to you all
Today I discovered I had comments from the previous entry. Earlier tonight I responded in the comments.
One of the things I hadn’t mentioned was that I would not be going back to work this past week. I’ve been home since the 22nd. I had planned on getting lots done on the house. TBH, I’ve spent quite a bit of the time spending time with Andrea and the kids. I don’t regret that of course. It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to chat away with them more than once (in person) or twice in the same week. It has been a good break for me as well. And, I did get some things done here.
Unrelated to house renovations, this week I counted the caught spam on Homeschool Journal (HSJ). Even though I’ve been spending a few hours a week purging it for the last couple months, the total suprised me a bit. Spam Karma (SK2) tracks all comments that it suspects may be spam in tables in the database. Among the tables for 200+ blogs were approximately 40,000 records. I had purged it down to under 5000, 5 days before. There were 14 blogs (ones that have to be purged every week) that had accumulated over 12,500 of those.
Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about how I might reduce the time involved in managing SK2. SK2 is an amazing tool in that in our experience it captures well in excess of 99% of the spam comments directed at a WordPress site. The first problem we encountered with SK2 was that when many new users signed up for blogs they were not familiar with the way SK2 works. Before we started altering SK2, each user needed to activate it and visit its administration page before it would filter comments. Andrea installed a version of SK2 modified for WordPress MU which is automatically enabled and filters for all blogs.
What we discovered a couple months ago was that SK2 only purges the spam data when it’s administration panel is loaded. Even though there are check boxes there that suggest the purging will be automatic, it isn’t automatic. At the time, I found an abandoned blog that had collected almost 15,000 spam. What I’ve done in the last couple days is write a WP plugin which is an add-on for the SK2 plugin. I’ve tested it in both this blog and Andrea’s. On an active WordPress install my plugin will make the purging automatic. On a WordPress MU install it will purge the spam data on a blog on any day the user logs in. Tomorrow we plan on testing it on HSJ. While it will not entirely eliminate purging on my part, it will substantially reduce the time involved.
An interesting tidbit I discovered over the last several weeks is that the spammers primarily target active blogs. A good percentage of the blogs that have not had recent updates have not collected up any spam at all in the last few weeks.
If you are using SK2 and are interested in the plugin I’ve written leave me a comment. I’m not quite ready to release it into the wild yet, but if you want to test it, I can arrange it.