2005-01-26

Hey Alex, congratulations on having your paper accepted!

To everyone: I'm disappointed to see that our blog at http://communitywiki.taoriver.net/ hasn't been growing. I haven't been around much in the past few months and I was hoping the blog would help me keep up – oh well. I had absolved myself of responsibility for posting in the blog since I haven't been around and therefore don't know what's going on, but I guess someone has to get the ball rolling. 2 proposed blog entries: – BayleShanks


AlexSchroeder has written a paper called Divide and Conquer: new approaches to scaling in wiki communities for the Web Based Communities 2005 conference. From the abstract:

As the online community grows, reduced peer review and a decline in civility can rupture the community. 
We describe alternatives to tighter control mechanisms: Approaches to allow peer review to scale in
existing communities, and to facilitate the forking of online communites.

The paper goes on to mention SubscribedChanges as a method of scaling RecentChanges, and then spends most of its time describing ideas like NearLinks and LocalNames which allow communities to fork more effectively, without losing the context of the LinkLanguage which has been previously built.


WikiSpam has continued to be on everyone's mind in the past few months, as many wikis have been overrun with spam. Content-blacklisting has emerged as the most successful technique to fight current spam. Briefly, a huge blacklist is made, not of the sources of spam, but of the contents of spam. Edits which match the blacklist are denied. The blacklist itself is periodically updated, either from a central or quasi-central source, or by merging backlists from a distributed network of "neighboring wikis".

This is known by various names depending on software; in OddMuse, the blacklist is called BannedContent; in MoinMoin, it is BadContent?; in the blog software MovableType?, it is the MT-Blacklist plugin.

It seems that most spam is blocked by the blacklists. There is still a constant trickle of "new" spam, which has never been seen before by anyone in the network, however it is usually manageable.

Another technique which goes hand-in-hand is EditThrottling, that is, limiting the maximum number of pages that can be changed by a single IP in a short amount of time. This prevents most attacks of new spam from doing too much damage before anyone has time to add them to the blacklist.

CommunityWiki recommends that wiki administrators who have not yet upgraded to software supporting a content blacklist are encouraged to do so ASAP.


I'll post 'em!

I also intend to upgrade TaoRiver? wiki to MoinMoin 1.3 with spam protection.

Oh yes. I'm perma-removing spammers posts on CaFoscari? and flashmob-wiki, now spammers even log-in. "Update, young men, update."

Define external redirect: BadContent MovableType CaFoscari TaoRiver

EditNearLinks: MoinMoin SubscribedChanges EditThrottling

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