Showing posts with label Forums & Communities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forums & Communities. Show all posts

June 1, 2022

Create an Access Control List to Block a Country

Paranormalis gets scraped by a lot of Russian bots and it slows it down sometimes. Also, lots of bot/fake accounts, despite all the anti-spam measures in place. I finally decided to go ahead and block the entirety of Russia from accessing the forum. 

This has nothing to do with the "blocking Russia" or "no more business with Russia" thing we've seen everywhere since early 2022. It's 100% about blocking bots. And the number of Russian bots scraping the site has increased a ton this year. That's what made me do it.

We won't miss anything. We don't have any active members (or occasional members at all) from Russia as far as I know. It's only bots. It will hopefully make the site faster and more stable.

I found this tool, which generates IP range lists from countries in the output format of your choice. In my case, I chose to go the HTACCESS way. So I checked "Russian Federation" and "Apache htaccess Deny". I ended up with a list of over 24 000 deny entries that I added to the forum's HTACCESS file.

That did the trick! 
Create an Access Control List to Block Countries or Continents

May 12, 2022

vBulletin Memories

Nearly 2 decades ago, vBulletin used to be the best forum software around. Until they were bought by Internet Brands in 2007, whose only interest is money. 

In the following 3 to 4 years, Internet Brands drove vBulletin to the ground. They lost their employees, and their new releases were all absolute shit. Even today, vBulletin 5 is one hell of a stinker. Stay away from it. 

Then around 2011, everybody moved their forums to XenForo and never looked back. vBulletin was becoming a thing of the past. 

For some reason, something made me think of vBulletin today, so I decided to take a look at their official forum and their modding community, Oh boy, the years haven't been kind to them. These sites are basically dead now. 

April 28, 2022

Wasting Your Time on the Internet in 2005

Restoring long-lost content on Paranormalis using the Chronovisor technique really brings me back to those days I’d spend, fooling around on the Internet, so many years ago. Basically, wasting my time, you know... 

Here’s one of those threads:

It feels like we’re back in 2005 all over again, right? 

What was I doing on the Internet back in the day? Well, I wasn’t doing much, most of the time. Youtube wasn’t around yet. I don’t think we had high-speed Internet yet. You couldn’t plug yourself on Netflix and spend the whole day watching series after series. 

December 16, 2021

How to Download a Whole Website from the Wayback Machine

As I was looking for ways to download an entire website snapshot from the Wayback Machine, I found this article: 

How to Download Entire Website from the Wayback Machine

If like me, you're on Windows, you're gonna have to download and install WGET in order to proceed. Here's a link to download it: 

Windows binaries of GNU Wget

It comes as an EXE file, so you're gonna have to copy it to your C:\Windows\ directory. From there, it'll be recognized as a command in CMD. You'll be able to follow the step-by-step guide above, in order to download a full site snapshot from the Wayback Machine. 

Here's a command I've used in order to download an old snapshot of my forum, dating back to 2005: 

wget --recursive --no-clobber --page-requisites --convert-links --domains --no-parent

The command itself works perfectly. The result isn't always great though, as it seems most of the time, the Wayback Machine only archived the site's homepage. Therefore, most links don't lead anywhere. I guess it depends on what platform the site is built on. 

You'll obviously have more success if the site you're looking for is static. The less dynamic the site, the more likely you are to retrieve pages other than the homepage. 

Have fun!  

May 25, 2017

How To Handle Troublemakers On Your Forum

Running a community has its downsides. One of them is that it requires moderation. During your journey toward success, you'll encounter a ton of great people, but also some trouble makers who want to harm your community. Since such bad individuals are a true poison to online communities like yours, let's see what are the best ways to handle them (get rid of them!) effectively.

Just to make it clear, we won't be talking about light moderation or how to ask someone to calm down a bit. We're talking giant trolls, serial posers and sock puppets. Brace yourselves!!

November 15, 2016

Now That TwitterFeed Has Shut Down…

It came to me as a surprise to discover that TwitterFeed was permanently shutting down on October 31st 2016. They announced it in an email just a few weeks prior, out of the blue.

We’re writing to let you know that Twitterfeed will be shutting its doors on October 31st, 2016. It’s been one heck of a run and we can’t thank you enough for your loyal usage and support over the years.

Although they recommended in their email announcement to move to either Buffer or, I didn’t like the idea of moving from a free service to a paid one…

From what I can see, the best 100% free alternative to TwitterFeed is IFTTT. I’m able to achieve the same results with ease and it works great every time.

See you over at IFTTT.

May 6, 2016

How Many Posts Per Page Your Forum Should Have And Why

Depending what forum software you’re using, your threads will have a different number of posts per page. XenForo has 20 by default while vBulletin 5 Connect has 15.

What about your forum? Should you change that setting? How many posts per page should you have and why?

March 28, 2016

XenForo: Block Spam With No Add-ons

I used to have quite a bit of spam on a forum of mine that is powered by XenForo. Real people were registering and posting crap on my forum every night. All of them were able to get through the countermeasures that were in place at the time. It stopped instantly when I found what I’m showing you today.

Thanks to this useful tip from a fellow XenForo admin, I was able to solve the problem in a simple and easy way. I just had to take a few minutes to properly set up XenForo’s stock spam management tools. No need for any additional antispam add-ons or anything.

If you’re running a XenForo powered board, make yourself a favor and check it out, it’s worth it.

Block spam COMPLETELY with no addons | XenForo Community

March 17, 2016

4 Reasons Why Your Forum Needs a Blog Section

If you own or administrate a forum community, someone at some point asked you if it was possible to have blogs. Is a community blog section a good addition to a forum? It depends on a variety of factors, let alone the fact that in the end, it’s up to you – the admin – to decide whether or not it makes sense for your community to have its own blog section.

I had to go through that dilemma quite a few times in the past, as a community admin. I’m going to share with you what kind of pros I came up with on the way. Here are some of the best reasons why your forum message board should have a blog section.

March 9, 2016

MadAdsMedia Review: CPM Ads Network

MadAdsMedia is a CPM ads provider for website publishers who wish to monetize their websites. They offer CPM ads only, so no CPC here. I've been personally working with them for more than a year and they are, by far, the best Adsense alternative I could find. Let's see why.


Their minimum requirements are reasonable: 10,000 page views per day. They're looking for well designed sites with friendly content. They're a pretty good fit for medium to big sized websites that seek to generate passive revenues.

March 1, 2016

Reasons Why Your Forum Shouldn't Have a Blog Section

Back in the days when vBulletin was popular, every clever forum admin would buy the vB Blog addon to allow their members to have their own personal blog inside the community.

That was indeed clever in 2008, but what about in 2016? Should you provide your forum members with a place to have their blog, within your community?

I'm not so sure anymore, here's why.

January 25, 2016

Which Type of Forum Admin Are You?

Taking care of an online community is no small task, especially on the long run. That's why you gotta be up to the challenge as a forum admin. While some us prefer to lurk in the shadow and let their forum evolve on its own, others are going to be part of the community, just like any other member.

It's pretty easy these days to start a community and make it somewhat active. But are you going to be able to keep up with it and make it happy and active for the years to come? It's likely that after the honeymoon is over, your overall behavior and presence as an admin will change. Perhaps it already has...

Which type of forum admin are you?

May 25, 2015

How to Create Great Content

It's not always easy to produce content that is worth someone else's time, something that is worth posting. Sometimes you get it right, some other times you don't. The key here is to be steady and make sure everything is in place to allow yourself to create great content every time. 

When browsing the Internet, people need to get their hands on the information they're looking for as fast as possible. What does that mean? It means they are laser focused, impatient and have a very short attention span. What are the most basic things you can do to maximize your chances to satisfy these people and present them the awesome, compelling content they're looking for?

February 1, 2015

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Forum Thive With Activity

Every forum admin has been there one day or another. Things are going pretty good on your forum, but after a little while, you notice your board has somehow stopped gaining speed. How to make your forum more active?

Like for many things, many small details can make a huge difference. The following suggestions are pretty easy to put together and achieve great results in less than a month.

So, what are the easiest actions you can take to bring your forum up to the next level? Let's see!

May 4, 2014

MailChimp: Send Better Email

I tried this service today for one of my communities: MailChimp

Text-only newsletters are a thing of the past. MailChimp provides you with the necessary tools to create your own customized and professional looking newsletters in no time. It completely manages your subscribers lists, automatically eliminates invalid addresses and so much more. You even have a dashboard to actually know how your newsletters performed. It really does a great job. Creating and managing a newsletter campaign has never been so easy.

If you have less than 2000 people in your subscribers lists, MailChimp is completely free. Impressive.

Thanks to MailChimp, I’m never going to send out a cheap text-only newsletter again. We’re no longer in 1999 right?