During the past few months we have been seeing an increased amount of comment spam coming into WordPress (sites.middlebury.edu) that follows a distinctive pattern: the comment text is useless, but unoffensive and contains no links itself, while the Comment Author Website field contains the URL of a commercial site. Because the comment text doesn’t contain any links, the comment doesn’t get picked up by WordPress’s existing spam filters and until now would be held for moderation.
You made some respectable points there. I regarded on the web for the issue and found most individuals will go together with with your website.
The point of these spam comments is to use the Comment Author Website field to plaster the web with links back to the spammer’s site in order to make the site seem more popular to search engines.
WordPress’s built-in anti-spam tools ignore the Comment Author Website field and only look at links in the comment text. This used to be sufficient since it is unlikely that most readers will click on the comment-author’s name and follow through to their website. As well, adding links in the comment text allowed spammers better control in how to present the link so that it had the most impact on search engines. Because of the success in filtering of the comment text, spammers have now moved on to other techniques, just trying to get their links to exist anywhere on the page, even if they aren’t ideally positioned.
To combat this form of spam we have removed the Comment Author Website field from the comment form. There are few legitimate needs for this field and it was originally added to allow people to link back to their own blogs — a nice feature, but not necessary. By removing this “attractive nuisance” we can instantly mark as spam any comments that submit a value for the Comment Author Website even though this field is no longer shown in the form.
As of today, this type of comment spam will no longer even be held for moderation — it will be dropped into the “spam” category right away. In the first two hours since this change has been in place it has blocked 70 spam comments that would otherwise have required moderation by the target blogs’ administrators.
LIS Technologists and Liaisons will be offering more workshop in J-term on Moodle and WordPress, as well as general technology work sessions where faculty can get assistance on using any platform supported by LIS. There will also be workshops on migrating Segue sites to these other platforms. For more information, see: Segue from Segue > Workshops
Louisa Stein is an assistant professor of Film and Media Culture. In the spring of 2010, I interviewed Prof. Stein about her use of technology in a number of her courses. Below is a screencast from that interview that describes her use of WordPress and Moodle in a first year seminar course on the “Aesthetics of the Moving Image.”.
The Course Hub is being actively used by a variety of courses this fall. To give a sense of the different ways faculty are using this new platform, we’ve made a short screencast that shows a number of courses and some the resources they have linked to their course hub sites.
The Curricular Technology team has scheduled workshops and work sessions for faculty on various platforms that are available for teaching and learning. Workshops typically provide overviews of a given platform. Work sessions are designed to provide hands on support and consultation.
2-3 pm, Thurs, Dec 8th, Library 105, Introduction to Moodle (sign up)
3-4 pm, Thurs, Dec 8th, Library 105, Introduction to WordPress (sign up)
3-4 pm, Tues, Dec 13th, Library 105, Curricular Technologies Work Session (sign up)
2-3 pm, Wed, Dec 14th, Library 105, Curricular Technologies Work Session (sign up)
We have also scheduled a number of work sessions on WordPress, as well as Moodle. These work sessions are designed to provide hands on assistance to anyone who is working on a site or has specific questions. Here are dates/times:
Last week I attended a Nercomp event on WordPress in the Liberal Arts in Norwood, MA and participated in a panel on WordPress themes and plugins with colleagues from the College of Wooster and Abilene Christian University. About 45 people attended, most from institutions that were already using WordPress. Many of these same institutions were also using Moodle and Drupal.
WordPress is used by many for course sites. Abilene Christian University has integrated it with Banner making it easy for their faculty to create class blogs that automatically include students. The College of Wooster has an instance of WordPress referred to as Voices, that includes BuddyPress and bbPress, popular WordPress plugins and associated platforms that add functionality for creating groups and forums and aggregating activity streams across various sites. Mark Frydenberg from Bentley University teaches his students how to maintain a WordPress site, requiring each student to take on the role of site administrator and tasking them with changing the site theme, adding plugins and managing roles.
Some institutions are using WordPress for e-portfolios. Macaulay Honors College has over 1,500 sites in EPorfolios@Macaulay, which also makes use of BuddyPress to create various groups that they plan to include in their upcoming WordPress student portal, My.Macaulay. Some institutions even use WordPress for the college website including Bates, Lafayette and Wheaton.