Dear SSPR,You have been sending me emails for months now, apparently from someone named Sarah who always has a "Story Idea:" for me. Since then I have asked three times (including a voicemail) to be removed from your distribution list. What happened today? I received another email from Sarah about another awesome "STORY IDEA". I've given up trying to stop your emails. You obviously don't care about my requests, or care that you're proving to me and a lot of others that you accomplish the... Continue Reading
It started with a tweet. Eddie Codel described Boston's streets as "Kafkaesque." I found it on Wikipedia (it means disorienting), along with a listing of other name-inspired words. One caught my eye: Machiavellianism. The first line of the Wikipedia entry:Machiavellianism is the term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person's tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain.It comes from Nicollo Machiavelli, a Renaissance writer, diplomat, etc. known... Continue Reading
How fun. Imagine my delight to wake up the last couple of days to find thousands of bounced emails - all with my address in the From: line. It's such an honor to see my address associated with other legitimate brands that are so proven in the fields of appendage enlargement. Here's what happens... A spammer needs to send spam emails and they don't want to use an address associated with them. So, they add someone else's address to the From: field of the email. When the email bounces, it... Continue Reading
The arms race between spammers and bloggers continues and I often feel like I'm on the front lines. I'm so thankful for tools like Akismet that automatically prevent bots from spewing bullshit in blog comments. However, there is an insidious human element that has been rearing it's head with greater frequency. These are commenters that appear to be leaving an on-topic comment, yet use a link and name that reflects their true motive - to make a web site appear higher in search results. Many... Continue Reading
As Darren would say, this is a boring site note. I have finally turned on Captcha for comments to blog posts. This means that, in order to post a comment, you'll have to answer a simple question to prove you are human. I have a feeling you'll pass the test with flying colors. More than anything, I want to know if you have any problems with the system. Thanks. Updated: I'm testing a new system that I can't discuss right now (it's in private beta). This means that you may not see the... Continue Reading
We're taking off for Sayulita, Mexico, where our good friends are getting married next week. We'll be back in action on November 12th. Until then, we won't be returning emails and answering phones on time. Part of this vacation includes a vacation from dealing the beloved comment spammers. Comments are off until we return. Adios amigos.
Updated: Comments are currently on. Unfortunately, this site is getting absolutely HAMMERED by comment spam from a single source. 100's of bullshit comments a day for a few days now - all peoples' names. Akismet (a comment spam fighting tool) isn't picking them up and I'm tired of dealing - especially with a weekend on the way. I'll turn on the comments again soon. If you want to be in touch, please use the contact form.
Check this out... someone uploaded a bullshit version of our RSS in Plain English video to YouTube with a crappy ad on it. I would love it if you could help me rectify this situation by reporting it to YouTube as inappropriate and/or leaving a comment on the video about it being a fake. Update: After a handful of you good people left comments, the user has now removed the offending video. I think this was, in part, a cross-cultural misunderstanding - he is Malaysian. His comment to me... Continue Reading
A little while back, I wrote about a brand new feature from the Robots who created the online community site 43 Things . The feature is "neighborhood watch" and it enables "community members in good standing" to contribute to fighting the site's growing spam problem. Just to day Daniel Spils posted a follow up describing how it has worked so far. In attacking a problem of this scale, we knew weâ€™d have to turn to our community of users and a few automated tools. Enter Neighborhood Watch... Continue Reading
The last few days here at Common Craft headquarters have been a mix of elation and dismay. We've been working hard on the next version of our website. Now, this isn't just a design change - it involves a completely new platform, new host and new design. I had high hopes of a smooth transition, but those hopes were dashed in the last couple of days by DNS server geekery. I spent most of yesterday not really knowing if the site was actually on the Internet or not. In fact, I went to bed last... Continue Reading