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Now With Improved Response Time!

I want to thank people for not e-mailing me questions about the recent periods of downtime and extra slow comment posting. Our server move and some backend adjustments have improved both page load performance and most specifically the time it takes for a comment to post.

After what seems like several years of use I've finally abandoned Jay Allen's MT-Blacklist plugin, opting instead to use the SpamLookup plugin included in Movable Type 3.2. Spam Lookup is a powerful tool that is as user friendly as your garden variety IRS tax form, which is to say not very. When it was released SpamLookup had no documentation whatsoever, which meant that unless you were gifted with clairvoyance or telepathy you were pretty much out of luck. On the documentation front things have improved a little with the inclusion of SpamLookup instructions in the MT Help Manual.

The last major problem I have with the plugin (though it's really a design feature/flaw in MT 3.2) is that comment and trackback notification e-mails do not indicate what happens to a particular comment or trackback. In my book this is a major functionality flaw. Comments and trackbacks can get one of three statuses in MT 3.2 - published, moderated, or junk. The problem is that the e-mail notification you get from the system for each comment and trackback doesn't tell you which of those three status the subject of the notification actually got. This means you have to go to up to 4 different screens (2 for comments and 2 for trackbacks) to check on the status of an individual comment or trackback.

Personally I want to know when comments or trackbacks have been marked as moderated or junk, just in case they don't belong there. We get a lot of comments and trackbacks (nearly 100,000 comments and 20,000 trackbacks to date) so I'd like my blog software system to proactively alert me that my attention may be required.

If someone from Six Apart would like to explain how this lack of status in notifications is not a design flaw, I'm all ears. As it is, this is a case where someone will need to create a MT plugin to fill-in this very basic gap in the new and improved MT.

Since I'm now reduced to begging for the a piece of the functionality I previously had with MT-Blacklist, if you're an enterprising MT plugin author who uses the DropCash (or similar) method of fundraising I'll kick in the first $100 toward getting such a plugin developed. Otherwise I'll buy the plugin when you release it...

Update: An while you're at it you might look at the way Microsoft Resultant Set Of Policies tool allows you to test out the group policies. It would be very neat if Spam Lookup (or a plugin) whould allow you to test a comment or trackback against your current settings to see what the results would be. An option to "Despam" existing comments or trackback (which used to be in earlier versions of MT-Blacklist and SpamLookup would be nice to have as well..


Comments (7)

Wouldn't it be nice if a gr... (Below threshold)
Omni:

Wouldn't it be nice if a group of tech-savvy bloggers got together and wrote some decent blogging software?

$100? Damn, if only I had s... (Below threshold)

$100? Damn, if only I had some time...
I could probably work out a hack for your MT installation tomorrow at some point, but a "plug-in" might take a bit more since I'd have to look into the API and all that fun stuff... :)
We'll see if I have some time when I wake up!

This is why I use WordPress... (Below threshold)

This is why I use WordPress: Spam Karma 2, combined with a CAPTCHA plugin, means I've had fewer than 5 comment/trackback spams actually make it through since August.

Wasn't someone designing a software called .blog?

Well, I've sworn off toutin... (Below threshold)

Well, I've sworn off touting my blogging platform to users of the competitors' junk -- er, I mean, fine software -- but since Josh opened the ball, I'll just point out that I believe Kevin could get the functionality he's offering $100 for in MT, if he were willing to pay just twice that for ExpressionEngine. And he'd get a lot more too.

And while we're at it, Macs suck. ;-p

Since I needed to test out ... (Below threshold)

Since I needed to test out a word list item, the following is a bit said in jest.

"Around here treading into Mac territory is gambling with your life."

Perhaps I misunderstand, bu... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Perhaps I misunderstand, but, with MT 3.12 installed and running on a site of mine, I am presented with the distinguished "which are what" category for both Comments and Trackbacks.

There are "Junk Comments" and "Junk Trackbacks" and then also same for all the rest...and as to moderation, those are settings established by the Administrator of the MT blog install: you manage which is what ("Junk" or not) by numerical stages that are assigned to each (Trackbacks and Comments..."Feedback") by Administrator determination. Combined with words to monitor (another plugin, SpamLookup I believe), you can pretty well send into moderation any Feedback response that meets whatever your standards are for moderation and/or publish.

And, as to when moderation is in effect, you can send all or some into moderation depending upon other settings. I moderate all Comments whether or not I 'trust' an author or not when/if I'm not using registration process and won't be available to moderate feedback as it happens (like, when I'm sleeping or working or otherwise away from the blogging install), and, I require all Trackbacks be moderated due to the spam volume (five, ten minutes to a spammer without moderation can enable a lot of damage to a website, enough time for Google to cache the site with the spam, such that, moderating all Trackbacks ensures nothing gets through from spammer and/or other destructive sources).

AND, the MT Blacklist is now incorporated into the latest MT edition (3.12). There is no more need to install the Blacklist (or remove it) as a plugin, because what was worthy about it now is incorporated into 3.12 as a functional aspect to the install itself. And, you can (as I have) install MT plugins to amend those features such as SpamLookup that includes word filters that will send Feedback to moderation, regardless of source or type.

Maybe just install the latest MT edition? It's working very well for me. My chief complaint is the TypeKey registration process which causes problems (thus, I have not engaged it lately), because without some comment registration process, no commentor, however how familiar, can ever be assigned "trusted" (you need a commenting registration process inorder to assign any level of auto-posting for anyone, if/when you are not allowing "all" as the commenting process).

I have to get a CAPCHA feature installed -- so familiar posters can comment at will without having to wait for moderation approval (which is also annoying to me where the familiar commentors are concerned) -- but other than that, MT 3.12 is well designed, and works very well with the SpamLookup plugin for added administrative features.

I'd just like to have time and attention adequate enough to be able to allow anyone to comment but, given that I can't always be right there at the website to capture unwelcome activity, I still have to moderate and it's a hassle to both me and those who I now know well and can rely on to participate well on the site.

Excuse, I have MovableType ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Excuse, I have MovableType 3.2 installed and running (and made reference to in the above comments), NOT "3.12."

3.2 is the current edition that incorporates the best of the BlackList features and doesn't require a plugin to be either installed or uninstalled...just upgrade to 3.2, install the SpamLookup plugin, and you'll have what I believe it is you're seeking for the functionality I THINK it is you're after.




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