TOTALLY RE-WRITING THIS POST but leaving it in place for the nonce. New posts will appear below.
I got spammed. It looked to me at first like the bastard had managed to insert links to his site into the comments for nearly every post in the database. It would take me, to open each post, identify the spam comments, close or delete them, in onesies and twosies — according to my careful prosthesis </firesigntheater> — approximately forever. And I couldn’t anticipate there being any defense against it happening again tomorrow and the next day and the next day.
It would not be putting it too strongly to say I panicked.
It looked at that moment as though I had two choices — shut down comments altogether, or require membership. The latter, while not something I wanted to do right now, was something I was considering for other reasons sometime down the line. The former was simply not an option.
All the same, I could not stand idly by and allow some sub-human intellect to destroy what little influence value BTB has to sell viagara and human growth hormones — or whatever he’s plugging. (The links, you see, could not possibly be there for commerce purposes. No idiot would ever follow them or buy anything there once they got there if they did. No, they were inserted to use my blog’s good name and authority (such as it is) to boost his site’s ranking in search engines. The ultimate theft of intellectual property. He’s using MY name to sell his junk.)
So I cast out panicked emails to my pillars of support and got advice that let me see more clearly what my situation was and how to handle it. I managed to stem the tide and figured ways of fighting off future attacks with little more time spent than I have formerly taken to put down the odd small-time, penny-ante crook up to now.
Meantime, I had flicked some switches in my controls and put up the post that occupied this container, requiring registration and membership for comments. Since I wanted to do that anyway down the road, I thought to let it stand and get the bugs worked out of it. And new members were signing up, so it seemed it was working.
Then I realized it wasn’t working. Worse, I realized I had blown it all over the place and YOU, my dear readers, were catching the shrapnel. NOT good. I appealed once again to the pillars of support, who pointed out to me the exact nature of my stupidity, and made me realize what I had to do to fix it, and that it wasn’t a quick fix. So I de-flicked the “require membership” switch. It will remain unflicked until such time as I get the right incantations and spells figured out and in place.
I expect it might take up to a week. Not because it’s that size of a task, but that’s how much time I can afford to dedicate to it right now. More news as it comes in.
Meantime, the offer still stands. Anybody who joins BTB in the month of November will receive a free copy of my eBook It’s Dolly’s Birthday, which I hope to have published before Christmas, when it’s done. Email me (at the link at right) your real name, a valid email address, a desired user name and password. I’ll set you up manually as a member of the site (I can do that, it’s just not built into the site interface for you to do it) and put you on the list for the book.
I apologize for the hassle and the insanity, and thank all of you who tried to register despite it all. You’re the best readers any blogger could hope for.