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June 14, 2005

Trackback Disabled

As with many other folks around the online writing community, I've gone ahead and disabled Trackbacks until such time as I can find a reasonable way to moderate them as I moderate my comments, both of which have recently been awash in spam. The comment spam -- between 600 and 1,000 per day -- you don't see because I've got a moderation widget to block about 99.9% of it. Alas, I do not have a trackback spam widget that does the same job, and while I'm not getting the immense amount of spam that I'm getting from the comment avenue, I am getting about 200 trackback spams a day, which is more than enough to swamp any value trackbacks actually have for me. If I want to see who is linking to me, I have Technorati and my log files -- and you have technorati, too, if you're itchin' to know who's linking to me and when.

I assume at some point in the reasonably near future Six Apart or someone will develop a Trackback widget that will allow me to excise spam trackbacks before they show up on my site, at which time I'll re-enable trackbacks (such a thing may already exist -- if you know of it, please let me know). Until then, however, this site is trackback-less.

Posted by john at June 14, 2005 04:34 PM


Ted Lemon | June 14, 2005 05:42 PM

1000 spams a day? That's horrifying! I guess if you only have to deal with 10, it's not so bad, but I don't think I could handle it. On my blog I just don't allow non-registered posts, which I would like to think explains how few people comment on my blog (I suspect I'm fooling myself).

Bill Peschel | June 14, 2005 05:55 PM

The amount of spam you have to deal with makes me want to lie down with a damp tea-towel over my eyes. I disabled comments for awhile because I got a dozen. I have a low threshold for hand-weeding on a dial-up. Heaven knows what I'd do if, you know, I actually tried to draw more readers. Bad enough I flush 80-100 spam e-mails a day.

Guy Matthews | June 15, 2005 05:21 AM

I gave up on Movable Type entirely, it was too slow and too fragile, installing MTBlacklist would result in major breakages every time something on the server was upgraded, and since we upgrade often to keep up on security it was a nightmare, not to mention that a fair bit of automated spamming software is specifically geared to targetting MT. I switched to Serendipity, it's fast, powerful, uses php instead of CGI so if something does go wrong (hasn't yet) it'll give comprehensible errors, visually it's almost identical to MT, and my spam levels have dropped to a flat 0. Happyness has a name now.

tobias buckell | June 15, 2005 12:39 PM

MTBlacklist works, but it does break whenever you upgrade MT, but I've only upgraded MT in a major way once. It handles comment spam and trackbackspam fairly well when it works...

Kate Nepveu | June 15, 2005 04:00 PM

Guy Matthews, Serendipity looks interesting. Will it preserve permalinks on importing entries from other systems?

John Scalzi | June 15, 2005 04:25 PM

What I want to know is whether you have to uninstall MT before you can install Serendipity (or, say, Wordpress).

Guy Matthews | June 15, 2005 08:38 PM

*gets his blogging dictionary out*

ยท a hyperlink on a blog which links to a specific post

So I'm afraid Kate that permalinks would not remain valid relative to the entries imported to Serendipity no, you'd be using an entirely new piece of software so the old links would be invalidated unless the old blogging software was still present. I don't think there's a conversion tool out that'd actually look up and convert links before importing the entries into Serendipity at this time though I'll look into it.

This however relates to John's question somewhat, the answer there is also no, there's no reason to uninstall MT before installing Serendipity, the two will not conflict with each other, on the contrary, MT needs to remain present in some form at least during the initial install as Serendipity will need MT's RSS feed to import all entries.

If you were considering a large migration it might be worth moving MT into a new location and keeping it alive for archival purposes. Time permitting I can help with a fair bit of the grunt work in sorting out what goes where, linkage, and so forth.

Guy Matthews | June 15, 2005 08:55 PM

And let me say, crikey, that's an interesting setup you've got over there Kate!

Kate Nepveu | June 16, 2005 08:38 AM

Guy: Thanks, though I'm not entirely sure what's interesting about it. Care to expound for my ego's gratification?

Blogger's permalinks are based on assigning an id number to each post, and I wasn't sure whether the export would be able to take that into account. I wish it would, I really would not want to break links elsewhere.

(I've signed up for the s9y.org forums to ask, except that my confirmation e-mail has gone AWOL.)

I suppose that I could just leave my old archives up, though I'd either have to disable comments on them (which I'd hate to do) or keep weeding out spam (which, to be fair, is relatively low, just annoying).

The thing that *really* interests me is how customizable the categories system is. If I would be able to hack up something that would automatically generate an index [*], that would be really cool.

[*] I book log, and if I could get category filters to just show the title of posts -- because I find category filters that show entire posts annoying, that's far too much information -- and even in alphabetical order, well, that would be seriously cool. Automagic index, by genre even! Right now I roll the author index by hand.

Guy Matthews | June 16, 2005 01:22 PM

Well, based on your description you've hammered together a couple different incomplete systems to come up with a single working blog, my old school hacker side finds that very appealing.

Unfortunately s9y's recent server woes appear to have taken out their extensive list of plugins, I'm pretty sure however something close to what you have in mind for category indexing already exists. You'd definitely be able to break it down simply by categorizing by author just using the basic s9y setup.

Kate Nepveu | June 16, 2005 01:32 PM

Thanks Guy. It's really only two systems (Blogger for posting & Blogkomm for comments), plus a hand-rolled index, and that dates from when Blogger didn't have its own comments. (It does now, but they're remotely hosted, which I didn't want.) I'm not that much of a hacker, trust me.

When s9y.org comes fully back up I'll take a look at the plugins.

JamesG | June 21, 2005 01:02 PM

I just clicked on your Technorati link and it says that you have: 666 links to: scalzi.com

Further proof that you are indeed the Prince of Darkness! :)

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