Not much changes month on month now. Whatever set of statistics you look at, my growth period seems to have come to an end. Just as well given the problem reported last month regarding my using too much CPU. The site isn’t taken offline quite so frequently any more, but maybe that’s just because the trackback spammers and other nuisances who are abusing the CPU are all on vacation right now.
Today I passed a significant milestone. 300,000 spam comments received in the 5 months that I’ve been with my current webhost. (And thankfully not one of them has ended up appearing on my site)
As I mentioned last month, implementing the “only registered users can post comments” control cut my spam in half, but that still leaves about a thousand spam comments a day. Being an auditor by training, yesterday I did an analytical review comparing the approximate number of spam comments I now get a month with the number of times people access the various trackback URIs on my site. There’s a remarkable correlation. So, having done 5 minute’s research on trackback spam the obvious action to give my overworked spam filters a summer vacation is to delete the wp-trackback.php file — assuming the advice I found still applies to the current version of WordPress. This would mean that when other bloggers are good enough to link to me their trackback link won’t post automatically — maybe I’ll post the trackback links manually as and when I come across them. And maybe that will reduce further the amount of unwanted traffic / CPU use.
If you’ve been visiting this blog at the wrong time over the past month you may have noted things looking odd. Ever since I upgraded to WordPress v2.2.1 I’ve been experimenting with my site’s functionality and looks. My challenge is that I’ve never succeeded in installing php and MySQL on my laptop, so all my playing around is done on my live site. Dangerous, I know. But every tweak I make is very small and reversible. I’m working towards getting back to a three-column (two-sidebar) format, once I can replicate all my other tweaks in Scott Wallick’s latest and greatest version of plaintxtblog. In the process, I have realised how to centre-align pictures, so that’s one easy fix I’ve been applying where that improves the look of a post. When I met the Marmot earlier this year he recommended that I try Scott’s Sandbox, but Scott has upgraded his plaintxtblog with a lot of the fun coding he developed for the Sandbox, so I’ll stick with the templates I’m comfortable with for now.
I’m also trying to work out how to code drop-down menus to make my header less cluttered, but it’s a long road. GI Korea pointed me in the direction of Opencube, which is what he uses to manage his blogroll. I started playing with it, largely to great effect, but when I came to test it on my site I found I needed to cough up $150 to avoid an error message being displayed to Internet Explorer users. Fair enough — I don’t expect everything to be available for free. Fortunately however, playing with the tool has taught me enough about the css and html involved to build up the confidence to try working with the freely available bits of coding that are available on the net.
New blogs to have been included in the BlogWatch service are
- Cho Se-Hyon’s Seoul Searcher (Broadsheet BlogWatch),
- Tom Giammarco’s film blog Seen in Jeonju, hosted at Darcy’s Koreanfilm.org (Film & Entertainment BlogWatch). Well worth a visit.
- Plus, for the Celebrity Blogwatch, zr5.net and Star East Asia.
July was a record month for articles not written by me. Thanks to Susan, Peter and Anna for contributing. If anyone wants to volunteer for more, please get in touch – particularly if you’re up in Edinburgh this month.
Before I get to the graphs, by way of acknowledgement to the band that is driving more than 10% of my traffic, here’s Super Junior.
I’m still puzzling as to why the trifling review of Hwang Sok-yong’s The Guest is my second most popular article (after Rowan Pease’s Chatham House talk). It’s also one of only two posts where someone’s subscribed to a post-specific feed. Such attention for such a feeble post. So in the same way that a kid might poke an ant’s nest to see what happens, I’ve changed the permalink to that post to see what happens to the rankings in August.