Attention, RSS (and Website!) Readers…

I noticed yesterday that somewhere along the line I seem to have stopped serving the full text of my post in my RSS feed. This was not my intention and I’m not sure how long it’s been going on — sorry about that! WordPress has made some internal changes to the way it handles feeds, so I hope it hasn’t been this way for a long time. (Perhaps someone will be kind enough to comment and let me know.) Obviously I haven’t been checking my own feed regularly as I’ve installed various plugins, patches, and tweaks along the way.

Random Acts of Linkage #8

Again, I have way too many browser windows open with pages I’ve yet to read or have read and want to blog something in response. Can’t have time for everything… so in the interest of swishing away what’s on my desktop to clear it off and give me room to work again, here’s what’s landing on the floor:

  • Scot McKnight takes on the “Emergent False Dichotomy” in The So-Called EFD: very well done, an explanation of what a false dichotomy is and how it gets wrongly used as an accusation. He yanks out the oft-used “Word or Spirit” as an example. I pointed to this one in an online discussion somewhere in the last week, but I don’t recall where now.

Comment Problems

I’m having a database problem at the moment which means my comments aren’t working — you can try, but you may get an error page that looks a bit horrifying. For now, before hitting “save”, drop your comment into an email to me and if your comment doesn’t appear, email it to me. Update: things seem to be back to normal now, comment away!

This is all rather unfortunate, as I was rather hoping for some comment on a reflection I’ve just composed and posted this morning. I do hope you’ll read that reflection… it’s predicated on the fact that at Easter we can sometimes identify with one of the disciples—usually Peter. We’d like to be John, but we’re not. Sometimes we’re Judas.

Wa-hoo, take that spammers!

A few hours ago, I installed the freshly-minted version 2.3 of Spam Karma 2, disabled Akismet, and enabled SK2. So far, so good. I had some database trouble previously with version 2.2 which necessitated a rather messy disabling of the plugin and fallback to Akismet… which meant I had to deal with several spam comments sent to my moderation queue every hour for manual sorting.

This was actually the reason I switched from Akismet before, and when I was using SK2 previously, comment spam wasn’t burning any of the brain-cycles I can’t spare, so I’ll be happy to have those back. Anyone using SK2 that hasn’t upgraded, I recommend doing so. Rather than simply using a blacklist or whatever, it actually uses several different tactics to score each comment, each tactic being configurable as to how it rates each comment. Too low a score, it’s spam; high enough and it appears seamlessly. In the middle, it goes to moderation, and this is where it slams Akismet’s performance in my opinion… I might get a couple of comments per day to approve or not… about 20 or 30 times fewer than I have with Akismet. To boot, it’s much much easier to find and retrieve any false positives than is Akismet.

Grumble, Grumble, I’m Back

I was gone for a few hours there while it seems my Spam Karma 2 plugin ran amok on me, grinding the webserver to a snail’s pace. It seems that the plugin doesn’t index the database very efficiently. I’ve only been using the plugin for about a month and a half (after I gave it two thumbs up) and of about an 800Mb database (which is quite a lot of text), half of it is Spam Karma data. I think it was breaking my Post Preview as well, since that’s suddenly returned after a bit of an absence.

Anyway, I’m back to Akismet for spam prevention, I’ve removed some of my plugin cruft as well as nixed a couple of plugins I had been using for stats and such. In the process though, I found an update to the Post Teaser plugin I had been using a while back, but had to disable following a WordPress update some time ago. Hopefully nobody finds it too annoying ;^)

Comment Spam Management

Maybe I’ll take some flak for it, but I’ve decided that Spam Karma 2.2 is better at managing comment spam than Akismet. I had some Comment Troubles about two and a half weeks ago, and disabled Akismet to begin working it out. Akismet was great when I first started using it, and I thought I’d solved my spam problems since it did so much better than what I was using before. Since then though, it had gradually started letting through quite a bit of spam on me, and I was having to do a fair bit of manual spam management.