Sweating Software updates

Updates this morning to our forum software appear to have gone well.  I always sweat this stuff, because I hate being offline if it goes over a cliff.    The upgrade appears to be seamless in this case, and everything appears to be up and functional.  We got guests online right away, but I held my breath a moment until I could see a ‘regular’ (yay KHE) show up.

The goal of the new upgrades is to add a more complex CAPTCHA, “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart”.   This forces users to input a random code when registering and changing email address, etc to prevent bot’s from spamming the forums (hopefully).  The innovative approach here is that this part of the forum can be upgraded separately now in a mostly-automated fashion so that as the forum software producer comes out with better and better ways to make the CAPTCHA not readable by robots then they can push that upgrade to each forum.

As with any change, please let me know if you see any behavior you don’t expect.

Caddyinfo, Social Sites, and the Blues

Listening to XM Radio 74 BB King’s Bluesville and working on Caddyinfo site improvements.

XM Radio Logo

First, I visited Caddyinfo forums and answer questions and post updated info about what’s happening and plans.  This actually happens thoughout my work, as I tend to pop back to Caddyinfo to make updates or post items that come up.  Next, I made the rounds to myspace, facebook, linkedin, to handle incoming mail, new contacts, etc.  Next a quick scan of Yahoo Answers in case there are Cadillac related questions.

I added a flash widget using Sproutbuilder to echo ‘tweets’ that I made on twitter.com here on the blog page, on the main page, and on the forum index.  Twitter is a near real-time social media comment service.  Sort of cell phone messaging (SMS) and a old style BBS combined.  One more way to link to people with common interests.

For example, following the major Automotive sites is a natural for me.  I also follow family members who post tweets.  I am starting to add some non-obvious tweats, such as Cristina Favreau who writes the The Savvy Entrepreneur blog. My sense is that media coaches like Cristina, who focuses on service professionals, can also help with ideas on how to improve Caddyinfo’s services and reach to our target audience of Cadillac enthusiasts.   So ‘listening in’ on her posts and blog updates hopefully will help sharpen our focus.

Forum update to new forum software tomorrow, Sat 10/4.  Nothing  major but some improved code to help limit forum spam.  I don’t mind banning spammers after they post but if we can filter out more of the bots that would save time.