If you've signed up, but never posted, please post something
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Author:  paulrace [ Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  If you've signed up, but never posted, please post something

So I can upgrade your membership.

If your post doesn't show up right away, that's because I choose to "vet" your first post. It SHOULD show some interest related to this site, like "I love using the German flats on my putz display."

I say that, because a lot of robo-spammers will sign up and post generic comments like "Cool site, so much to learn." And then when I approve them, they start trying to sell fake Cialis or something. The reason you don't see that sort of thing on these forum pages is that I am very strict (some would say a jerk) about who gets on. Some months I have had nearly a thousand fake signups, so aren't you glad I'm paying attention?

After you've posted something that tells me you're a real person, and I approve that post, from then on your posts should display instantly.

Alternatively, if you would rather e-mail me using the contact page, I can sign you up or upgrade your membership automatically. Again, e-mails like "I told all my friends about this site, and they said you should check out THIS LINK" [with a link to a black-market Viagra site] will not get you onboard. :-)

Again, we don't have any reason to show a thousand members (or ten thousand "facebook friends" or whatever). If we never have more than a few dozen members, and they're all actually interested in the hobby, then this will be the best possible place for putz house fans to hang out.

Actually, I think we've already achieved THAT goal.

If you're already a full member here, take it as a compliment. Many have spammed but few are chosen. :-)

Thanks all,


Author:  Lissa [ Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

I am a new member and so thrilled to belong to this group !
Thanks. Lissa

Author:  paulrace [ Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

Everybody say hi to Lissa. I changed the forum software so I could add new members manually, which saves me filtering hundreds of spams a day. Lissa is the first new member under the new registration method. Welcome aboard! - Paul

Author:  maria [ Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

Hi Lissa, Maria here, welcome aboard to putzing heaven!

Author:  christmascrazy [ Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

Hi all,

I am not a new member, but I have not posted since, I believe, October of last year. I am a big-time Christmas collector with a minor in cardboard putz houses. I have posted a link to my photos on Flickr in the past so some of you may be familiar with my collection. I love finding fellow collectors to share photos and stories of great finds and great deals. Since there are no Christmas collector clubs that I can find in my area (other than a Hallmark club, of which I am a member), I want to get back in contact with collectors around the country and become familiar with their collections.

I did a presentation of my cardboard house collection at my Hallmark club and they were fascinated. I was amazed at how many folks were not particularly familiar with them (especially since we're all pretty much old folks)!

By the way, does the Forum send notifications of postings via e-mail, other than a reply to my posts, which I have checked to receive?

Author:  paulrace [ Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

To answer Christmascrazy's question: There's a "subscribe topic" line at the top of the topic block. You can use that to subscribe for every topic individually. That will send you an e-mail every time a topic has an addition.

It seems to me that there is a "subscribe forum" line somewhere but I can't find it at the moment. :-(

Thanks for participating. Great story about the Hallmark club members. - Paul

Author:  paulrace [ Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

Oops, sorry it took me so long to approve your post. Do you make, display, or collect putz house, or just think they're neat?


Author:  paulrace [ Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Getting ready to purge 14 signups who've never posted

If you've signed up but just been too shy to post, e-mail me and let me know you're a real person. I'll upgrade your membership and you'll never have to worry about this again, unless you start trying to sell cheap Viagra or something. In the meantime, I hope you all respect our ongoing efforts to make certain ONLY people who are interested in the hobbies we discuss and respectful of other members can post here.

Backstory: When we first started this forum, we enabled software that would let people sign up automatically, though their posts wouldn't appear on the forums unless I approved them. Thousands of fake signups occurred, along with a couple dozen real signups and about 14 that looked like they were probably real. But culling out the hundreds of obviously fake signups a week was becoming a full-time job - aren't spammers wonderful? So I went to an e-mail only signup using the contact page, and now I only have to cull out a couple dozen fake signups a week - aren't spammers wonderful?

The problem with any fake signups that are already in the system is that they're little "time bombs," that is, they're designed to say nothing at all or else come up with generic comments like "nice site, I'll tell my friends," for the first six months. Many sites automatically upgrade signups to full members after 6 months, and that's when the robospammers begin systematically making the site useless by filling every forum with Viagra ads or some such. (If you're a Stargate SG1 fan, think "replicators.")

Because I keep new signups in "quarantine" indefinitely until they post something that convinces me they're real people interested in the subject matter of our site, the time bombs never get through to the pages you see. But some of those early signups are beginning to make the attempt, and my patience with the potential time bombs has run out.

Again, if you're a real person who has just never posted, either post something hobby-related or e-mail me using the contact page, and I'll upgrade you.

If you have posted, THANKS a bunch, it's real human interaction of likeminded people that have built the hobbies we discuss, and will continue to make this the best place for putz fans and builders to hang out. Best wishes for the upcoming Holiday season,

Paul "None Shall Pass" Race
black_knight.jpg [ 12.09 KiB | Viewed 7796 times ]

Author:  maria [ Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

We moderate comments over at Everything Croton and have found up to 50 spam comments in the cue almost daily for everything from "cheap" Canadian drugs to faux Rolex . Very aggravating!

Author:  paulrace [ Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: If you've signed up, but never posted, please post somet

Dear Putzers,

If you've noticed our "membership" drop precipitously in the last few weeks, it's because I have purged the rolls of names that signed up when it was automatic but never posted anything (or just posted generic comments like "great site Ill tell my friends." It became more clear as time went on that at least some portion of those names were really robo-spam programs that were just biding their time until they aged into full membership and could start advertising generic Viagra or something.

Over the past few months, I asked everyone who had never posted to post a relevant comment so I would know they were real. A few people did comment and and get upgraded to full membership. The rest have been purged.

If you are a real person who is just now checking back after a several month absence, and you are learning that you got purged along with the robospam names, please use the Contact page on this site to sign up again and make certain to follow the instructions like providing your real name, etc.

After nearly a year of being "live," we have managed to keep this forum a "safe place" for people who are interested in the hobby and courteous of each other. If it means that our precautions are discouraging people who prefer to hide behind pseudonyms and fake addresses - even from the webmaster - that's a cost I can live with.

Happy hobbying. :-)



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