Spam, spam, everywhere spam

It’s midday in Sydney and this blog has already received 16 spam comments today. Fortunately I don’t have to deal with them as I use a WordPress plugin called Akismet to weed them out for me. They end up in a special folder where I can check them if I have the patience.

In the last 6 months there have been 29,783 spam comments on this blog.

Akismet 6 month stats

Can you believe it? 29,783!!! I can’t.

This blog is not especially popular. I don’t post as often as I’d like, and some of what I post is not relevant to many people. And yet in the last year there has been 36,359 comments classified as spam.

As you can see, the number of comments rose to a peak in September. I’m not sure what the story was or what causes the rise and fall in spam. Has anyone else seen similar figures?

Here is a sample of the sort of comments we mean by spam:


As you see, they all want to sell me something, or sell you something. Or worse.

Maybe I need to add one of those things where you have to enter the funny characters you see on the screen. I know Akismet is sealing them off for me, but just allowing them to add the comment in the first place offends me.

What do you think?

iGoogle has a new look

iGoogle new look

iGoogle has a new look, and I like it. I use iGoogle as my home page, as as you can see I have customised it to the way I like it. I also use Google+, and I appreciate the clean design it uses. iGoogle has been brought in line with Google+.

This is how it looked a couple of days ago.

iGoogle old look

This is how it looks today.

iGoogle new look

The changes are subtle but make a big difference. The most obvious difference is that side column. It’s not gone, it can be brought back at any time. You can see a little arrow on the top left above Weather. I’ve hidden it because 99.99% of the time I don’t need it.

Clicking on an item in Google reader gives a cleaner look as well.

Well done Google!


Unlock The Past Expo Victoria

The last of the four Unlock The Past Expos was held this weekend in Geelong, and it was the biggest and best ever. It was held at the Geelong Arena, the home of the Geelong Supercats (a basketball team, I believe). The Exhibition Hall was a transformed basketball court, with carpet laid over the shiny wooden floor, and was swarming with visitors and exhibitors.

Exhibition Hall in Geelong

There were two streams of talks and my biggest regret was that I didn’t get to see any of them. I was kept very busy, helping out with registrations at the beginning of both days, and helping people with their research the rest of the time. There were lots of interesting questions and even though I couldn’t always find answers immediately for them we always managed to find somewhere else they could look. It’s important to remember that not everything is available online!

Gould genealogy table

For more photos go to my photo album in Facebook, and for a full rundown of all the talks see Shauna’s blog.