto standard since it comes shipped with WordPress.  It only requires that you register for a api key.  If even allows you to review blocked spam and to see how well it is working.  Basically it utilizes Web Services to check an existing database of known spam.  So even if a spammer gets past the first to barriers, known spammers should still get blocked.
So I got my 3 pronged approach – fingers crossed it works.  Now if I could get something to help me with my personal email servers…