Fred, I host a photography forum, and have all new members write a brief note telling why they want to join. It's not an essay contest; just a way to separate people from spam bots. A mild annoyance but it works.
Spam was so bad for a while, one member was afraid to have his daughter see the forum for fear there might be a porn post. We had to get rid of the spam.
Let me explain what I do to keep spam off our forums. I intercept each new registration. I check the IP and email address against a database of known spammers. If either is in the database I reject the new member. If either is not, then the new member is added. It's a pain but it works. We haven't had any spam on the forum for many months and that one was an existing member we had failed to ban.
I guess my attitude is that if a new member can't wait a few hours or a day to be accepted and begin posting, then his or her contribution probably isn't that important or valuable to the group. I'm more interested in having people that value what we do and want to contribute over the long haul.
Eliminating spam is worth a little inconvenience to me and to new registrants in my opinion. If they don't think so, then this isn't the right forum for them. Please keep in mind that this is a hobby forum that is here for recreation. You don't see any fees or advertising. This isn't a business.
So tell me Paul, which is your photography forum? I used to frequent some of them. I even used to do commercial photography.
As a recent arrival, let me just say that it is lovely to be reading a forum where I can be confident that there won't be any spam. If I read something, it will be at least notionally relevant. I appreciate this, and it is one of the reasons I trust this forum for information. I am sure that this works the other way around: people who know what they're talking about come here and stay here because they know they are involved in a conversation with human beings who also care about the things they care about.
A few hours' wait is hardly punishment. If you're so hot to trot, read back in the forums to the beginning -- that ought to be long enough!
All hail Fred!
It's a small group on yahoo that discusses landscape photography. Mostly a bunch of overeducated artists, with a few collectors and curators thrown in the mix. But being in yahooland makes it a real spam magnet.
Originally Posted by Fred
I just recently made my own website and was surprised how fast the open guestbook filled with all kinds of crap. I was wondering, are there really that many people who don't have anything better to do or is some of this done by some kind of automatized routines? Don't know enough about that stuff, just wondering.
In any case, I appreciate the way this is handled here, Fred, thanks for staying on top of it.
I hosted a forum last year and spam was the most frustrating part of the experience! It's virtually impossible to stop it in a forum without doing what Fred is doing. I just registered today, and while I had to wait a few hours for approval, it was a small price to pay to be able to join a spam-free forum!
I am a moderator on a forum and we do the same thing, explicitly accepting or rejecting new arrivals. The "rejections" are pretty easy to spot, because the name is rarely realistic and most of the details contain random rubbish or the links they wish to advertise. It can be a tedious process but so far it has proven impregnable, which is the important point.
Anyway, that was my first post here so I had better rush over to the Introductions thread before I ask some questions.
Ok, I will take the rules into account when I begin my posting, thx for the quick summary.