I’m moving my neil.brown.name site to a new home (off in the cloud with better network connectivity – thanks Orion) and so thought it was probably time to try out different blog software.
Previously I have been using a python script I hacked up myself based on something someone else had done. That was fun and a good start to learning python, but the functionality was always minimal and while I often put up with minimal functionality in exchange for having built it myself there comes a point where I want to move on.
This time that point was comment spam. You would think that having a one-of-a-kind blog with a posting mechanism which is unique in details (though obviously not in principle) would make the cost of building a spam bot to post comments would just not be worth the gain. But it seems not. Someone did start posting comment spam – not even interesting spam for the most part, just pointless junk. Maybe it wasn’t even someone, maybe it was an AI bot which worked out how to post noise all by itself. Though when I deleted all the posts it didn’t come back for a while, so that seems to suggest a human agent.
Anyway the span has been annoying and I thought about writing some sort of protection (probably simplistic registration where I have to approve the first post by each new registrant – I don’t get so many comments that that would be a problem). But time is short and task lists are long so it never happened.
So as I’m setting up a new server I decided to try something new and took the safe option – wordpress. It certainly seems to be widely used and actively developed, so it must be worth a try. I don’t even know what it does to prevent comment spam. I suspect I’ll find out once I get spam and start looking into it – but I’m sure there must be something there.
Meanwhile I and my commenters will benefit from not having to use an obscure markup language and can just focus on generating content.
Creating the blog with wordpress meant that I needed to give my blog a cute name, so after about 2 seconds thought I chose “A Taciturn Disposition”. This comes from Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice”.
“Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine that you are gratifying mine?”
“Both,” replied Elizabeth archly; “for I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb.”
I’m not really sure if Lizzie Bennet intending this epithet as a compliment or insult, and probably meant both. But it is one that I would feel comfortable with. I’m not much good at small talk but prefer talking about issues of substance. Certainly I wouldn’t include topics of only passing interest in a blog – that stuff, if written at all, belongs on facebook or G+. Blogs are for more amazing and proverbial expositions, such as this one.