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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1574

7/20/18 8:15 AM

New Members

I see that the poll about the political discussion is down.
I just wanted to throw out my thoughts, I don't think that the political threads are the problem, I think the core of the problem is that we can't get any new members, unless someone know how to fix the registration issue we will be on a sow steady decline.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3182
Location: Springfield

7/20/18 9:03 AM

Word of mouth?

A few years ago I requested an ID for someone and it was fulfilled.

Anthony is our host and administrator. I think it would serve us well to have his post on this subject: Thanks for "Registration Split," Anthony - this is where he makes his point. made into a sticky topic and to initiate a discussion.

He makes a strong case as a sysadmin / host.

Maybe anyone can make a sticky thread but I'll leave it up to the forum moderators.


Last edited by daddy-o on 7/20/18 11:04 AM; edited 2 times in total

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6008
Location: Maine

7/20/18 9:30 AM

registration

I guess it was on the deleted political thread, but Antney indicated he was besieged with bot fake registration requests, which were sapping his time, so basically shut the process down.

I dunno about the technical aspects, but we should be grateful for what we have I think.

I don't think the political threads keep people away, they can get a bit inane depending on your point of view, but I certainly contribute inanity myself.

For me anyway, on pure cycling there's just not much new to post about.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6410
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/20/18 9:44 AM

I didn't even notice a political thread before it got deleted. That shows how frequent I access TTF.


quote:
For me anyway, on pure cycling there's just not much new to post about

I feel the same way. I don't belong to any other cycling forum because I have no such need (well, I'm on our club's site, but much of the activity is about routes, not about bike tech).

I browse the tech threads mostly as a "filtered" news update on bike tech. But I haven't bought a new bike for nearly 10 years now. I'm not pushing the performance envelope of the current new crops of bikes hitting the market either. So just about any decent new ones will do when it's time for me to get a new bike.

What kind of new member do we envision to add to this site that will stem the decline? Keep in mind many existing online forums are facing "slow steady decline"...

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1574

7/20/18 9:58 AM

I guess it was only up for a day or so, I saw that it was posted but didn't get a chance. to read it.
By the time I went to read it, it was gone

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16640
Location: Portland, OR

7/20/18 10:05 AM

"but we should be grateful for what we have I think."

I second Dan's sentiment. For me and for decade[s?] the TTF is a bit like a private forum to a degree anyway.

I don't intend to participate in 'political' treads here going forward personally. Not that I can undo my complicity. But going in circles spouting each of our opinions and attempting to justify that position with more "See that" links quote and snipes is futile to me. We each know how the others feel, reiteration page after page.... I guess I am done.

Peace, et al

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16640
Location: Portland, OR

7/20/18 10:08 AM

"But I haven't bought a new bike for nearly 10 years now"

You need to get crackin, many of here will be happy to help you spend your money. ;) But I am guessing more than a lot of us here April, you are less cycling focused and have many directions of outdoor activity to spread the expense of across. ;)

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16640
Location: Portland, OR

7/20/18 10:52 AM

Dan,

"I guess it was on the deleted political thread, but Antney indicated he was besieged with bot fake registration request"

In the split "Registration Thread Split"


henoch,

"I see that the poll about the political discussion is down."

Was not a poll, but rather an suggestion/attempt on my part. Perhaps more time for it to possibly take was in order. But subsequent posting debunked that theory rather quickly.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3182
Location: Springfield

7/20/18 11:13 AM

Easy enough to find, but here's the link to Anthony's statement thread.

I think it would be a good idea to continue this thread over there. It is already productive.

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lrzipris
Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 403
Location: Doylestown, PA

7/20/18 11:36 AM

Largely because I don't have the technical expertise to contribute meaningfully, I mostly lurk, but I find this forum an island of sanity and, for the most part, civility rare on the internet. I don't mind the political discussions and disagreements, typically (until this last thread) done with respect for differing opinions and political values.

I often think of this forum like a web-based club ride, where we discuss all sorts of things while we cycle along, not just bike stuff. And that's ok with me.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4144
Location: Nashua, NH

7/20/18 12:11 PM

Is there a way to add a Captcha to prevent robot registrations? That seems to be the main tactic of other sites and apparently it works really well.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6410
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/20/18 12:24 PM


quote:
That seems to be the main tactic of other sites and apparently it works really well.

Appearance is deceiving.

A couple months ago, in a conference for operating systems, it was mentioned (in passing) the bots are BETTER than human in getting many of the Captcha correctly! A lot of web design frameworks are dropping support for the simpler forms of Captcha. There're still some forms of Captcha bots aren't quite as good as human. But the consensus is the bots are catching up faster than the Captcha software can evolve.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4144
Location: Nashua, NH

7/20/18 12:44 PM

Well, that sucks! What type works the best?

Is there a better alternative? The only things I've seen recently are email or text message verification.

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6410
Location: Westchester/NYC

7/20/18 1:43 PM

I don't know the answer.

It's pretty obvious the bot can handle the e-mail activation just as well as human. Not sure about text, though I suspect they can do that quite easily too.

Even the pay option can be overcome, with stolen credit cards! Though I haven't heard of incidence of that from webmasters.

Web site isn't my forte. It isn't even my usual day-to-day work. But my team has an external facing application but don't have a dedicated security specialist. So I and another teammate are learning as we go, taking a crash course, literally. That said, I'm slowly accepting the reality that internet security is a pretty important issue that all software professionals will end up dealing with to one degree or another.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16640
Location: Portland, OR

7/20/18 3:09 PM

"it was mentioned (in passing) the bots are BETTER than human in getting many of the Captcha correctly!"

That is both pretty funny and understandable. ;)

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lrzipris
Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 403
Location: Doylestown, PA

7/20/18 3:14 PM

It's more a comment about humans than about bots.

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daforumadm!n
Joined: 05 Dec 2003
Posts: 112
Location: Denver, CO

7/20/18 7:25 PM

A few things:

1) the political thread was not edited or deleted. It's still there. If there was a poll, I don't recall seeing it and personally did not delete it. You guys are adults and I trust you can have opinions without personally attacking each other. If you cross the line, I won't hesitate to ban you, so please respect each other and play nice in the sandbox.

2) one of our forum admins split the thread at the point where I responded to the questions relating to the inability to sign up for new accounts.

3) based on the feedback I've seen so far, I would be in favor of an invitation-only or member-sponsored registration system where the only newbies that "get in" are ones referred by respected TTFers who can personally vouch for the newbie. Many of you have been here for 20 years, so I have good idea who you are. I'd have to see what it would take on my end because I'm not a programmer but I'd likely need to hack some of this old php code (which I can do on a limited basis).

4) I don't like the "pay-to-play" idea. Many of you have contributed with pledges to keep the site going over the years, and while it's appreciated, it's never been expected. As long as the site continues to run on this platform and doesn't eat up a shit-ton of my time, I am happy to keep it alive.

5) the random bot signups were 100% porn-related and would come in at a rate that was hard to keep up with. It became overwhelming so I had no choice but to disable the new registrations. You all know how to reach me, so if you need help, just shoot a quick message and I'll try to respond as quickly as possible.

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dddd
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3214
Location: NorCal

7/22/18 11:01 PM

I'm assuming that you prevented bot signers from posting directly to the forum for some number of posts before letting any through?
I could see how that would be a nuisance when a great number of new sign-ups suddenly began appearing.
Flickr seemed to have been hit with some similar sort of attack a couple of months ago, where the spam was being inserted into member's photo albums's comments. Flickr had to block most access for a good few days before figuring out how to stop it.
The bot creators must have been celebrating the numbers they were achieving but their greed only assured that a swift blockage strategy would soon appear.
They'll be back with new tricks that they can at least exploit for short time bursts of spam proliferation.

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Jesus Saves
Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 1122
Location: South of Heaven

7/23/18 5:51 AM

I programmed and operated such software for years and never had a single spam bot posting. My solution was very simple and did not encumber the user at all. I could describe it here, but think my technical description would go over the head of all here - in short,it entails dynamically changing the action attribute of the html form tag.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3182
Location: Springfield

7/23/18 5:40 PM

...very simple and would go over the head of all here.. Nice

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Jesus Saves
Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 1122
Location: South of Heaven

7/24/18 5:52 AM

You missed citing my writing by leaving off the word, "technical", a very significant adjective. Hmmm. Why is that?

Also, did you understand that "technical" description?

That's right, of course not since to the best of my knowledge no one else here creates website applications. Maybe when new members join, that will change.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3182
Location: Springfield

7/24/18 6:37 AM

I was ribbing you. But you are selling some of us short.

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Jesus Saves
Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 1122
Location: South of Heaven

7/25/18 4:34 AM

Smug repellant

No, its more like...You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.

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