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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast

"We don't sell that at the moment, but we'll be reviewing it early next year. Please keep coming back to our website, where we'll be announcing it". Now - have I got something wrong there, or should "customer service", who gave me that answer, added me on to the list of probably hundreds of people who have been enquiring - this is a multinational company that's offered the particular product a number of times in the past ... Customer service to me means giving people the opportunity of being contacted again if they specifically ask for updates. If you've gone to the trouble to ask about a product, you shouldn't have to keep making repeat enquiries just to get an update - the supplier should keep you in the picture if he wants your custom.

I was reminded of that "grrrr" from a few weeks ago as I wondered how to deal with the continuing rise in spam signup requests to our forum on train travel in the South West / South Wales - the Coffee Shop. It's a very popular forum, with 117,000 separate posts since we started, and virtually all on-topic. Want to find out about what's going on with public transport in the area - trains especially? You're likely to learn a lot here - as did 13,000 different visitors last month alone.

You can sign up for free and ask questions too. But one of our problems is that lots of people want to sign up to market their own products, to send messages to all of our members, and to place their information / data onto our pages. After all, we're highly visited, highly ranked and (I believe) highly regarded. Indeed, each month we get thousands of sign-up requests from people who we describe as "forum spammers".

We know the profile of our members, and of likely new members ... and we've got elements within our signup procedure to help highlight to the administrators which signups are obviously genuine, and which are obviously spammers. These procedures have been tuned over the last year or two to help provide the admins with more data on each application, and to format the way the requests are presented to the admins so that very quick and clear decisions can be made in all but a tiny number of cases. I'm being careful what I write here - I'm not going into what we actually look for in these profiles. But I can tell you that the proportion of requests which are doubtful cases has dropped to a very low level indeed.

But, alas, an admin still has to sign in every few hours so see what's going on, clear out the rogues, and approve any genuine cases ... who have (sod's law) probably been waiting since 5 minutes after the last admin came by. And I'm reminded of the statement I started this post with, about having to keep coming back and check ... that should NOT be necessary for our admins. Over the next few days, we'll be moving onto a system where signups that are clearly genuine, OR which are doubtful, will result in a personal message or email being sent to the admin team. That will save the admin team the trouble of having to go "look / see" every few hours, and it will mean that genuine new members will be welcomed in minutes, rather than hours.

(written 2012-11-02, updated 2012-11-10)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G909 - Well House Consultants - Spam, Spamming and Spammers
  [259] Responding to spam - (2005-03-27)
  [268] Information request forms, cleaning up spam - (2005-04-05)
  [276] An apology to Mr Boneparte - (2005-04-11)
  [338] OO techniques are hard to teach - (2005-06-06)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [417] Telephone Preference Service - we're registered - (2005-08-17)
  [495] More spam - a success story - (2005-11-13)
  [872] Email metrics - (2006-09-20)
  [1037] Impact Engineering and Backscatter - (2007-01-16)
  [1115] Unexpected visitors to our site - (2007-03-22)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1763] Co-operating to save, yet we dont - (2008-08-21)
  [1817] Marc Schneider is still having email trouble - (2008-09-30)
  [1978] From spam to mod_alias - finding resources - (2009-01-05)
  [2019] Baby Caleb and Fortune City in your web logs? - (2009-01-31)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2179] Offers that I can refuse - (2009-05-12)
  [2276] Who is Marc Schneider of Multilingual Search Engine Optimization Inc - (2009-07-10)
  [2398] Websitemediasolution and a goldfish called Carl Johnson - (2009-09-06)
  [2697] Email metrics and filtering - (2010-03-28)
  [2884] Hotlinked images onto adult material sites - (2010-07-23)
  [3016] The legal considerations of your web presence - revisited - (2010-10-26)
  [3166] Well house is strong - confirmed? - (2011-02-11)
  [3190] What do the following web sites have in common? - (2011-03-03)
  [3316] Twitter Phishing Trips ... and a great new alert service - (2011-06-04)
  [3352] World Trade Register - Certainly NOT worth 2985 Euros. - (2011-07-09)
  [3506] Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches - (2011-11-03)
  [3661] Keeping forum and blog comments clean - (2012-03-19)
  [3912] Sand to Arabia, Coals to Newcastle or Woodburners to Russia - (2012-11-04)
  [3946] Moving from a warning system to a control system - PHP, forum spammers - (2012-12-07)
  [4135] Introducing your product to Well House Consultants - single, personally tuned email please - (2013-07-08)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4520] No cold sales calls please - but delighted to hear from others! - (2015-09-29)

G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1362] No Thank You - (2007-09-23)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1569] I dont care - goodbye - (2008-03-09)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1759] While the world sleeps ... - (2008-08-19)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2526] A reluctance to move from old shoes to new - (2009-12-05)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2781] The 500 pound question to get you started - (2010-05-26)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4403] The unbalanced relationship between customer and provider - (2015-01-21)
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)


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Some other Articles
While, for, foreach or something else to loop.
How many times ... has this loco headed west through Tenby? - Python exceptions
How well do you know Perl and / or Python?
Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast
Every Customer Counts
Black dogs at Halloween
Weather pictures
Taking the lead, not the dog, for a walk.
How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner?
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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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