University Web Developers

University Web Developers

As our site has grown, we are seeing an increasing in inappropriate activity including new members joining with the sole purpose of soliciting their services and worse. Many Ning sites have enabled the mechanism to approve new members. I'm thinking this might be a good idea for this site that would hopefully limit this type of malicious activity.

I would like to get your thoughts before implementing this approach. I look forward to your feedback.

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To me, moderating all new users it seems to be a bit of an over-reaction to a problem that doesn't happen very often in the grand scheme of things. I think that people understand that on an open network, these things can happen.
I don't recall at this point, but what is required to register for CUWebD? Does a user at least have to verify an e-mail address to activate their account when they register? If so, I think that's probably good enough for now. If it continues to be a major issue, I think that admin approval may be the next step. At this time, though, I agree with Karlyn.

However, I do think it would be a good idea, if it's not already been implemented, to have some sort of admin approval for new groups and blogs.
There is no method to verify an e-mail address. What concerns me with today's incident is that it appears to be a bot that could have quickly added a tremendous amount of inappropriate content to the site. Because of this I'm leaning towards moderating membership.

I'd like other peoples thoughts about approving new groups and blogs.
Wow. I am really shocked to see that Ning does not offer "e-mail activation" for new members. That's a little disturbing, actually. That's a great way to deter spam, as they have to use real e-mail addresses in order to sign up for the service.

I see that the registration form includes a CAPTCHA script, but there's no "noise" in the CAPTCHA, which, from what I've been able to ascertain, makes it much easier for bots to decipher the code.

I agree with some of the other people that have commented. A) It's ultimately your decision, based on how much time might be spent approving all members versus how much time might be spent removing inappropriate members/comments/posts. and B) this really seems to be more of an issue with Ning than it is just with this group, which puts you in an odd position.

Since I don't use Ning, except to participate in this group, I don't know what the service is like. Do you think there's any way you could request that they add a feature that allows admins to require e-mail activation upon registration? Is there any way you could request that they allow the admins to have some sort of control over the CAPTCHA script? I think those features, if added, would ultimately go a long way toward deterring spam.

I know that whatever you decide, it will be the best for the community as a whole. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to voice our concerns.
The idea that we could be invaded by bots is a bit daunting but I lean towards leaving things open for now. I would like to encourage others to join and feel as welcome as possible. I have been a little put off by other sites that require "approval" before I can join a group. - - the other side of this is that it could add a level of site management that may be difficult to maintain in a timely manner.

I suggest that we wait and see how much of a problem this may be . . . .
First, thanks for all of your work on and attention to this site; it's a great help.
Maybe in the future if it becomes more frequent, but at this point, I feel like it's no big deal. It was caught and removed, let's move on.
I think email verification would be a nice automated way to keep incidents low without you having the extra overhead of approval.
I'd say this is the internet and I expect things like that to happen. If you start moderating members, which leads to moderating posts, the terrorists win. We have to expect some danger of things like this happening if we want open and free discussion.
Glad to hear it was a bot... for a brief second, thought it might have been me after a few beverages on the weekend. :)

Serious, Mark this is your call. This is your baby. Thanks for asking the neighbors how they'd raise him/her, but in the end, you are the one changing the diapers.

Thanks so much for your hard work!
I have to agree with Eric and Todd. Mark, you're managing it, you do what works best for you.

And, that is my opinion because I manage several things like this myself and it is of itself time-consuming. Having to spend extra time doing extra work to clean things up because there were no controls is, in my case, disheartening.
I would like to see UwebD go back to requiring an edu e-mail address. This is a place to give feedback on products, but that will not be done freely when salespeople are allowed to join the group.
Though it is a nuisance, it really seems to be one of those low level ones on this community. Also, a closed process might keep some folks away?
As one of those questionable sales people for a design/implementation company who recently joined, I have found uwebd to be a great forum for seeing other web design ideas, and getting feedback on different solutions. I also find it a good place to get feedback on our work and the CMS we use, in order to improve it. While I understand the desire to limit "commercials" and the necessity to monitor inappropriate behavior, (which is already in place) none of the responses posted that I have read from cms/software developers try to disguise who they are affiliated with and often offer good information on their product.

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