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The 500 pound question to get you started

On the "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" Quiz show, you can win just £500 for getting the first question right ... but then the question is an easy one. It's designed, I suspect, to help put participants at ease. And it would also - very quickly - filter out anyone who wasn't familiar with the local ways and idioms.

There has been an increase in sign up requests to some of the forums I help run - the oxygen of publicity for them also publicises them to people who's job it is to advertise other products online. We already have Captcha Technology running - "retype this word from a graphic" - and that traps the automata, but it still allows passage from the spammer who's going through lots of forums by rote, performing the same registration on each.

You'll have seen that some other forums have taken to asking simple questions on ther registration - but questions that are only simple to people who have read up on the subject or have local knowledge. And so I'm starting to experiment with such questions. Getting them wrong isn't an immediate and visible reject (yet ?) - for testing, I'm starting by just logging responses and using that as extra data in my decision.

Added to the registration form:

echo '<tr><td><b>Check Question</b><br>
Which county is Melksham in?</td>
<td><select name=sqn>
<option value=0>Please Choose from:</option>
<option value=1>Essex</option>
<option value=2>Hampshire</option>
<option value=3>Suffolk</option>
<option value=4>Wiltshire</option>
<option value=5>Warwickshire</option></select></td></tr>';


And added to the page that accepts the completed registration form:

$fhj = fopen("$_SERVER[DOCUMENT_ROOT]/../secret.txt","a");
$now = date("r");
fputs($fhj,"$_POST[sqn] $_POST[user] $_POST[email] $now\n");
fclose($fhj);


For testing, I can then have a quick look at that file to see if a potential user knows his "bangers and mash" from his "bangers and pineapple", "bangers and bumpers" and "bangers and chips" ... and potentially later on I can automate acceptances and rejections based on the answer.

(Source code is suitable for SMF / Simple Machines Forum. Variable names, etc, would need to be changed for other software)

(written 2010-05-26)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)
  [4403] The unbalanced relationship between customer and provider - (2015-01-21)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2526] A reluctance to move from old shoes to new - (2009-12-05)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1759] While the world sleeps ... - (2008-08-19)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1569] I dont care - goodbye - (2008-03-09)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1362] No Thank You - (2007-09-23)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)


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Tell the Melksham Chamber or you only have yourself to blame
Some other Articles
The Light bulb moment when people see how Object Orientation works in real use
Course Lunches
The Perl Survey
Tell the Melksham Chamber or you only have yourself to blame
The 500 pound question to get you started
Formatted Printing in Python
The history and future of Melksham Chamber of Commerce
Learning to program in Python 2 ... and / or in Python 3
Blowing our own trumpet
Regional Spatial Strategy and the next 20 years - Whence Wiltshire under the new government?
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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