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Thread: Bot Spam

  1. #1
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    Bot Spam

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    I find myself logging in once every few days and seeing the d20 blued out which lends me to believe that there's a post on some board that I'm interested in reading. Instead of the post being made by a human, it's made by a bot and though sometimes the information is interesting, it's just spam. So I go through each segment to un-blue the d20 so I'll know the next time I come in the posts will be new and hopefully made by a human. Though, I know, it's just going to be another bot post.

    My suggestion; put the bot posts somewhere else and leave the actual forums for humans. Otherwise I view it as one big spamfest advertisement to buy this suppliment/book, that action figure, or some mini.

    Blue should mean, new human postings not bot spam.

    Mo-ggestion

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    Seconded!

    When I switched from the old DFW-RPG site to this one, I was also nonplussed to find most postings were news items from WotC, SJG, WW, etc. ... some of which I browse every day, and others of which I care not a jot for.

    In some ways, I think the prevalence of Bot Posts discourage discussion among humans. Granted, the interesting discussions on DFW-RPG had tapered off of late -- probably why Ron moved them over -- but I still fondly remember the Campaign Hatchery thread (which I briefly tried to revive), discussions of GM and player techniques for our favorite games, comparative game system critiques which never quite descended into flame wars, and random bits of wisdom or silliness.

    If the purpose of this board is solely for players to find other players/GMs, that's fine. But, given the number of forums, I'd rather revive some of those old lively discussions, or, better, participate new ones.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    So what should we talk about?

    By the way, it would be nice if there was a way to check the posts that we aren't interested in as read, instead of having to go to each one to do it.

    I find some of the bot posts interesting, but not most of them. Just a personal preference is all.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    In some ways, I think the prevalence of Bot Posts discourage discussion among humans.
    I tend to think this also, like human posts get lost in the spam. Which is another reason to have a spam filter in email, so the actual email you want to read is seen and not lost in the deluge.

    While I do look at some of the Star Wars' links from the spambot, because I like looking at the space ships thinking of my own defunct Star Wars game.

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    As a side note, this is the only forum that I've ever been on which discusses role playing games (I am on a local friends yahoogroup that highlights gaming - but it is defunct). And the only reason I ever learned of this place was because someone pulled me off the meetup.com list of local gamers.

    I think this site has a potential to be a great resource... unless by you all asking, 'what should we talk about', implies that it's already been said or beat to death on another forum.

    I'm pretty sure none of you are new to this forum stuff as I am and I'd imagine that my suggestions or ideas are also old hat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkape View Post
    By the way, it would be nice if there was a way to check the posts that we aren't interested in as read, instead of having to go to each one to do it.
    If you're looking at the "Threads in Forum" view, find the box marked "Forum Tools" and click on it. It will pop up a menu which includes the item "Mark all threads in forum read".

    It's still tedious to do that for all forums, but less tedious given that most bot-spam collects in the "D&D News" section.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    It's still tedious to do that for all forums, but less tedious given that most bot-spam collects in the "D&D News" section.
    The last thing I want is for anything to be tedious. I've moved all PnP News Bot posts to its own News section. Now, if there is new news, only the News forums will show up "blue".

    Does that help a bit?

    Thanks for the suggestions... Keep 'em coming.

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    Cool, that and fmitchell's suggestion work great!

    Course, if I'd been a little more observant, I should have figured out about the forum tools!
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    Another easy way to filter is to log into the front page of the site. There is a line that reads "There are X new threads since your last visit"

    I click that to see a listing of threads, and then open the ones that interest me in a new window to explore. When done I can close it and go back to the listing. There is also a link on the bottom of the main forums page to mark all threads in all forums as read in one swoop!
    --
    Grimwell

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    I usually click the new posts link in the menu bar, then when I see that there are new bot posts, I quickly scan the titles of the posts. If any catch my eye, I look at them. Once I've viewed all that I'm interested in, I now go to the new forum and use the mark all posts read link to clear the unread posts.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    The last thing I want is for anything to be tedious. I've moved all PnP News Bot posts to its own News section. Now, if there is new news, only the News forums will show up "blue".

    Does that help a bit?

    Thanks for the suggestions... Keep 'em coming.
    Thanks Farcaster, that will make it an easier read.

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    Also if you do some research on robots.txt you can find some interesting things out about controlling the access of outside bots.

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