Thank you everyone for commenting on the test blog post. Your comments made it possible for me to test theories on what was wrong. I originally thought the problem was that certain IP addresses were being blocked as being related to known spam IPs addresses. It became apparent that nearly everyone who commented got redirected to the spam folder at least once. There was no rhyme or reason why people ended up in the spam folder. I did eventually discover that the spam blocking API key had expired so I did renew that and hopefully that should resolve the problem.
After scouring through the spam folder for a few days, it has made me appreciate the comment spam filter all the more. There are a lot of very tenacious, aggressive spammers out there and if there was no spam blocking software, this blog would not exist because I would not waste my time slogging through hundreds of spam comments, some of which contain literally hundreds of spam links, every day trying to find the legitimate comments to approve. Yay for spam filtering!
I will take this time to delineate my comment approval process. As you all know, comments are held for moderation. If I can find a trustworthy plug in program that all trusted regular commenters to bypass moderation, I will install it eventually. I approve comments 2-6 times a day depending on how busy my day is. On occasion I do trash some comments if it appears to be redundant/repetitive or there has been a flame war in comments and I don’t see the point of allowing more comments that fuel it further. Obvious troll comments are trashed and really bad ones get designated as “spam” so that future comments will automatically get redirected to the spam filter without me ever seeing it.