Tough decision with cublogs.org

We have had 171 blogs setup on cublogs.org since we started it.  Of all of those blogs, only 7 have actually been setup by real people or credit unions.  The rest have all been spam and it is becoming a slight daily annoyance.  The basic idea behind cublogs.org is to remove the perceived technology barriers of blogging and enable credit unions to use a great blogging tool free of charge.  However, it seems that more spammers are using the tool than CU’s right now. 

So here is what I’m thinking:

  1. Leave cublogs.org up as it is, with no changes, and just deal with the spam.
  2. Kill WordPress Mu, the engine behind cublogs.org that lets people start their own blog on fly.  Instead, offer WordPress expertise, blog hosting, and general help, for free of course through the domain.
  3. Kill the whole site and not renew cublogs.org.
  4. Morph cublogs.org into some type of community listing of all credit union related blogs.  Open Source CU has the best blogroll, but why not use the domain as a massive community generated list?  I’m not sure the best way to do that, but that’s why it is just an idea.

What are everyone else’s thoughts?

11 thoughts on “Tough decision with cublogs.org”

  1. Sorry to hear that Robbie! Spam recks everything (even a good meal).

    I have suggested using it to a few Canadian CUs and I think it is only a matter of time.

    I like option 2 and 4. But 4 seems like a very big initiative to do for free. Your a nice guy, but you need some of your “Life and Times” to be more than credit unions.

  2. Option 2. Kill the source of the problem, but rework the site in a way that it can be seen as the “TypePad” or “WordPress” of the CU industry. If you can make it work the way you want, CUs looking to blog will come straight to the experts at cublogs.org instead of trying to start one blindly on another blogging software platform with no assistance.

  3. Sorry about the challenges. I know I get my fair share of spam. It drives me nuts.

    My dad used to have a little sign in his office that said “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.” I think that this is one of those times.

    You have a good thing going, you are picking up a little steam and I would say, don’t let the bastards wear you down.

  4. Robbie – I never understood the value proposition of cublogs. WordPress is free. What exactly is the benefit for a CU to start a blog on cublogs vs directly with wordpress? What would I get with cublogs that I wouldn’t get on wordpress directly?

  5. @Morriss-

    WordPress.com does not give you the ability to run plugins to manipulate the way the software works. cublogs.org does enable plugin usage and thus gives the end user much more control of their blog without having to deal with internet hosting or install WP themselves.

  6. Thanks for the clarification! Interestingly, I think you are simply ahead of your time with this. I’ve been blogging for just over two years now, and have never checked out what WordPress plugins could do for me. So what are some of the plugins? What cool bloggity things can I do with them?

  7. @Morriss —
    A lot of the basic functionality of this site run on plugins. Here are a few:

    -Redirects all my RSS feeds to feedburner
    -Subscribe to comments so you get emails when someone else comments on a thread you are following.
    -Twitter Integration
    -Google Analytics & Sitemaps
    -OpenID integration
    -Many, many others.

    @Peg–

    Scratch it any time. The data is completely yours and there is an option to delete your blog if you set it up and decide you don’t want it anymore. Try it out and let me know what you think!

  8. I’m not sure what your guidlines are for setting up free blogs, but why not have a verification process. Spammers generally want something quick and easy. If you put an approval process in place, you should see a decrease in the Splogs.

    Secondly, maybe tightening up the guidelines. Something to the effect that a blog has two weeks to establish some crediability. If it doesn’t, the blog would be deleted. Follow through would be the key.

  9. The thought that cublogs might be taken down at some point might stifle the creation of new blogs using your site. But spammers can be tough. I came to the decision that for less than $10, Typepad, combined with free Feedburner services gives me everything I need, and complete control.

  10. @Chris – Yeah, verification isn’t a bad idea, but I’d like the process to be semi-automated if it can be.

    @Comp Guy – Yeah, straight WordPress is great for me, but it whole multi-blog thing is the problem. I’ve got some captcha stuff in place to stop bots, but these are actually individuals setting up blogs.

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