The Post Wherein I Turn a Tiny Beef I had With Comment Spam Into Waging a War Against Everything.

For over four years, I used blog software built by my husband. As many of you know about two weeks ago we moved mihow.com over to Typo. It’s a great package for the most part. It’s easy to use and the templates are well designed. I haven’t run into too much weirdness or frustration using Typo.

I do, however, have a few issues with it. From what I can tell, there isn’t any way to have the system email the writer when a comment is left. This really doesn’t bother me because I have an RSS feed for comments. The problem is that finally, for the first time in the history of this Web site, I am getting comment spam. And I’m not pleased with that at all. (Quite honestly, I have no idea how others have dealt and continue to deal with it.)

Previously, Tobyjoe had my site rigged so that anyone without Javascript enabled was unable to leave a comment. I can’t remember why this worked because I am not a super nerd like my husband, but it worked and so I never complained. Now, that’s no longer the situation and I’m paying the price.

One option I have is to turn off comments altogether and I really would rather not do that. One of the reasons I continue with this Web site is because I often really enjoy the discussions that are born because of it. I’d rather not destroy that. If that ends, surely the site will eventually die as well, surely my drive to run it will diminish. For now, that’s not an option. (Although, give me a few more days deleting comment spam and I might change my tune.)

I woke up today, I deleted several comment spam, and then I told Tobyjoe that mornings like this one are why I prefer using his magic to make my Web site run. I took pride using his work and the fact that it was one-of-a-kind. That’s not to say I don’t like engines such as Typo, but what do they care if Michele bitches and moans about comment spam first thing in the morning? They don’t. Tobyjoe does, however. ;]

On a site related note, I can’t say I’m super keen on using Textile. Sure, some of it makes sense, but take a post the other day, for example. I was trying to add an asterisk to this post so I in order to add a footnote, instead, it bolded everything because with Textile and asterisk is what one uses to add emphasis, therefore bolding the word. Normally, it’s fine and dandy, but I wanted to use an asterisk as a footnote not for emphasis at all. While I understand that Textile uses tricks that have been implemented throughout email for years and years, it throws off basic writing techniques. And that sucks.

Granted, I am certain, I just don’t know it well enough. Yet. That is very often the case. But the way it uses links throws me off as well. I find I’m asking “Why?” a lot.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I become frustrated with the fact that certain tools or programs we use have become the norm only because no one has any idea (or drive) about ways in which to change. We live in a world filled with mediocrity. Look at our advertisements, our radio personalities, our TV shows, our fashion, our people, our vacations. Hell, look at our blogs. We’re all perfectly willing to just deal with whatever’s normal as long as it doesn’t cause us physical pain, make our jobs too much more annoying than they already are, or interfere with our American Idol. I’m so sick of the usual. I’m tired of streamline. I’m sick of this McDonald’s approach we apply to the Internet and to our everyday lives. Our never-ending quest for familiarity has a way of getting in the way if all that can (and should be) unique and colorful in this world. Familiarity helps fodder complacency.

(P.S. Sorry for all the bitchin’.)

10 Comments

  1. if it helps at all…

    i wrote this captcha server in python:

    http://dev.2xlp.com/svn/another_python_captcha/trunk/

    it works as a standalone based on cookies that have some sort of mathmatical hash in them

    you could use it and have it create a challenge thats good for 24/48/72 hours or something.

    Reply

  2. Jonathan, I am not sure what that means! hehe. I have become very retarded when it comes to geek speak because Tobyjoe takes care of all of that for me.

    I can design him a logo. He takes care of running stuff.

    Can you explain that better? Sorry. :[

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  3. I just deleted another one. I’m totally going to have to turn of comments, aren’t I? God damn asshats and their comments. There should be a life sentence imposed on all those who send spam.

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  4. I’m gonna port my greylisting module over to Typo as a plug-in. The whole community could use it, i’m sure.

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  5. The only thing you’ll do is give spammers a reference to test their defeat strategies against

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  6. That’s fine with me. As nothing gets published without first-time approval of IP plus email (both of which are never revealed), their stuff just goes into the trash.

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  7. Combined with black-listing (all spammers are added to the BL), it has worked pretty well thus far.

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  8. For now, I created a non-JS honeypot for them. Worked for years on the old version.

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  9. You can do that here, too? Awesome. That’s all I ask. :]

    Thanks, Beaner. You’re the best.

    Reply

  10. i am awed by Tobyjoe’s geek creativity.

    Reply

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