As 2015 draws to a close, I thought I should comment briefly on a few things happening on my website as I close in my 9th year.
I’ve managed to stay on track through 4 versions of the site software without changing course too much. But what has changed is the amount of on-site interaction I get from you, as well as the amount of effort I have to put into things to keep the site away from the hackers.
I don’t know why I get the vast majority of feedback and comments via email instead of on the site directly but I’m appreciative for every comment, no matter how it gets to me. I mention this because I see a change. And yes, I know … blogs, in general, have moved from cool to boring. I get that.
But the hackers … dammit .. visit me way more than you all do! hehe! I have nothing financial on my site any more, and don’t require members to provide personal info beyond a username and email address. Yet the reason they want my site, and so many others, is so that they can use it as a spam host.
If successful, they will send out a guzillion spam emails before the web host realizes and shuts them down. And they’re not even interested in email addresses stored here; yours and mine. They have their own list and just need a previously-honourable server to send from.
So, your passwords now must be big ugly long things in hopes of making them unguessable. Your computer’s IP address is compared to a “ban list” before you’re able to log in and I manually compare the country new users claim to be from with the country where they’re logging in from to ensure a match or else I delete them.
Lots of work, really.
But I think my best options are:
- charge a small fee for membership. Spammer won’t pay, but 99% of you wouldn’t either.
- remove the entire membership/sign in process entirely. This would remove a big part of the mechanism spammers use to gain access but it also leaves all my content (which I work so hard to produce) wide open.
- shut the site down and move my content over to one of the social media platforms, where security is ~their~issue and not mine
I won’t ask for your opinion on this because .. well, you know. But I thought I’d mention this here to ask you for your patience when logging in, and ask that you report any issues you encounter to me in case I made a mistake while trying to repel the hackers.
On a personal note, my circle of friends is holding it’s own. Not growing, not shrinking. Some acquaintances, it seems, are not impressed by the way I present myself in a casual setting and it’s been mentioned to me twice in the past month. Both times it felt very judgmental. I have a couple genetic women friends who are also judged regularly when in public because they’re just not sloppy or plain enough for the no makeup, sweat pants and flip-flop crowd. Oh well. My real friends like me as I am.
Silly as it may sound, I’m okay being judged by the uninformed, or the religious, or up-tight public at large but I just can’t deal with it coming from within the community. So I wish them well but I disengage.
I’m going to miss the First Event conference in Boston in January because of a family commitment which I’m really, really looking forward to. But I’ll be at Keystone again this year in March. I don’t do casual well enough (lol) for the Spring Fling crowd so I’ll probably skip their May event. Yet Scarlett’s Maine Event in Ogunquit Maine will be a definite ‘yes!’.
My darling and I just might do another mega roadtrip across the US again. If I do, I’ll try to visit with a few of you along the way.
And finally, I looking forward to spending more time with my friends Pauline, Dianne and Dea. Let’s all put on our dancing shoes .. and not dance at all. hehe
2016 is looking like a fun year!
Happy New Year from my family to yours!