Spammy Google Groups
I’ve been using a couple of google groups for TiddlyWiki for two years or so, and there’s been a steadily accelerating spam problem. I now get sent loads of email notifications requesting manual moderation of potential spam messages — which are actually 99% not spam. Anyway, to keep within good response times for all the people who post to the group, as the volume of requests has got higher I’ve had to start adding other people as managers to help field the requests in the middle of the night.
The problem is that notification system for these moderation requests is email; now, when you get one of them there’s a good chance that one of the other volunteers has already got there and approved the message for you.
The situation has just got good deal worse, too: up until recently, the notification emails had the original message appended on the end. That meant that if you could already see the message in your inbox, you didn’t need to click through on the link because you knew that someone else had already approved it. Over the last couple of days, Google have changed things so that the original message doesn’t appear in the email notification message. This means that one has to click through every single time.
Now I’m in a quandary: the more people I add as managers to deal with the avalanche of spam, the more often all of the managers have to put up with the notification system firing blanks. The best solution I can think of would be if we had an RSS feed of the notifications – and ideally a single personal feed that aggregates all the groups that I manage.
A slightly frustrating irony at the moment is that the page does actually already offer an RSS icon in Safari’s address bar, but that feed actually turns out to be the main group feed. Bah.
UPDATE: I’m now also getting reports of posts being wrongly filtered as spam, and not showing up at all. I wonder if it’s time to start looking for alternatives.
UPDATE: The more I think about it, the more frustrated I am that recently Google groups has managed to gain a bunch of shiny new features (like editable pages) but evidently little effort has been spent on basic spam control technology.