Mar 25 2013

Our first snark!

I feel so proud.

We got our first snarky comment from a non-member today.

Well, the COMMENT wasn’t snarky. But the sender was.

The comment was simply “Good work…”, and it was on an older post.

But the commenter merely identified him/herself as “lesscss” and gave an email address of “lesscss@…”
[I won’t repeat the full email address.]

I sent a test email to the address, for formality’s sake. But I’m marking the comment as spam…

I’ve never run a blog before. And this is an odd format for a blog. But the rules are simple:

  1. Formal accounts are restricted to CSS members only. All members can make blog posts.
  2. [I reserve the right to edit posts minimally -- to add a category, if you forget, or to correct misspellings/typoes (I hate those), or remove things that Really Should Not Be Posted (such as when John accidentally posted the Corl House door code, for all to see).]


  3. Anyone can comment. But if you're not posting from a member account:
    1. You cannot be COMPLETELY anonymous; you must at least provide a valid email address.
    2. I am the final arbiter of what constitutes meaningful dialogue, and what does not. And I will not approve abuse, spam, or gibberish...

I guess it’s time to look for a WordPress add-on to force first-time commenters to validate their email addresses before passing the comments on to me for moderation… 🙂

I suppose it was too much to hope for that our first non-member comment would be something meaningful…

[EDIT: Email address validation is now up and running — I love WordPress! — and I’ve worked out how to add a short notice above the posts on the blog page.  Yay!]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvallissecular.org/2013/03/25/our-first-snark/


  1. John

    Great work, Reed! Automatic email address validation for first-time commenters should help control abuse. We welcome thoughtful, constructive comments by all, but hateful, anonymous messages are a waste of everyone’s time.

    1. Reed

      I know it seems totally trivial, but I’ve been trying to work out how to place some static text at the top of the blog page, since the first day I started designing the new site.

      WordPress/Graphene does NOT make this easy. But as I’ve gotten more sophisticated about all this, I have figured out how to use Graphene’s “hooks” to manually add features (like showing the TIME the post was written at the top of each post, and adding static text to the top of the blog page) that Graphene doesn’t offer by more direct means.

      This is fun… 🙂

    2. Reed

      Concerning the actual point of your comment [he adds later, after realizing his first response was completely off-topic]:

      Email validation is SO obvious and useful, I’m surprised it’s not built in to WordPress. But the great thing about WordPress is, anything you want that’s not already there, you can usually find in a plugin.

      In this case, the plugin describes itself as “still being in early development”, but it’s been out for three years and seems really solid. Without actually having seen the code, I can say that I *REALLY* like how it’s implemented. It integrates very seamlessly into WordPress.

      To test it, I logged out of my admin account, and created a bunch of comments (which I later trashed) using an email address that’s not registered on this site (I have *ANOTHER* plugin that prevents people from “claiming to be a CSS member” by signing a comment with one of our registered names or email addresses — this also prevents registered CSS members from carelessly writing comments without being logged in).

      So I got to see both sides of the process.

      As admin, I can see whether moderated comments have validated their email addresses or not — and can choose to accept their comments either way. As the commenter, I get an email asking me to click a link to verify my email address. Once I click that, the comment gets marked as validated, and I-as-Admin can feel better about accepting it.

      Once I’ve approved a comment, that commenter never has to be approved (or re-validate that email address) again. Until they earn my wrath, that is… 🙂

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