A Few Site Problems

If you tried to access my site over the last couple weeks, you’ve probably had trouble loading pages, especially from the 11th to 14th of September. It turns out the commenting script for my site was suddenly getting hammered really, REALLY bad by comment spammers–100 or more separate spams at any given moment apparently. My weblog software filters and hides the vast majority of this nasty stuff from me, so I didn’t realize how bad it was getting. And by bad, I mean it was actually killing the server that hosts my site–until they finally shut me down last week. For some reason, Google likes me, so I guess the spammers decided I really needed to get notched up the persecution list. This is particularly frustrating, because I would have disabled the commenting script right away if I had known this was happening.

The thing that clinched the problem is that the company hosting my site has run into some sort of trouble and no longer responds promptly to support issues. So I didn’t realize my own comment spam was the root of the growing problem until I finally got a response from them Sunday–by which time my site and email had been dead for nearly three days. In the meantime, I had already signed up with a different hosting company (ICDSoft) with excellent support rankings; and that’s where we are today. A few things may be glitchy–it’s not point-n-click to move a weblog database from one server to another unfortunately. And I’ve disabled commenting, so my site doesn’t get assassinated again.

I still hope to get & post comments (I’m needy that way :-), but for the time being, I’ll need to get them via email and post them manually. (see the email listed in the heading above). Thanks for being patient with all of this.

3 Replies to “A Few Site Problems”

  1. I was indeed concerned over the disappearance of your site! Welcome back!
    I suspect my own issues with spammers also relate to the good placement of my site in Google rankings. I suspect Google’s rankings put a premium on specialty content that is well linked to from other well rated sites. According to the log much I still average about 1k attempted spam postings a day, but only a few a week actually get through to be manually deleted. I make a habit of checking the comments each time I log into the admin area of the site, usually one or twice a day.
    Though your issues remind me that I am overdue making a full backup of the site, something not as easily done as the days when it all sat in a single directory of HTML on my hard drive.
    Andrew Cooper
    Electrical Engineer
    W.M. Keck Observatory

  2. Sorry to hear of your site troubles. This kind of behavior is nothing but unmitigated vandalism. I suppose psychologists have studied that behavior quite a bit and can explain a lot about it. It seems to me it has a lot to do with maturity. A lot of maturity hinges on experiencing your own trouble and pain and an appreciation of what one’s actions do to ones self and others. To that end I have always thought that the practice of rolling people like that over a barrel and beating them half to death with a piece of bamboo goes a long way towards enhancing their personal growth and maturity. Of course that is terribly barbaric and it is better for them and society to wallow in their barbarism.
    Wishing you and your good site the best,

  3. Andrew and Charles, thanks very much for your sentiments. Sorry it took so long to get your emailed comments posted 🙂 I’m testing different ways of getting comments to work securely, and I couldn’t even manage to get a comment to post myself for a while.
    For the time being, commenting is permitted with low security while I try to get something else in place.
    The hard part is that no matter how good my spam filter is, the comment cgi on the server still takes a hit every time a spammer makes an attempt. So I’m trying to install a javascript solution that will let me easily rename and hide the comment script on a regular basis. What a pain.
    Thanks again for your comments,

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