I used to battle spam here on this blog and was able to fight the good fight on my own for a while, but it got to be too much and when Akismet was released (and even before it was supported in Subtext) I signed up and configured it. Like any good service of the kind, I basically forgot about it. I thought for sure I mentioned them on this blog already, but search says no.
Akismet uses a variety of techniques to fight spam and works fantastically well.
I didn’t realize how well until it was pointed out that one of my posts was “spam central” and I realized that for a period of about 18 hours a couple of weeks ago, something happened and my blog software wasn’t talking to Akismet’s servers (could have been me, could have been them) and nearly 10,000 erroneous comments and trackbacks were allowed in. Indeed, Akismet has blocked nearly 12 million spam messages so far today (5pm right now) across their network.
Naturally we added Akismet support in the Notches Blog and I was happy to pay the $5 pro blogger fee (defined as: you make more than $500 a month from your blog) — for most personal blogs Akismet is free.
Not only is it highly recommended, I don’t recommend running a blog without it.