The Battle Against Spam
Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
Last September, Value Investing News lost a major battle with spammers. The daily assault by spammers, seo consultants, and bots was joined by what I believe was an Arabic language cyber attack on the site, probably to coincide with the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States.
Several loyal members contacted us about the increasing amount of spam. One member even wrote me to say he was insulted by all the Arabic links being submitted. There were literally thousands of those spam entries submitted in a span of two days. Something had to happen.
I took the drastic step of blocking all story link submissions and stopping the creation of new accounts for several days. When I allowed new registrations again, I decided to identify all the members of Value Investing News that were making quality submissions. I gave all those accounts the new status of "member" and I restricted the submission of story links to "members."
You can now become a new "Member" of Value Investing News by first registering and then by introducing yourself in the Forum. After you introduce yourself in the forum, I manually upgrade your account status to "Member" which then allows you to submit stories and gives you access to all the other functions of Value Investing News.
Doing battle with spam was a major distraction. It halted all our new development and frankly it took the fun away from maintaining and growing Value Investing News.
Thankfully the spam problem is now under control. With the start of the new year in 2011, I've regained my passion for the site. Taking our cues from other social media trends, Value Investing News will be slowly shifting to a more curated content focus that is semantically categorized with external social media metrics, increased automation, and more individualized customization. Many of these new features will be added in the coming week.