First: As some of you (Steven,Phil) have noticed, we have turned on comment moderation for all posts older than 14 days. Blogger only allows such selective comment moderation since recently. I've tried it for some weeks and it saves me a lot of time and effort, thus I will keep it.
Thing is that the vast majority of comments on posts older than 2 weeks are spam comments. You will occasionally have noticed them appearing in the comment feed. They typically come in bulks of 5-10, sometimes several a day. With the old settings, we had to visit every post separately and delete them. With the comment moderation on, they now go into the moderation queue without appearing in the feed, and I can check the queue when I please and hit "delete all."
For you this brings the inconvenience that on posts older than 14 days you might have to wait for your comment to appear till I come around to publish it. Let me add that I get all comments by email, so while the risk is not zero that I miss one, it is small.
Second: The number of comments on this blog has steadily been increasing and it has reached a level where Stefan and I don't come around to adequately handling them. I made a count on two days last week, and I came up to more than 50 comments per day (including my own). This has finally convinced me to take the step I've been hesitating to take for several years now: I have disabled anonymous comments.
The reason is simply that I am sick of the all too common Web2.0 drive-by anonymity. More often than not, it's the analogue of dropping into my living room with a Mickey-Mouse mask, spitting on the floor and then running away. I have previously told you that yes, anonymity has its place, but it should not be used unnecessarily. However, in reality, almost all anonymous comments are anonymous simply for the reason of cowardice, because somebody finds it okay to bother me with what just went through their head but then doesn't want to be brought in connection with it. You all know who I am. If somebody feels like they have to utter words without thinking and waste my time, I at least want the crap to stick to them. I am also sick of complaining about it.
It is clear to to me that requiring a Blogger ID won't exactly prevent that problem, but at least it's a hurdle that I hope will improve things. Please note that most blogs meanwhile either require registration, or that you submit an email address with your comment. This is not the case at blogspot, which literally invites anonymity.
Practically, for you this means you can no longer post comments without a Blogger ID or an Open ID. This affects some of our more frequent commenters, George and Kay come to mind. You do not need to write a blog to get a blogger ID. With a Google-account it takes you like 30 seconds to get one. It is 100% spam free. I've had my Blogger account since more than 4 years and have not received one single spam mail/news/updates etc. The Open ID you get with any of the participating services, including Wordpress, Facebook and Flickr.
I hope that our readers will benefit from these decisions.