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LISNews Turns 9 Years Old Next Week!
Anyone have any good ideas on how we can celebrate?
MaintainIT Has Cooked Up Something Special for You!
We're so excited about the new MaintainIT Cookbook, "Planning for Success"! Full of no fuss recipes for technology success, quick, easy and tested by our librarian chefs around the country. And best of all, like all of the other MaintainIT materials, it is FREE. Join us for a 20-minute introduction (3 different time slots) to hear about the exciting new content! Brenda and Stephanie will share 20 Samples in 20 Minutes—it'll be like Iron Chef on fast forward. -- Read More
LISNews got mentioned on a radio show! You can find their online edition Right Here. LISNews, Fang-face, Stephen Michael Kellat, Sarah Palin, libraries, and book banning came up on TWIS last week. It's the first story they discuss so you don't need to sit through the entire thing if science ain't quite your thing.
Join us for these free webinars. Attend this session from your library, no travel needed!
At the MaintainIT Project (www.maintainitproject.org), we interview hundreds of librarians about how they maintain, support, and sustain their public computers. We then publish all of their experiences, successes, and challenges in FREE guides called Cookbooks, so librarians can learn from the experiences of others who’ve done it before them. The best part? Everything the MaintainIT Project does is FREE (thanks to a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant), and everything is on www.maintainitproject.org . We also produce free webinars every month!
Sept. 30th Cookbook Book Club: How Much Help Should You Provide Patrons With Laptops?
When: 09/30/2008 9:00am - 10:00am Pacific
Where: Register on MaintainIT's webinar space. https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/schedule/display.do?rfe=1aboa5dakke0&udc=1sjlixarncf42 Download and read the Cookbook chapter (pdf) here: http://www.maintainitproject.org/files/CB2_Meal%20Plan%20Three.pdf
This month Brenda Hough will lead a lively discussion where you can share ideas, feedback, and ask questions about providing help and support to patrons using laptops. Find out how other libraries have handled troubleshooting, security, parking lot surfers, space issues and more!
Oct. 8th Train-the-Trainer: The Power of Stories in Technology Training
When: 10/08/2008 11:00am - 12:00pm Pacific -- Read More
LISNews has what seems like an endless number of RSS Feeds (Most Of Them).
The main RSS feed can be found here: http://lisnews.org/rss.xml
If you use one of the big web based feed readers, here are some handy links:
LISNews has been running on Drupal for about a year now. Before that we ran on Slashcode for a few years, before that it was PHPSlash for a couple years, and even before that I did it all by hand. If you run (or read) blogs you know comment spam is a big problem. If all you do is run or read a blog you actually have NO idea just how bad it really is. I'd estimate about 80% of all POST requests to all the LISHosted sites are spammers. When I have LISNews on the LISHost servers I worked hard at fine tuning the mod_security rules to combat spam.
Within hours of moving to Ibiblio I could see they have very different rules, and I'd need to do something else. I'm actually surprised just how good my rules were working. So I turned on CAPTCHAs. I tried some images, reCAPTCHA, Math, and finally the basic text CAPTCHAs to fight spam. They also worked. A few weeks ago I got a complaint that the CAPTCHAs were getting in the way. This wasn't the first time, so I thought I'd try something new, I turned to Mollom.
I was shocked that within a day the number of comments went up. It's been a few weeks now, and I continue to be shocked at the number of comments we're seeing. Mollom is doing a decent job blocking spam, but more importantly it's letting more people comment. The bad guys are kept out (for the most part) and the good guys have a very low hurtle to get over. (Or at least I think so. If the current trend holds, then I'll be convinced that it is indeed Mollom and not just a coincidence). Two charts that illustrate what I'm seeing on this end -- Read More
I'd like to read some more comments about comments. Should we have some kind of comment control @ Your LISNews? Recent posts at Lifehacker and The Consumerist (especially This One) make me wonder is there is something we can do @ LISNews to foster an environment open to dialog.
This could be as simple as filtering out words commonly considered to be obscene (something easy to do in Drupal, they call it a "Badwords filter"), or as drastic as instituting some kind of comments policy and then enforcing it by deleting comments. This would require some kind of "comments posse" that will run around deleting comments that don't fit into some kind of rule book we'd need to write, or something like that.
Personally, I don't know if we need to take any drastic steps, but you might be able to convince me to put a Badwords filter in place. I've read just about every comment left on LISNews for the past 9 years, so nothing bothers me any more. BUT, if a vocal minority of potty mouthed folks are scaring people away from LISNews, then maybe we should put some kind of controls in place. This might help bring new voices into our conversations. If new people decide that LISNews is worth their time, it can only make things better. -- Read More
Got an email from an LISNews reader with some thoughts on how someone in particular writes here that I think we could all learn from:
I know we abhor censorship, but cannot we speak like thoughtful adults and not drunken sailors? Would you talk this way to patrons in his library? If not, why must we speak this way to professional colleagues?
I moved LISNews to the ibiblio servers a couple weeks ago, and since I can't mess around with mod_security rules there, I was worried about spam comments. I could see within just a day that the mod_security rules on LISHost were much more restrictive, and had blocked more spam than I thought. At about the same time someone complained about the captcha not working, so I though I might as well try something new, so I installed the Mollom module. "Mollom helps you stop comment spam, contact form spam, forum spam, fake user accounts, etc. To do so, Mollom combines context analysis and accessible CAPTCHAs to optimize your site's accessibility and experience."
So far, so good, I've only had to report one comment as spam so far, and it says it's blocked a ton. Mod_security can be a big huge PITA sometimes, but I can't imagine running a web server without it now. You'd be amazed at how much spam is thrown at every single blog on the LISHost serves.
I'm also more than a little happy with the folks at ibiblio. They've been helpful with a few little problems, and the servers get the job done.
Mollom is a web service that analyzes the quality of content posted to websites. This includes comments, contact-form messages, blogs, forum posts, etc. Mollom specifically tries to determine whether this content is unwanted - i.e. "spam" - or desirable - i.e. "ham."
Please let me know if you have troubles commenting or using any of the other forms now!