Was this a good move by @Edublogs ?

UPDATE 8:12am EST: It seems it was a good move, see Sue’s comment below, and thanks for the heads up!


I’m always interested to see how the impact of restricting people’s options or leaving them many possibilities affects how they interpret your environment/service/person, and, of course, affects their actions.

it’s that time old— strict vs lenient parent or teacher, or coach discussion you have surely had at some point in your life (or in class)…



Along those lines, this new change in Edublogs external links makes me wonder what impact it will have— will it increase the number of people using/signing up for their platform (as I’m guessing is their intention) or will it create that “not one of them” feeling that dissuades you from coming back (as you’re not welcome to link to anything but Edublogs)?


What do you think?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/sue.waters Sue Waters

    Hi Brad

    Ensuring the safety of educators and students is our highest proirity. Limiting linking external links wasn’t something we wanted to do; it was something we had to do. We use very strict spam control measures to minimise the risks of students being exposed to inappropriate comments or links.

    Sadly spam commenters can be very clever. The reason why we had to make this change was some of them had started to use the website URL option to link to inappropriate websites. We couldn’t afford the risk of students clicking on what appeared to be an innocent looking link only to discover they were redirected to a pornographic website.


    Sue Waters
    Edublogs Support Manager

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for your quick and complete response. I hadn’t thought of that possibility and am really sorry to hear that your battle with spam and profane sites has forced you to make decisions you wouldn’t have otherwise taken.

    You have my full support and I’ve just updated the post.

    Best from Paris, Brad

  • http://www.tmenglish.org/ Stephen Greene

    Hi Brad,

    My site is aimed at teachers so we don’t have the same problems as Edublog. However, we have had to use a similar system in that only people who have regisered their email with us can leave a comment. This is not because we want their emails or to make them join us because we don’t actually do anything with the information.

    Instead it was because the unbelievable amounts of spam we were getting meant we were spending most of our time just rejecting comments. There are only two of us who run the site in our spare time and we just don’t have the resources to devote to the policing of the site. It was with a heavy heart that we took the decision, but it seemed it was the only viable alternative.

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Stephen,

    Yes… when there’s value and an audience, it attracts more attention and some of that attention can be of the ‘darker arts’— spam, porn, tasteless advertising.

    Have you installed Askimet? Works great for me and I get very little spam. In general, I think most blog systems require an email to comment (or some kind of identification), but those plagued by spam or worse certainly need to go further with their efforts as you all (and Edublogs) have.

    Cheers, Brad

  • http://twitter.com/seburnt Tyson Seburn

    From a commentor’s perspective, it would be a turn-off. Maybe using a blogging system that is ultimately aimed at students to use too is the issue.