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Thread: What happened to Trail Conditions?

  1. #1
    Member TomK's Avatar
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    What happened to Trail Conditions?

    Several days ago, all of the state-specific trail conditions forums disapeared from the "Forums" list. Don't think I did anything differently. Did they go away and I missed the memo?

    TomK
    Never loved your plains, your gentle valleys/Your drowsy country lanes and pleached alleys.
    I want my hills, the trail that scorns the hollow/Up, up the ragged shale where few will follow.

    High on my hills of dream, dear hills that know me/And then how fair will seem the lands below me
    How pure at vesper time, the far bells chiming/God, give me strength to climb, and hills for climbing. "Hills" - Arthur Guiterman

  2. #2
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I hid them to see if anyone noticed. They receive less than 2 posts per month for valuable information yet receive dozens of spam posts per week.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Yeah - not a lot of posts lately. People can still use 'Trip Reports' to post. I haven't hike much in the last year, so I haven't had much to report sadly.
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  4. #4
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    In reality, there are far more helpful mechanisms for trail conditions, and since the noise outnumbers the signal 10X, I am leaning towards retiring them. It took over a week for anyone to "complain". Not that it went unnoticed for a whole week...

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  5. #5
    Member TomK's Avatar
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    I noticed, but figured it was most likely some transient glitch that would get resolved without intervention on my part - when that didn't happen, I thought I'd bring it up. And before it disappeared, I did notice that the frequency of posts to those forums was pretty low.

    I did find a way to access them though - they are still there. How to do it is left as an exercise to the reader...

    Does posting without logging in require typing in six characters that randomly appear, like for doing a search if you are not logged in? If not, is that an option to reducing the spam problem? Whoever removes the spam does a really good job of it, I do not recall ever seeing a spam message on VFTT. If the spam issue can be solved, keeping the forums seems like it would not be a big deal, even if they are not used much...

    TomK
    Never loved your plains, your gentle valleys/Your drowsy country lanes and pleached alleys.
    I want my hills, the trail that scorns the hollow/Up, up the ragged shale where few will follow.

    High on my hills of dream, dear hills that know me/And then how fair will seem the lands below me
    How pure at vesper time, the far bells chiming/God, give me strength to climb, and hills for climbing. "Hills" - Arthur Guiterman

  6. #6
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    There is in fact a CAPTCHA to prevent anon logins from posting spam. I also have restricted the IP range to exclude those regions of the world that are probably not that interested in a Northeast US hiking site. When I relaxed the IP restrictions in response to a member from Scotland, all the spam comes back. So, unfortunately, I put the restrictions back. So what little spam gets through does defeat the CAPTCHA, and may include a human.

    Members do not see the spam posts because all anon posts are set to moderated, and Dave or I have to approve (or delete) them. I can't remember the last time I approved an anon trail condition - but I do occasionally approve Lost and Found posts. As I mentioned above, I simply set the trail conditions to hidden... they are discoverable if you know how, and I can put them back, but I wanted to see who missed them

    Looking at the Trails NH widget shows only 6 or 7 recent VFTT reports, and mostly they are from Trip Reports, and aren't even all trail conditions (like the Alligator Eggs on Wittenberg). Trails NH just scrapes the trail conditions and trip reports forums.

    Paddle Park and Nature Photography have had zero traffic for years... but they require authenticated users, and so there is no spam.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  7. #7
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    I hid them to see if anyone noticed.
    Hey, thanks for keeping me in the loop.

    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  8. #8
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    Hey, thanks for keeping me in the loop.

    That was part of the experiment. You were on vacation anyway

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  9. #9
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    "Dave or I have to approve (or delete) them"....?
    I've deleted a few in the last week.
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
    to be a requisite to doing anything of consequence
    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

  10. #10
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    We don't get no respect.

    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    So, are we saying that most people use the New England trail Conditions site? If so, it might be nice to provide a link to it or we should just copy the URL into our posts.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  12. #12
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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