Improving Comments System

One thing that’ll be easy to implement is saving a user’s name, email, and website to a cookie and prepopulation the comments field if that cookie is there. Do I need the ubiquitous Save-my-info checkbox or is it ok to do this behind the scenes?

I’m also thinking of implementing an optional email notification if you want to subscribe to a particular entry. I think I have to put some safegaurd in place to prevent someone from coming to an entry, subscribing random people by fake posting their info and using the notification to spam others. One idea I have is to require subscribers and posters to verify their email address by sending an email with a confirmation link that needs to be clicked on. Would this put too much of a barrier to potential comment submitters? Another strategy would be to keep track of the last time that a notification email went out on a particular entry and limit the emails to going out after 1,2,3 or more hours. This removes the need for people to confirm their addresses. Along with that, I can implement a blacklist of IP addresses from which to refuse comments. That may be an easier, both for users and for me, solution to implement.

Related to the above, would RSS feeds containing comments to a particular entry be useful or preferred? They’d accomplish the same as the above but then user’s would have to have a link or something that they can put in their aggregator.

Any thoughts or critiques would be appreciated, even of a non-technical nature