UCalgaryBlogs.ca now protected by Akismet

I got word back from Akismet that using it on UCalgaryBlogs.ca to protect all of the blogs hosted there falls under the free license, despite the wording on their website that suggests it’s an enterprise use. This means I’m now able to protect all blogs on the service with Akismet, without requiring a Captcha challenge.

The current version of the Akismet plugin for WordPress installs just fine in the mu-plugins directory, meaning each blog automatically gets protected, without any configuration or setup. The Akismet key can be hardcoded into the plugin file, and when that is done, all configuration interface magically disappears from the wp-admin interface. Easy peasy.

All that was required by Akismet was that I provide a link from each blog to Akismet.com to give credit for the spam protection. I wrote up a VERY simple mu-plugin to automatically insert the text and link in the footer of each blog on UCalgaryBlogs.ca.

I’m curious to see how well Akismet functions on some of the topics of conversation – some post colonial courses commonly use language that trips up word filters pretty readily…

10 thoughts on “UCalgaryBlogs.ca now protected by Akismet”

  1. D’Arcy, this is great news. Hopefully Akismet will be more explicit on their site as to what appropriate educational uses/users are.

    I am interested to learn what procedures you end up putting in place to deal with false positives. As we experienced this weekend, Akismet is not fool proof. It may be that simply encouraging people to follow up via email/form to the blog owner when something is wrongly flagged as spam is the easiest way to catch these, but I’d like to hear other ideas too. And I know I’d personally like to see a better way to *find* the false positive amongst the mass of actual spam once one has been ideintified. I know in the example betweeb you and I last weekend, that was actually the most work intensive part of the process. Anyways, good news, really appreciate you sharing developments like this on the ucalgaryblogs.ca experience.

  2. Yeah. It was a bit confusing. The online consensus seems to be “wpmu == enterprise license, but ask nicely and you might be OK” – so I asked. Sounds like “commercial wpmu == enterprise license, educational wpmu == free” – but an explicit description would help.

    I’m not sure what to do about false positives – each blog gets WAY less traffic than yours, so it’s likely not going to be a problem initially.

    And my comment being pushed into moderation for a day wasn’t the end of the world – but losing comments on an academic discussion could be seriously bad mojo…

  3. I also pine for a better way to look through caught spam for false positives. I don’t know if I get a lot of spam attempts or not– in the past 7 days I’ve gotten ~17,000 caught pieces of spam, but about ~13,000 of those were trackbacks caught by the simple trackback validation… may not be much, but it’s way too many to look through on even a daily basis.

  4. D’Arcy, Have you noticed how on some themes, the Akismet credit plugin you wrote is displayed top, right of the screen, rather than at the bottom in the footer? I wrote a similar plugin and had exactly the same problem and can’t figure out why the wp_footer action doesn’t pull everything to the bottom of the page. I’m still trying to figure this out, but you can check this by looking at the Prologue or Cutline theme, where the Akismet credit is top right of the page. Ideally, I want to amend the plugin so the credit is forced discreetly to the bottom of the page.

  5. Fixed it. Very simple, too. This ensures that the credit is correctly positioned at the centre bottom of the page:

    function wp_akismet_credit_insert() {
    echo ‘Spam prevention powered by Akismet‘;

    I’ve tested it on Cutline, Fjords and Prologue, all of which were previously displaying the credit in the upper right of the page.

  6. Joss, thanks for the fix! I’ve applied the style to the div, and committed it to the WordPress SVN repository. It should show up shortly.

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