bbCash

It’s been over a year since I wrote my first post about bbPress. It surprises me that I hadn’t released bbPress Cash (now known as bbCash) for such a long time.

A quick disclaimer: The “money” that is used in this plugin is not transferable between real life and the forums, or vice-versa. It’s simply a fun way to track how many posts a user has made.

When a user registers, they are given $25 (forum money). After that, they can earn more money by buying lottery tickets and getting lucky, receiving donations from others, and posting on the forums.

Post value

Each post is passed through a special algorithm that goes as follows:

  1. A variable called reward is set to a default value, in this case, $.50.
  2. The number of words in the post is multiplied by the value per word, in this case, $0.025, and added to the reward.
  3. If the reward is over a certain amount, in this case, $10, it is set to the amount.
  4. The reward is multiplied by the fourth root of the sum of the Flesch Kincaid grade level and the Gunning Fog score of the post.
  5. The reward is raised to the power of the logarithm of the reward from step 4 with the base being the lowest integer greater than or equal to the value from step 3.
  6. If the reward is undefined, it is set to half of the default value from step 1.
  7. If the post starts a new topic, a certain amount is added to the reward, in this case, $1.
  8. In certain forums, posts are worth more or less than the same post would be worth in another forum. For example, posts in the spam forum would be worth nothing, while posts in a forum about puzzles would be worth more.

That may seem a bit long-winded, but it works in my tests. It makes posts with “lol” worth less than posts with “That made me laugh!” as well as some other balancing.

The lottery

After a predetermined amount of time, number of tickets, and number of ticket holders, a lottery drawing occurs.

lottery-footer

There isn’t much to say about the plugin just yet, but if you want to test it out, you can go to my geeky forums.

bbPress Moderation Suite 0.1-alpha5 — I’m ba-aack

From the bbPress Plugin Browser:

Mod Log

Keeps track of important moderator actions.

So far, it logs the following actions:

  • Plugins
    • Activation
    • Deactivation
  • Forums
    • Deletion
  • Users
    • Bozo (on, off)
    • Deletion
  • Posts
    • Status change (delete, spam, undelete, unspam)
    • Editing (by other users)

Now I need YOUR help

BAD SPANISH TRANSLATION MAN has been able to (badly) translate the plugin into Spanish. If anyone out there knows a foreign language, please translate the bbPress Moderation Suite into your language. German and French are a good place to start.

Even if you don’t know a foreign language, you can help by finding actions that should be logged in addition to the ones listed above.

I also need help testing the plugin. Subversion is a big help if you want to test the newest code. Simply schedule a task to run SVN UP on the plugin’s directory. The SVN repository is at http://plugins-svn.bbpress.org/bbpress-moderation-suite/trunk/.

bb-NoSpamUser

bb-NoSpamUser is ready!  It’s a very simple plugin, with less code than the WordPress version.  Unfortunately for all of the non-up-to-date hosts out there, it requires PHP5, but if somebody could port it to PHP4, I’d be glad to include the code.

The logic is simple: When somebody goes to the registration page — either the one where you enter information or the one where the account is created — their IP address is checked with StopForumSpam.com.  When somebody tries to register, it checks their email address and username.  That’s all it does.  It’s that simple.

Automated Forum Moderation

I was thinking today: there are a lot of kinds of human-generated spam that can be blocked by an automated script.  (The bot-generated spam is almost always blocked by Akismet.)

  • Double posting — Most forums have a rule against this, but it still happens.  Sometimes it’s allowed in a certain forum (like the sandbox on my forums), or allowed a certain period of time after the previous post was made.
  • Bumping up old topics — Most forums have a problem with this.  It is simply not socially acceptable to bring up a conversation from 2001 that hasn’t been posted on since then.
  • One-word posting — “lol” is not an acceptable post on any forum I know of.  It would be pretty simple to block posts with no spaces in them, and also have a minimum character count per post.

I’ve decided to make a plugin for bbPress that blocks the three types of human-generated spam I just listed.  If anyone has any ideas on other things I could block with the plugin, please tell me here.

Edit:

I have completed the development of Automated Forum Moderation‘s first release.

Forum Netiquette

Forums are like giant online buildings full of people who want do discuss similar topics — you wouldn’t join a forum about cooking and post a topic about how rabbits don’t wear shoes, just like you wouldn’t go to a cooking class and try to start a discussion on the topic — the forum “building” has a main topic, different floors for less broad topics, and individual rooms for specific discussions. New rooms can be made by anyone, and the people can move freely between rooms. But there are police officers (moderators) that help to keep the forum building safe for everyone. They can remove rooms, lock them, move them to different floors, and change what members of the rooms said. To keep the police officers in check, there are sheriffs. The sheriffs (administrators) can remove people from the building and even change the structure of the building. The problem is that there are many more normal people than police officers and sheriffs. Continue reading

Post Count

It’s not how much you post, it’s what you post. There’s no automated method in existence that can measure that. Think hard:

  • Is this worth it for the forums?
  • Will it help others?
  • Am I doing this just for the post count?

If you still think you should post it, go through a simple checklist in your head:

  • Is this the correct forum for this subject?
  • Is there already a topic with this subject?
  • Is my post related closely enough to the topic I’m posting it in?
  • Is my post legible and easily understood by the other forum members?
  • Does my post break forum rules?

If you answer no to any of the checklist items, stop posting immediately. If you still want to post, go ahead, but remember to use common sense.

There are a few people on the forums just to raise their post count. You need to remember, above everything else: post count is meaningless. What matters is the community.

Stay tuned for my next post: Forum Netiquette (Scheduled for 3:00 today)

Two new writers, a contest, and LlamaMail

Ok, so there are two new writers on The Daily Llama, BloggerGirl667 and Dance698548.  You can see that "Dance" has already had some activity on the forums, "BloggerGirl" is (so far) nowhere to be found.

Another new thing since the blog moving to the new server is LlamaMail.  It’s an email system, powered by Google.  It can only be used by a selected few, those with staff positions on LlamaSlayers.

You can set up your llamamail in a special configuration that I use by using some simple instructions.

One more thing: The contest.
If you think that you’re an artist or just someone who wants to get their name on the front page of a website for designing it, this is for you.  All you need to do is make a front page design for this site.