Thursday 25 July 2024 08:04:16 PHT

On the changes to our feedback forums

IJsselstein, Monday, 31 October 2005

Our feedback forums and guestbook has recently come under attack from various sides. For almost five years, we have been able to run the website with little restrictions on what people could post here, and we liked it. We love to see peoples responses, see a community arise and meet each other through our website, and learn new things from thoughtful comments left behind by visitors.

All this recently came under attack, first by commercial fly-by-night businesses, who where looking for free advertising for products most of us are not interested in. Blocking the offenders IP addresses was effective until a few months ago, as was restricting certain taboo words, such as the infamous 'viagra', or 'casino', with a number of spelling variations, and overly large numbers of links. However, recently, they started to use zombie PC networks to push trash on our website, using all different, recently expired web domains. This forced us to introduce a simple but effective counter measure: the little codes you have to copy from an image. These so-called Captchas (an acronym for "completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart") are easy for most humans, but difficult for computer programs. This effectively keeps the bots out.

After that, the first forum trolls appeared. Forum or Internet trolls are real humans, and thus not much bothered by captcha codes, who, for whatever personal reason need to post sneering, insulting, or just plain stupid remarks in our forums. To reduce the impact they have on the site, I had to introduce email verification, such that I can block certain email addresses from posting on this site. Note that I will only block people who make it a habit of posting offending remarks. Unfortunately, email verification means that messages no longer directly appear on-line, and adds another inconvenient step to feedback. I hope these measures will not stop you from joining our community. If you don't have email, I suggest, you sign up with one of the free email providers to get it. Of course, trolls can do the same and create a new email address, but at least that means they will have to spend considerable more time adding trash with ever new email addresses than it costs me to clean it out.

As always, all constructive comments are welcome. Please use proper grammar and avoid cellphone text or msn style abbreviations. For greetings, looking for friend messages, praise and criticism, the guestbook is the place to be.

We welcome remarks on the new features here, as well as suggestions for improvement. Comments about problems you have with the new system can also be made here.

Jeroen Hellingman

What readers think...

TropicalGirl wrote:
Friday, 6 January 2006 12:08:09 PHT
Thank you for promoting BOHOL, my nature-blessed home province. Hope to visit my family and friends there one of these years.. and enjoy the place once more (like I used to everyday!). If you happen to be in Bohol, don't forget to visit CHOCOLATE HILLS in Carmen Bohol, where you got the best view of Chocolate Hills, guaranteed. I love this site, very interactive and informative, I always recommend this site to everyone I know.
Tessie Wilms wrote:
Saturday, 24 December 2005 20:52:09 PHT
Dear Jeroen, Im residing in Germany for 25 years, whenever friends asks about Bohol I always recommend your website. This is comprehensive and well maintained. I am proud of you and your website. I thank you and wish you and your family Noels greetings 2005 and a Prosperous New Year 2006. warm regards, Tessie Wilms Filipino-Deutscher Verein Wuppertal Wuppertal
Gwargz wrote:
Monday, 12 December 2005 18:16:28 PHT
Jeroen, keep improving your website. I am with your proactivity. It is but wise to guard your website from distraction. I love Bohol very much and you cared for Bohol very much. We are one on that matter. Merry Christmas, Brother.
Phillip Picknell wrote:
Monday, 21 November 2005 11:19:50 PHT
Hey guys, it's time to make it enforcable crime to infiltrate websites with blogs and comments demeaning people. I think and hope you have a great future telling people and letting people say what a great place Bohol is. We return over the new year holidays "again" and really look forward to sharing Bohol with you all.
Flora wrote:
Monday, 14 November 2005 03:05:55 PHT
I am originally from Bohol but grow up in Cagayan de oro, got married there raised my kids there, and moved to the USA, it was in 1993 my youngest son was 16 years old that time and was his first vacation there in Bohol, and from that he always want to go there, he said he injoy the time he is with the cousins and all the people around, although he said you just have to carefull, which I think it should be wise to do wherever you are in the world, becuse I KNOW in every mountain you can only see two things ( TREES and the SNAKE)

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