Author: Blog Administration

Regex question

UPDATE: It’s working! Thanks to everyone who made suggestions. Also, as with any change to our filters, we’ve tried to be as careful as we can not to block innocent posts. But it’s always possible that I didn’t design or implement this quite right, and that it will inadvertently catch your innocent post. If it does, please let us know, as soon as possible. Thanks!

Dumb (Technical) Question

Is there a program or utility that will tell me what parts of T & S are using server resources? Right now, I’ve got cpanel, and that’s it. So I can watch our resource use spike, and I can turn off plugins. And I can pull the index offline. And see if that helps any. But it would be nice if I could get a more exact picture. (i.e., “server use – 10. Breakdown: 2.0 for index.php, 1.0 for wp-comments-post.php, and 7.0 for blacklist.php” which would tell me “aha, the blacklist is what’s tying up resources”). Suggestions?

Further Update

Okay, that didn’t work. We spiked again, knocked out Apache again. I took down our index file and reverted back to the out-of-the-box default wordpress index. (Pretty, huh?) We’ll see if that helps. Maybe there’s a script in our index that’s crashing the site.

Technical Update

Hi. We’ve been experiencing some major technical problems, as you’ve probably figured out by now. Our new host didn’t handle the site. We’re pointing the DNS back to the old host, which has the posts and comments through last Thursday. Once this is back up and running (DNS resolved everywhere) we’ll try to get a hold of the new material and drop it back in. It may be rocky for a day or two, but we should be up and running relatively shortly. Thanks for your patience!

The Gateway Blog – Part 1

Growing up, I always knew better than to mess around with blogs. My parents would tell me, “If you only remember one thing, remember this — stay off of blogs!” And this was easy through high school and through my mission. No one was offering me blogs. In fact, they hadn’t been invented yet (which I must say made compliance with that rule really quite easy). But unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to stay blog-free forever. The culprit, of course, was Times and Seasons . . . “the gateway blog.”

Quick technical note

We’ve moved the site from the /wp directory to the root directory. (This move may help restore our burnished Google-rank).* The site is now fully running at the root directory. (Yeah, there was a brief period where it, uh, wasn’t. Sorry about that). There’s also a .htaccess rewrite in place to route people to the new digs, and I’m not anticipating any further hitches. If there are, please let us know.

Aesthetic Changes

We’re doing some slight tinkering. Any feedback is appreciated. (Also, if we break something, please let us know, along with any relevant details — “I can no longer load the page in Netscape” or whatever.) Thanks!

RSS feeds

Ours is was broken. Now it’s better. Thanks, as usual, to Bryce for able assistance. If anyone continues to have problems with the RSS feed, please make a note in comments, or send an e-mail. Thanks.

Virus Concerns

Ryan Bell has just posted about some fishy virus-containing e-mails that he received, allegedly from Greg Call, Nate Oman, Daniel Bartholomew. It looks like there is a virus somewhere in the bloggernacle. This could be as simple as a bloggernacle participant using an infected machine that is sending virus e-mails with false “From” data. Or it could be a more serious issue. For the moment, bloggernacle participants are warned to be very careful opening e-mail purporting to come from Nate, Greg, or for that matter any bloggernacle participant. And as a general matter, bloggernacle readers (like all computer users) should at the very least have up-to-date virus protection on their computers.

Quick admin note

Following a string of spam attacks, I’m tinkering with the settings to try to allow it to catch more spam. I’ve tightened a few controls to “wait list” comments that might be spam. (These aren’t deleted, but they’re kept in a queue until they can be individually approved). I’m trying to keep the settings right, and I don’t think that I’ll be catching many legit comments, but there’s a chance that your comment will be put on a wait list, as I figure out how best to work with spam fighting tools. I’m not sure if this particular tool is going to work well. Apologies in advance for any inadvertent wait listing.

A technical hiccough

Our internet host is having some problems keeping up with traffic on this incredibly busy day. The problem is exacerbated since they’re also hosting some official election supervisor sites in Florida. We’ve had one hiccough so far today — about an hour and a half of down time — and we may see more. Just an FYI.

Quick note

We’ve been getting a ton of spam lately from a new batch of spammers using new .info sites. So I just added a general moderation rule for any .info sites. I also added a specific unblock for danithew’s site — his posts should go through okay. I don’t think we have any other real commenters who use .info sites. If so, I can unblock them as well. (And this isn’t a true block, it just directs these comments into the moderation queue for individual approval or deletion).

Another technical problem

There seems to be a minor bug in one of the comment scripts, which is causing error messages when people enter comments. As usual, our crack team of elite experts (hah!) is investigating. In the meantime, as far as we can tell, all comments are going through just fine — it’s just giving an error message afterwards. So rest easy, your comment should be fine. And we’ll get this fixed, like all of the other little bugs that crop up around here from time to time.

Blogroll changes

Over the next little while, I’m going to be trying to implement the new blogroll feature from WordPress. There will be a bit of lag time as we get our blogroll moved over. During this lag, the new blogroll will only be partially complete. However, it should load a lot faster as it’s not getting data from two other websites.

Kaimi Blows up the Blog, Again

Apologies to all who have tried to comment this morning. Kaimi was messing with comment moderation settings (where we can put “questionable” comments into a queue for individual approval) and accidentally added an extra blank line to the list of questionable comment flags. The software apparently interpreted this as a blank space, so any comment with a space in it was marked questionable. This has been fixed, and everyone’s “questionable” comments have been released from comment jail. (I hear they’re considering a class action lawsuit, alleging unconstitutional conditions).

Filtering software

We’ve just got a new filtering software, WP-Blacklist, installed. This should save the bloggers lots of time and energy deleting spam. Filtering software is an imperfect tool. Kaimi just noticed fixed a bug in the software that caused certain entries with multiple dashes to erroneously show up as spam. If anyone notices any other glitches or problems commenting, please let us know. (Thanks!) Meanwhile, if anyone wants to see what happens to comment spammers, try making the following comment. “online-casino” . Enjoy!

It’s 4 p.m. Do you know where your blogchildren are?

Readers may have noticed a new feature on the sidebar — under the blogroll, we’ve got a link to a list of our blogchildren. What are blogchildren? As noted in the link, they are the “blogs and bloggers who have stated that they were inspired to start blogging after reading Times and Seasons, and/or who have stated that they modeled their blogs (in whole or in part) after T & S.”

Move to Word Press

I think this is now running. It looks like we just plain outgrew MT. I guess all of the earlier time outs were a warning. Apparently, it doesn’t handle particularly well when there are 1000 entries and 20,000 comments (3 MB of entries and 20 MB of comments). I would have preferred to have kept things in MT, having already done a lot of work in that software, but it looks like we hit the limit. There are still some changes to be made.

Guest Blogging Schedule

================================ Scheduled: Carol Armga: May 1-14 Patrick Mason: June 12-26 Jonathan Green: July 7-21 Carrie Lundell: August 1-15 Jill Mulvay Derr: End of August ================================ Accepted invitation, no date yet set: Jeremiah John (Adam) (on long-term hold) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (Julie) Terryl Givens (Fall) (Jim) Jon Wilson (aka Ebenezer Orthodoxy) (Matt) Aaron Brown (Matt) Richard Oman (Nate) ================================ Invited, awaiting response: Mother of Ebenezer Orthodoxy Rob Daines? ================================ Approved by bloggers, not yet invited: Rob Fergus (post-post-post-election) Brother Haglund Sally Gordon Brent Andrewsen? Sarah Aldo Edwards Gray & Young (12Q?) Kristin Smith Dayley Christine Durham (12Q?) ================================ Invited, not accepted Keith Lane (possibly in 2005) (said no, for now). (And Jennifer Lane?) Randy Butterfield (no). ================================ Under review John Fowles ================================ Other thoughts and possibilities: J. Scott Craig Bryan Earl Matt Fairholm Robert Kirby Tuan Samahom Alden Stradling Emily Tippets Laurie Uriquiaga Cheiko Okazaki (Kris) Matt Asplund Tony Kimball Zina Peterson Melissa Inouye McMullen Katie Blakesley Nancy Dredge Heather Clayton…

Quick Note on the Blogroll

We’re trying out Bloglines, which has some advantages over our old blgoroll program, Blogrolling. For example, it allows us to categorize blogs. Also, it allows us to read posts in one place (aggregation). It has a few differences, however. The main difference is that it requires an RSS feed. Non-RSS blogs are, for the moment, clumped together in a group at the end of the blogroll. In addition, I should note that (1) The determinations of category were made on the fly by Kaimi, and should not be viewed as etched in stone. If you think that your blog is more accurately described as “political” or “journal” or “Mormon-themed” or whatever and it is currently in another category, you can let me (or Nate, or Gordon) know. We’re likely to agree with you. (And new categories may always arise, as we tinker with this feature). (2) I couldn’t export blogs, so I had to re-enter them all. I may have…