With the increasing popularity of the site, I've decided to implement some temporary changes that may or may not be permanent. You see, this started off as a humble little blog, a spinoff from a Blogger blog that got something like 10 hits a day, if I was lucky.
Now I feel the time has come where I must make some decisions about managing the front page, and the site overall. This process has already started. I disabled trackbacks because of malicious spamming of the site. We're talking scores of hits per minute. The spam module was catching it ably, but the burden on the server was slowing down the site. Even now, the spammers repeatedly hit the site for trackbacks, despite the "404-Not Found" results. I figure they'll eventually realize they're just wasting their own bandwidth by pinging nonexistent pages. Or I'll just block those IP addresses at the root level, keeping them off the site altogether.
I also turned off anonymous commenting, also because of spammers. I may enable a captcha-filtered alternative so more people can again comment without having to sign in, but that's not going to happen right now. I have to many other things on my plate at the moment.
I've disabled the ability of newly-registered users to create new posts. All members will be able to comment, but privileges to post new blog posts will be retained for "cleared" users only.
Who is a cleared user? Someone I know, or has a website I know and like, or participates on another site in a way I can appreciate. If I don't know you or your site, you can ask me to take a look at it, for consideration as a cleared user on MediaGirl. Another way to receive cleared user status is to participate here in the comments, and build a track record. Post some good stuff, and you might suddenly find "create new post" in your user navigation menu.
I don't mean to sound patronizing or high-handed. I'm not looking to close the doors. But even though I am posting anonymously here as "media girl," this site is mine -- a reflection of me. I don't hold copyright on anyone else's writing here. Nor do I necessarily endorse or agree with it. But I do reserve the right to screen the participants.
I am very appreciative that so many have been participating here so far, and I hope this doesn't change that spirit. In fact, I hope that members find the place to be a little bit safer and welcoming, knowing that this is a home of sorts, and not a train station.
Anyway, this announcement has gotten way too long.
For many reading this -- those who already are trusted users -- these changes will go unnoticed. For the rest, I hope you'll participate in the comments. And if your account does not have cleared user status, but you feel you have a voice that complements the diversity of MediaGirl, talk to me.