How To Block Spam Comments In WordPress

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How do you block spam comments in WordPress?

First let me remind and inform there are two WordPress methods. First there is WordPress.com where you create a “free” website using WordPress and it is hosted on the Automattic servers. You own nothing and control only part. Then there is WordPress.org which you either download and install on your server or if you are using a good WordPress web host you simply click a button and install. While you still never “own” the software you can control it to a much greater degree and your content resides on your server under your control.

This scenario is for those of you who are using your own installation of WordPress on your own web hosting account or server. Built in to WordPress is Akismet but Akismet requires you to connect to the WordPress.com database and also is deserving of a small fee – which they ask for. And, which you can just say you don’t want to pay. Furthermore Akismet does indeed collect your user’s data and there is no privacy policy to be found. True enough tons of data are pumped back to the WP home base servers every 12 hours … which is why there just may be a totally sealed alternative coming in the very near future! This alternative is for people who are concerned about that little issue.

Spam comments on any blog are a real pain and can carry a high cost of resources to the site owner. Preventing spam comments from being posted to begin with is the ultimate solution but even deterring spam comments is a great plus. This method shows how to allow manual content but to slow down the spam operators who have a goal of posting as many spam comments per day as possible.

Enterprise Cloud – Blacklisted and Whitelisted Apps

For most of the regular readers, my friend and my customers this is not an issue. Except, that is, when I happen to be developing a platform which could be useful in the enterprise scale market. So as a developer it is important to know which apps are deemed secure and productive enough to make the whitelist and which are bound for the blacklist.

Zenprise Mobile Device Management Cloud Report - Q1 2012

The Zenprise Report

Mobile enterprise security and productivity company, Zenprise, just released their report on which apps are more likely to appear on a corporation’s whitelist and blacklist. Not surprising the issues with those on the blacklist include security and productivity. Although I’m a big supporter of Angry Birds on break I can see where Dropbox, or other similar personal cloud apps, could be dangerous. Which begs the question – are these corporations also going to block Google’s Drive?

Dear Fellow App Developers

Actually more directed at the idea starters than the developers the question is, “Will this in any way affect what and how you develop in the future?” In other words will you tailor your concept and strategy to be inclusive, and by inclusive I mean welcomed, of enterprise level IT and security departments?

What About Marketing?

Then of course there is the marketing department question. My one, short corporate job was as online brand and lead generation maker, doer, whateverer. People would walk past my office and there’s Facebook and Twitter open on one screen and application programming happening and another.  Without access to Facebook we would have missed roughly 15% of our generated leads. Probably not a good idea to block the marketing department from Facebook if Facebook is a tool in your arsenal to generate leads.

And For The Small Business

Small businesses generally don’t take advantage of access to enterprise level solutions. Quite often they are too cost prohibitive (we used to say too expensive but that’s not good enough any more) or simply too bulky for a smaller company. Still if you have 5,000 employees or 50 employees productivity and security are still a big issue. I’m sure the enterprise solution providers will tell you their solutions will work for you, which they will, and they can tailor something for your needs. Check them out – price around. Think about the cost of lost time for your dispatcher to be on Facebook instead of dispatching or for your bar manager playing Angry Birds instead of taking a proper inventory.

How To Rank #1 On Google Search Results

Matt Cutts is the definitive resource on Google search spam control which defaults to his having tremendous knowledge about how to rank higher in search results. How do you do search engine optimization (SEO)? According to this video that probably is not as important as having the proper links. Listen, I can talk all day about how to rank high in Google search results but let’s listen to The Expert, Matt Cutts, in his own words. Watch this video and share this article with everyone who wants to place number one on Google!

Of course the idea is funny and great work by Sam. In truth there are techniques to help you rank high on Google and those, are not them. So how do you get your site up in the search listings? Simplified it goes something like this:

  • Write for the readers, not the search bots – readable human content about what you really do.
  • Write frequently – fresh, relevant content is still king.
  • Think about your title and headings – people like relevant titles and headings and so does Google.
  • Use relevant graphics with good titles and descriptions.
  • Link out to relative content – people like this, so does Google.

For more information you can always visit Google’s Help For Webmasters channel on YouTube.

How To Manage Facebook Page Likes and Unlikes

It happens. You stay up too late and like a page you wouldn’t have like had you been well rested. Now that page keeps spamming you and you don’t know how to un-follow that page. Now you will. Un-following, un-liking, leaving a Facebook page is really simple if you just know where to look and what to do when you get there. This short video should help you quickly leave any or all of your Facebook pages or find new ones to like or follow.

Watch the short video then go to Manage Facebook Page Likes and have fun!

3 Facebook Tips Every Small Business Can Use*

* some already are, that’s how we know they work!

Get A Facebook Page

Your profile page, the one that has you all over it, is not your business page and it should not be. Privacy rules are different for profile pages as are the rules for advertising your product or service. To start your own Facebook page simply log in to your Facebook account and go to Facebook Pages and start your journey.

You will be asked what type of page to create and chances are you are a Local Business or Place. You will then be asked to choose a category and enter your business information. There are 39 categories to choose from including “local business” so try and select the one which most accurately reflects your business. This will help in Facebook searches.

Giving Your Page An Actual Name

When you create your Facebook Page you will be assigned a really long url but what you really want is something like http://facebook.com/cheepmonkey instead of http://facebook.com/this-long-part/name-of-my-business-assigned-by-facebook or whatever. To do this you go to Facebook Usernames and select the company page you just created from the dropdown box.

To maintain branding simply try and get your company name with all letters like we did for Cheep Monkey. It makes it really easy for people to find your Facebook page using your business name. There is another strategy which involves using an SEO tactic like choosing a vanity URL such as freetravel or homecarehospice when it’s what you do and not just your business name – but that’s a different article!

Get Professional Help With Your Page

Facebook pages can actually be very powerful. If you have some PHP skills your can probably get a Facebook page doing interactive functions. If you do not have skills or recognize your time is better spent doing your business than goofing around trying to connect your Facebook page to your email database then call a professional. There really isn’t much of a limit to what a pro can do.

The Facebook IPO and Your Next Venture or Investment

Remember back in 1998 and 1999 when everyone, at least in my world of web and application development, was getting checks for just crazy sums of money? It was the Dot Com Boom, yes it is. I mean was. Or is?

What We Learned About Web Start-ups The First Time Around

Back in the late 90’s I made some pretty good cash doing websites for people who really needed a data driven, dynamic web presence. They already had businesses and not just business ideas. It was the day of Front Page and early Dreamweaver when people were finally learning the difference between “the Internet” and AOL. It was in the days when you asked for someone’s email address and they gave you their AOL username without the @aol.com part. It was the wired west.

My sister ran the front office for a startup here in Atlanta who received millions of dollars from angel investors and proceeded immediately to buy everyone matching BMWs, rent some of the most expensive space in town and fill it with ungodly expensive furniture and decor. Since that wasn’t enough they overpaid everyone and threw lavish parties. They didn’t even make it to the bust, they were long gone before that happened. Bad management, no real product and pure money lust propelled them to failure – along with the millions they never earned or repaid.

Dot Com Boom 2.0?

Because we have now seen the failure of “the field of dreams” scenarios and the success of some of the most unlikely cast members investment funding for idea projects is once again flowing. In reality one is much more likely to win from investing in a successful Internet startup than they are to win big in the lottery or at the casinos. Why, then, does it seem such a challenge to get small investments from large crowds of the same people who will gladly spend $500 a year on the lottery and have no problem losing a few hundred at the craps table? Perception …

How Facebook’s IPO Will Change The Way We Invest

Until recently before one could “go public” and accept investment funds from ordinary people who also want a shot at greatness the corporation had to jump through many legal hoops to prove their viability. Likewise investors had to prove their financial status to make investment early in start-ups. Not that this stopped bigger investors but that only lead to people with money getting the first shot at big payoffs while smaller investors didn’t stand a chance to get in before the IPO or in the first round of sales.

As long you’re investing money that you can afford to lose, helping someone take a crack at making his or her dream come true can actually feel pretty good.

Enter 2012 and some very important changes to the laws which affect how companies, specifically start-ups like Atlanta’s CheepMonkey, can raise capital. Prior to the passing of the JOBS Act the system was, “set up so that you have to have a certain amount of money in order to invest in startups,” Alen Peacock says. Regulations require that you have $1 million, excluding the value of your house. “So for people who don’t meet those minimum requirements,” he says, “they’re just out of the game.”

Gaming, Points, Rewards, Likes – Where is the Meaningful Engagement?

You get kudos for having umpteen-thousand followers on Twitter – it’s working for Beiber. On Facebook “social media experts” gloat about their number of subscribers. On YouTube comments, likes, shares, favorites, and subscribers all mean something (sort of), on G+ you count the number of Circles you’re in, and on LinkedIn you are considered “successful” if you max out your connections.

So where are the tangible results? If Twitter followers = success, show us the money. If the number of Likes a brand has on Facebook show us the chart where that converted to transactions. In the end, from a social marketing perspective, I’ve rather have 1 transaction than 1,000,000 likes. And, in fact, the 1,000,000 likes are diluting the perception by the greater audience of the value of that 1 transaction.

What I mean by the above is if I have 1 connection and 1 transaction that’s 100% providing for the needs of those to whom I am connected. If I have 10 connections and 1 transaction now I’m providing for 10% and so on. One million really muddies the data.

The goal I have for the company for which I am currently developing a rather massive platform is to reward more meaningful engagement and place higher value on transactions and almost no value on connections. In fact, and I just had this thought while I was typing, I believe I’ll wilt meaningless connections so that people who not regularly engaged will be relegated to more of an “outsider” type relationship.

I have been assured certain games, which make a game of the user’s value across social media channels, are good for the social economy and urge “players” to make regular contributions to the socio-system. May be, but, what is the end result? Again, show us the transactions. Otherwise you are encouraging small business people to waste more of their highly valuable time and resources.