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Do We Need Some UK Zappers?

 
pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

Morning All and Yikes!  I don't know if anyone has looked at the "New" Pages this morning but someone in the last hour has been spinning spammy content onto the site Surprised Seven or eight pages at the last count.

Chef does an amazing job in zapping these spammers - but we can't expect him to be here 24 hours a day can we!  So I wonder whether it would be worth giving a few trusted/established UK/European based people the ability to knock pages into a holding pen so that he can see them when he first logs on - in other words not deleting them but not allowing them to be published on the site?

I know it's not our call but I also know we are all incredibly protective of the site and want to keep the spammers at bay.


Tolovaj
Posts: 156
Message
on 06/03/2013

Good morning from the sunny (finally) side of the Alps too:)

Yep, I've seen them too. I just flagged one similar situation few days ago and Chef replied he is already dealing with it. It is part of his morning routine...

If i understand things here correctly, new (untrusted authors) are not immediately indexed and their links (it is all about links, right?) are set on 'nofollow' anyway.

I suppose some spam being on the site for few hours can't hurt and I haven't seen anything suspicious two days in a row, but if I can contribute a bit, I am willing to participate.


We love Fairy Tales
Paul
Posts: 256
Message
on 06/03/2013

I'd imagine it would be good so long as the work they do is voluntary, but having spammy articles around for less than half a day shouldn't hurt - just flag it and move on! Smile

pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

It was just a thought Laughing

I am not so much concerned about the SEO impact but more the potential user impact.  I know I am promoting the site to more and more friends as a great place to create content and it does concern me that friends will see so much carp on the new pages and be put off. I have already had one person come back to me and comment about the fact that the site (on the day they visited) looked to be about True Blood Embarassed  No reflection at all on the prolific Jo who published wonderful pages - but potential users base decisions on what they see and in that instance the potential user came back to me and said it wasn't the site for me.

As in real life we have a few seconds to create an impression.

I must admit I thought that new users pages didn't show as publish until they had five pages approved.

The one positive is that the site is obviously gaining some traction if spammers are now starting to take an interest.


lobobrandon
Posts: 534
Message
on 06/03/2013

Well, Jo's articles are good and for sure they wouldn't be marked as spam... So, even if that were the case your friend would have said the same thing. I get your point though. 


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Guest
on 06/03/2013

Why would UK/European members be any more qualified to be zappers than anyone else? Even if it was a good idea, which it isn't. If spam articles are increasing, which they do seem to be, it would make more sense to sideline articles by brand new members. Just not allow them to be published until they're vetted.

That might do more than anything else to discourage these people. I'm sure that people who spam regularly know that most sites will delete their trash eventually, but they get page views in the meantime. It doesn't do them any good on Wizzley, but they don't know that, and will keep coming.

Another way of limiting the damage they do in messing up the front page is to not allow them to publish more than one article at a time. But I suspect that just sidelining them altogether might be easier to program. It would make Wizzley unique and far more attractive to legit writers if the word got around that spammers never get published here.

pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

 

lobobrandon: 06/03/2013 - 09:53 AM

Well, Jo's articles are good and for sure they wouldn't be marked as spam... So, even if that were the case your friend would have said the same thing. I get your point though. 

Jo's articles are absolutely not spam Laughing they are quite wonderful - if that's an area of interest.  I guess the code for what gets displayed on the homepage mustn't place a limit on the number of articles about a particular subject. So on the day my friend popped along I think there were something like 9 "True Blood" articles which explains why they thought the site was about that subject.

I know there was a day when a lot of my Doctor Who articles were on there and anyone popping by might have thought "hmmm this must be a Dr Who related site" Laughing


pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

 

Catana: 06/03/2013 - 09:59 AM

Why would UK/European members be any more qualified to be zappers than anyone else? Even if it was a good idea, which it isn't.

Thanks for the put down - much appreciated Laughing

UK/Europe awake = US asleep

Other than that your post contains the same meritorious suggestions that I think I made in my follow up post


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/03/2013

Here's what my normal daily schedule looks like:

1. Get up at 7:30

2. Coffee and cigs on the porch

3. Bathroom stuff

4. Take the dog out

5. More coffee and cigs

6. Start working on Wizzley (around 9 a.m. Texas time, CSDT)

7. Browse through my emails, look for suspicious author IDs and article titles (for instance, "Car Insurance Arizona" - every day, new IDs, new IP addresses)

8. Let the fun begin! Kicking, screaming, wildly swinging arms ... deleting pages and accounts

9. Breathing in and out

10. Returning to everything else concerning our site

 

I'll talk to the team about hiding new articles by new authors. We discussed this before, but I forgot ...

Oh, it's time for another cup o' Joe! See ya in a bit ...  Smile


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

 

chefkeem: 06/03/2013 - 10:35 AM

I'll talk to the team about hiding new articles by new authors. We discussed this before, but I forgot ...

Oh, it's time for another cup o' Joe! See ya in a bit ...  Smile

Gosh busy start to the day LOL

Thanks Chef as always - I quite like the idea of a "Holding Pen" for new authors until they have created 5 articles and then they all get published at once - after being approved.


Guest
on 06/03/2013

I was more concerned with any particular individual's right to decide what's spam and what isn't. Most spam is pretty obvious, but some articles are borderline. There's also the possibility of abuse. Flagging articles has, on some sites, resulted in writers being attacked just because someone didn't like the topic or the POV, or the writers themselves. It's a form of stalking. Giving such people the power to zap articles is not a good idea. And as much as I appreciate Wizzley as a civilized writing environment, it's foolish to believe that this could never happen.

pkmcr: 06/03/2013 - 10:05 AM

 

Catana: 06/03/2013 - 09:59 AM

Why would UK/European members be any more qualified to be zappers than anyone else? Even if it was a good idea, which it isn't.

Thanks for the put down - much appreciated Laughing

UK/Europe awake = US asleep

Other than that your post contains the same meritorious suggestions that I think I made in my follow up post

 

Paul
Posts: 256
Message
on 06/03/2013

 

Catana: 06/03/2013 - 10:50 AM

I was more concerned with any particular individual's right to decide what's spam and what isn't. Most spam is pretty obvious, but some articles are borderline. There's also the possibility of abuse. Flagging articles has, on some sites, resulted in writers being attacked just because someone didn't like the topic or the POV, or the writers themselves. It's a form of stalking. Giving such people the power to zap articles is not a good idea. And as much as I appreciate Wizzley as a civilized writing environment, it's foolish to believe that this could never happen.

pkmcr: 06/03/2013 - 10:05 AM
Catana: 06/03/2013 - 09:59 AM

Why would UK/European members be any more qualified to be zappers than anyone else? Even if it was a good idea, which it isn't.

Thanks for the put down - much appreciated Laughing

UK/Europe awake = US asleep

Other than that your post contains the same meritorious suggestions that I think I made in my follow up post

 

If everyone was granted access to remove articles then yes, I could see it happening. However, if the Wizzley team decide to implement this, they'll make sure that they put the correct people in that position. It's foolish to believe that the Wizzley team would grant the powers to people who couldn't be trusted.

Also I'm not sure why you made that particular line bold as it's the truth and it's also how people moderate on other forums. I've experience with modding forums that have hundreds of thousands of users and also modding livestreams which have several thousand live viewers and to think that there would be periods of time where no mods are active seems ludicrous.

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/03/2013

I think we're all missing the fact that Anne's on holiday.   Ordinarily, Anne is over there in Germany with the ability to zap rogue European time articles. 

As for the proliferation of vampire related articles (of which True Blood was a part), that was an experiment by me.  I'd been told relentlessly, by different people, that you should find a niche and stick to it.  I decided to give it a go.  The results of that experiment were in my most recent Tips and Tricks article.  The summary being that I saw no obvious benefits in niche writing from the POV of traffic and sales.  It was interesting as a writer, because I got to delve quite deeply into something. But it's certainly not all it was cracked up to be as a way to get rich quickly.

The front page will only ever show the most recent Wizzles to reach 100%.  The best way for it to be more diverse is for more writers to aim for 100%.  That would be good for business, good for the writer, good for Wizzley and foremost of all, good for our readers.


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/03/2013

At this time, we don't intend to involve other members in the screening process. We're still small enough to handle it ourselves.

As you may have heard - Anne is currently on vacation. She's a night owl (literally) who watches over submissions between 11 p.m. and 2 or 3 a.m. So, there's a 6-hour window during early morning hours when Indian, Chinese, Romanian, or other spammers do their thing. That's not too bad. I'll zap 'em a few hours later.

Perhaps we can find another solution with regard to keeping such crap invisible. We'll talk about it again during our next team conference.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/03/2013

Posted at the same time (almost), Jo.

Actually, Anne lives in California (although she is German), but she stays up late.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

 

JoHarrington: 06/03/2013 - 11:33 AM

The front page will only ever show the most recent Wizzles to reach 100%.  The best way for it to be more diverse is for more writers to aim for 100%.  That would be good for business, good for the writer, good for Wizzley and foremost of all, good for our readers.

That's useful information Jo as I didn't know/had forgotten that the front page only showed those articles which have achieved 100% Please be assured that I wasn't being critical of your articles as I am sure you knew Laughing But it does show, for me at least, a fault in that it can give a misrepresentative view of the intent of the site when there are prolific and excellent writers who are able to gain that level of internal (likes) support etc.

Personally I think there would be real benefit to showcasing a diverse range of articles - I always tend to focus on marketing so in terms of marketing the site that has to be a plus - doesn't it?


pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

 

chefkeem: 06/03/2013 - 11:40 AM

At this time, we don't intend to involve other members in the screening process. We're still small enough to handle it ourselves.

You might find this odd - but I don't really think you should give writers editorial control in terms of zapping.  I have a tendency to throw out ideas in order to get a "no we don't want to do that but ....this is what we could do"


JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/03/2013

Achim - I didn't know that Anne was in America too!  Mind you, in an absolute Emergency Zapping Situation, I'm assuming that Simon or Hans could step in.  Otherwise, it's all down to you six hours later. :)

Paul - Absolutely no offense taken here. I understand what's being said and I agree with it. Seeing how completely I can take over a front page during the quiet months, I'm making a conscious decision to mix and match much more again now.  Though if the niche thing had been as incredibly lucrative as was supposed, then I'm not sure how far my altruism would stretch. ;)

And all of this will cease to become a problem as Wizzley grows.

There is a mechanism for showcasing greatness, which usually shows first for new readers. That's the Editor's Choice page. When we're logged in, you're more likely to see the Popular page as Wizzley's homepage. But when you're logged out, it's far more likely to be the EC homepage.  That's remained pretty static since April though.

I also strongly suspect an algorithmic fail-safe, along the lines that you're suggesting, is already in place for similar topics. Hitting the vampire topic so hard recently, I've certainly had moments when articles with similar hits, likes and comments have behaved differently, even when posted on the same day.  One will hit 100%, while it's near twin (in terms of stats) will hold back.  It might only be a day or two, but it's definitely factored in.

I had one article with higher stats all round stay at 97% for a couple of days, while another hit 100%. Both were vampire ones, posted on the same day.

But just when I think I know how the algorithms work, Simon tinkers.  Bless him.


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/03/2013

I think we're on the same page then, Paul. Actually, I had forgotten about "100%ers only" on the front page. (Thanks, Jo.) Perhaps we don't really have much of an issue with regards to "spammers' visibility". However, we'll discuss it anyway, next time we team-talk.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 06/03/2013

Thanks Jo delighted not to have offended Laughing

I like the idea of an ever tinkering Simon keeping us on our toes.

I must take a look at Editors Choices page again - I stopped looking because it didn't seem to change that often but it's good to keep it in mind - especially when one is encouraging people to look at the site as it does show some fairly diverse pages.

Edited to add - if the "new" pages isn't that obvious to non-logged in people then we probably don't have as much of an issue - but i do tend to direct people to look at it - so perhaps I should be saying "have a look at the Editors Choices" instead Laughing


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