This blog has now received more spam comments than blog views, with the Akismet spam filter having blogged 33,946 spam comments since the blog was launched on 1st November 2006. The blog Web site has been viewed 33,809 time with today, I believe, being the first time that the number of spam comments has exceeded the number of page views.
It is clear to me that managing this blog would be much more difficult without the Akismet spam filter, which is included as part of the standard WordPress.com hosted solution.
In the early days of this blog I would check the Akismet incoming spam comments to ensure that no legitimate comments had been incorrectly filtered (and this did happen on a number of occasions). However this became increasingly time-consuming, so I no longer do this, allowing Akismet to delete comments it has identified as spam (with an example of the spam I received shown at the bottom of this post).
It would be possible for me to disable comments to my posts or to require registration, but I feel this would act as a barrier to people who may have valuable comments to make. So I will continue my current policy of relying on Akismet. What I would do if WordPress stopping providing this service free-of-charge is another question, though.