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Introducing Spam Monitoring Service


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[quote name='Matt' date='23 July 2009 - 01:26 AM' timestamp='1248326794' post='1831315']
May I also add that the IP.Board 3.0.2 download zip will be the same for standard, perpetual and lifetime license holders. We're not removing code for anyone.

It's to my understanding that the way it's done now, you have to tell where your board is located at, making it simple as far as downloading and uploading is concerned. So from my perspective, I already knew that it'd be the same regardless of the license. But that was never the issue, as I don't believe anyone has said about the code being different. Thanks for clarifying it though, in case someone was concerned about it.


[quote name='mdgshorty' date='23 July 2009 - 03:15 AM' timestamp='1248333355' post='1831359']
In order to get the extra features, we should pay an extra $20 a year without having to change the structure of our license.

Agreed.


[quote name='Matt' date='23 July 2009 - 03:20 AM' timestamp='1248333642' post='1831360']
To reiterate, you would not be receiving a new feature but rather a new service. It's an important distinction to make. We are offering a brand new service free to standard and business license holders. It really is as simple as that.

[...]

I have a Blackberry and an unlimited data plan yet I would have to purchase a subscription if I wanted to use the installed GPS navigator. I own an iMac yet I had to purchase an extra subscription for .Mac (mobileme) access. These are additional opt-in services. We just decided to give ours away free as long as you have an active or business license.

To the bolded part, I think you meant to include the word "standard" in there. ;)

To the rest...
I understand that it's a new service (not feature), and despite the fact that I feel that it should be free to all active license holders after coining it as being free for those with +active status (then turning around and calling lifetime and perp as being legacy and not applying), I'm only pushing for a separated option for obtaining the services. Whether or not I would pay it in order to have it available on both boards (since I'll automatically have it available for one due to my licenses), I don't know. But it would be nice to know that I have the option in the future.


[quote name='Dannyarr' date='23 July 2009 - 03:39 AM' timestamp='1248334750' post='1831374']
Make a new "service and support" plan available to lifetime and perpetual customers and charge $50/yr ($25 / 6 months) for it. Then those who want the additional services can simply renew the more expensive plan. Why force us to give up our licenses?

Yes, you are not 'stripping features' for legacy licensed customers. Instead, you are forcing the 'legacy' customers to give up their licenses in order to use a new service. Unacceptable.

I know that this might make it seem a bit more complicated and IPS may prefer to avoid doing this, however here's an idea.
Lifetime - a separate package that can be purchased at any time (since the Lifetime license never goes inactive, it wouldn't have to match up date-wise with the anniversary date). The price should be less than the cost per year of a renewed standard license, only because it would be for the service and not an actual IP.Board license. $50/year is a bit steep when you consider that you wouldn't have an extra board to use, extra downloads of the board and no additional support for the board (it would be strictly for the new service). Perhaps it could be for $30/year, but those who get in early (say a 1-month sale time period), could get it for $20/year, to encourage enrollment early, while still attracting more enrollments in the future from those who don't wish to change the nature of their license.

Perpetual - not getting into the debate of discounted/prorated pricing - perhaps the same sort of deal, where for a month, prorating would be done but would have to pay $30 (for another year) and another $20 (for a full year of service) up front. Basically, renewing early and being able to pay a prorated fee for the remaining time until their anniversary date. If someone recently renewed (2 months max), give them the option of pay $20 flat to get the service added, but having the renewal date set to match up with the renewal date of their perpetual license. For those that don't get in on the sale price, it would be $30/year and have to be purchased (and renewed) during the license renewal.

Just thoughts on it that would help out the 'legacy' license holders now and in the future, while encouraging them to enroll(pay) sooner rather than later, so that IPS generates more revenue up front.


[quote name='Patrick Shaw' date='23 July 2009 - 03:46 AM' timestamp='1248335200' post='1831377']
It may be unacceptable (and it is) but there's nothing we can do about it. IPS are keeping their promise to legacy customers... and just making them feel second class to newer customers by withholding a new 'service' from us if we don't play along and give up our licenses.

(+) I agree.


[quote name='Dannyarr' date='23 July 2009 - 05:01 AM' timestamp='1248339700' post='1831407']
I don't think a separate service would be all that great (at least not if you plan on making specific pricing for every new thing you introduce). Simply make the standard support and service fees of $25 / 6 months available to Perpetual and Lifetime license holders. That would solve it instantly and I don't see what you'd loose from it.

That would be too much, considering that we would be paying for a complete standard license renewal without the extra license or support for the board. I can understand a fee for the additional service, but at a reasonable and comparative price.


[quote name='Matt' date='23 July 2009 - 05:06 AM' timestamp='1248339999' post='1831410']
Well, if we did we'd have to make it optional. I don't think that a current perpetual license holder who is used to paying $30 a year for support is going to appreciate a price hike.

That's all that's being asked, is to have an optional "add-on" that can be purchased and then paid for per year (separately), that would be associated directly with a specific lifetime/perpetual license. (Do make note of the concept mentioned above).

Even though I mention not knowing if I would enroll, if there were a sale for early enrollers, where the renewal price would be the same as the starting price (ie, $20/year for those who enroll early, $30/year for those who don't), then I'd still hop on it just so I could have it for a year and then anytime after that I could renew for $20/year. That's $20 you'd get that I wasn't completely sure I'd be spending to begin with. ;)

Questions..

I have a Lifetime and a Standard license. Can I use the key for the services from the Standard license on the Lifetime board, provided I don't use it on the board with the Standard license at the same time of course?

I have a "Yearly" license that has long since expired, is there any way that it could be 'converted' to the standard format, where I'd pay $25/6 months on it?

I have another question too, but feel that it should be asked in PM because I know that if I ask it in the open, it'll get a definite 'no' where as in PM, there's a teeny tiny chance of it being a yes.


As for closing this topic (as someone mentioned):
What I like and respect about the IPS staff is that they value feedback/input and this is a very constructive and useful thread. No one is doing any name calling or what have you, only expressing opinions. I appreciate that the time is being taken to sort through all of this and a comment has even been made from an IPS staff member that has basically said that it's a possibility, depending on circumstances, for it to be an add-on service for 'legacy' license holders.

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[quote name='.Wolfie' date='22 July 2009 - 11:23 PM' timestamp='1248297823' post='1831055']
I don't like that. Yes I'm a little biased since I have a Lifetime license, but I think that the Lifetime license shouldn't be excluded because the terms of it are the same as a standard license except that it's "forever" instead of limited to 6 month windows.

With Perpetual, the license holder should be allowed to get it when they are in +Active status (ie, paid $30/year).

I know that IPS wants to convert those into standard licenses, but I think that's a bit shameful to try to reword or reclassify things just to do it.


I see this the beginning of try to convert Perpetual Licenses in standard licenses...


[quote name='Charles' date='22 July 2009 - 11:26 PM' timestamp='1248297994' post='1831063']
Services like this did not exist several years ago when those old licenses were available. That is why we switched to the Standard license type so we could offer more than just "technical support" like we did before.

We are not taking anything away from Perpetual or Lifetime license holders and are keeping our promises to them as they were made at purchase time.


There weren't availabe Manage Languages... a new feature and others features...


[quote name='Μark' date='22 July 2009 - 11:29 PM' timestamp='1248298143' post='1831066']
You were promised lifetime support and upgrades and that promise has been kept.
This service is not support - it is new service that we never promised or announced or even mentioned before.
There are of course costs involved with maintaining this service and so it has been made available only to holders of a current, active license.
You are of course welcome to remain on the license you purchased, with the terms that were promised to you at the time, or pay for this new service :)


The problem for the future will be what do you consider service or part of the program...


[quote name='Μichael' date='23 July 2009 - 01:17 AM' timestamp='1248304669' post='1831144']
There's a difference between these features of the software you mentioned and this new service: those don't require IPS to have the additional expense of running a new server to store this central repository. If IPS has to be the ones to build and maintain this system, and pay for anything involved in keeping it running, then it makes sense that only those who are still actually regular paying customers get access to that.


I understand very much the need of pay the cost of your service... But I don't agree who you want to pay this service...


[quote name='Lindy' date='23 July 2009 - 01:29 AM' timestamp='1248305343' post='1831153']
I fear you may be making an apples and oranges comparison, but allow me to note that this is a service -- a hosted service which incurs ongoing, real costs. It is not a software feature such as the FURLs.


Yes, and obviously it has a cost...


[quote name='Lindy' date='23 July 2009 - 01:29 AM' timestamp='1248305343' post='1831153']
Naturally, we've made a commitment to all lifetime and perpetual license holders and we're very pleased to honor that commitment. We've never held back built-in features, nor do we intend to. You've received all updates as promised and will continue to do so. Unfortunately, we're not able to offer everything we do or will do as part of that initial license purchase as I'm sure you can understand and appreciate.


But, if it's a service why do you try that only part of your customers pay for it ???... the reasonable would be all pay for it...


[quote name='Lindy' date='23 July 2009 - 01:29 AM' timestamp='1248305343' post='1831153']
We're certainly not trying to force people away from lifetime and perpetual licenses - they were both fantastic license offerings and you're free to enjoy the benefits for as long as you'd like. At the same time, it's worth noting that they are indeed former licenses that are no longer offered. While the benefits will remain the same as at time of purchase, we will not be adding anything to them, moving forward.


Yes that's right... I'm not interested in that service... I have perpetual with Blog, Gallery and support (fantastic one!!!)... but I a Perpetual license customer want to try the service must change their license and if after a year don't need or like that service he can't recover his license so he loss his "privileges"... I think it would be better to increase the price of support (for example)


[quote name='Matt' date='23 July 2009 - 07:26 AM' timestamp='1248326794' post='1831315']
Perpetual license holders currently pay $30 for 12 months access to support and downloads whereas standard license holders pay $25 every 6 months. For those perpetual license holders who wish to use the service then converting the license is probably cheaper than paying for the service independently (if we chose to do that). It's only an extra $20 a year or $1.67 a month.


When I bought my IPB License it was much cheaper than now ($69,95) then I upgrade to my Perpetual License ($115,05), then you make the price increase because you're giving more features to the software...


[quote name='Dannyarr' date='23 July 2009 - 08:48 AM' timestamp='1248331736' post='1831348']
Alternatively (if it was really about the money), you could have simply given us an option to keep our licenses but pay $50/yr instead of $30/yr for these additional benefits. Call it an "extended support level" or something. You haven't done that either. The only conclusion one can be make is that you want to force people out of their old licenses and get even more money out of them. I find this incredibly disappointing.


I believe that this will be the best solution...


[quote name='Matt' date='23 July 2009 - 09:20 AM' timestamp='1248333642' post='1831360']
Please understand this basic concept: we are not 'stripping features' for legacy licensed customers. We will not do that. We have a duty to uphold the terms of your license and we continue to do so willingly. It is a brand new service. At no point did we say that a licence purchase will entitle you to all new products and/or services that we provide. It's no different really from IP.Blog or Gallery, etc. They are all separate products and purchasable separately.


Yes, it is different that IP.Blog or Gallery... the price for some customers (change their licenses) and the price for others (included)...


I think it would be better to consider as a new add-on as you will do with CCS which I'm sure I'll buy...


Thanks for reading :thumbsup:

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As an active Lifetime License holder.

If I want to add the IP.Blog,IP.Gallery,IP.Downloads systems I pay a yearly fee for them (I have active blog/gallery licenses).

If I want to remove the footer copyright I make a one-off payment (currently considering).

If I want to use the new spam service... my "Lifetime License" is effectively ruled null and void?

I would happily pay a small additional fee (as I do with the other add-ons), but essentially I'm being asked to pay for another full license. Hello, I have one.

Am I missing something or is this a financially motivated drive to force Lifetime License holders into regular payments.

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just a question, i've seen info saying ips will only keep submitted data for a while unless its triggered as a spam. I would like to know (well more for everyone else, i can peep the code for this) exactly what information is submitted by the registration, what is deleted exactly, what is kept, what is created as a result of the information gathered and what you will be doing with the emails marked as spam, aside from the obvious (e.g. will you be selling the information in future etc?) also ips has never taken this kind of information from us before so i would recommend a quick update to the privacy agreement and TOS from ips to include this outlining all these issues in proper depth.

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[quote name='Jaggi' date='23 July 2009 - 09:22 AM' timestamp='1248355378' post='1831573']
just a question, i've seen info saying ips will only keep submitted data for a while unless its triggered as a spam. I would like to know (well more for everyone else, i can peep the code for this) exactly what information is submitted by the registration, what is deleted exactly, what is kept, what is created as a result of the information gathered and what you will be doing with the emails marked as spam, aside from the obvious (e.g. will you be selling the information in future etc?) also ips has never taken this kind of information from us before so i would recommend a quick update to the privacy agreement and TOS from ips to include this outlining all these issues in proper depth.

I got the impression that during registration, only IP/email are sent to IPS and then it responds back with a level of severity, so that the board can proceed from that point. Doesn't mean that it would count as a hit against that person.

From the posts marked as spam, I believe that the idea would be to keep track of the email addresses and IP addresses of the reported posts (as well as the post to make sure that it qualifies as a spammer), so that after enough reports, a reputation is developed, thus a more accurate response to the registration inquiries.

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[quote name='.Wolfie' date='23 July 2009 - 08:27 AM' timestamp='1248355657' post='1831578']
I got the impression that during registration, only IP/email are sent to IPS and then it responds back with a level of severity, so that the board can proceed from that point. Doesn't mean that it would count as a hit against that person.

I hope usernames are sent also, as more times than not this is a big red flag when I'm validating new users. Many spammers sign up on a ton of forums using the same username, where they might not be using the same IP address and/or email address. I've caught quite a few this way, so I think it's important to include the username as well as the IP and email.

..Al

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The IP and email of the subscriber is sent to us and we keep that information for a while to see if there are any trends and such. If there are trends and we think it's a spam account, it is permanently added to the database. If not, after a certain time, it is deleted from the temporary records.

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[quote name='AtariAge' date='23 July 2009 - 09:30 AM' timestamp='1248355801' post='1831580']
I hope usernames are sent also, as more times than not this is a big red flag when I'm validating new users. Many spammers sign up on a ton of forums using the same username, where they might not be using the same IP address and/or email address. I've caught quite a few this way, so I think it's important to include the username as well as the IP and email.

..Al


We decided not to track usernames as it is much easier to just randomize your username on each registration than your IP or email address. Besides, if someone registered all over the web with "Bob" as their username then all the Bobs in the world would become quite upset.

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For the Perpetual / Lifetime license holders who are upset:

First let me say we are not out to "grab money" or anything like that. I mean you are talking about a few extra dollars a year here - certainly not enough to get rich off. Anyone who has suggested this is our goal clearly does not recognize the years of honoring our past commitments that we have done or gone out of our way to be sure no one feels taken advantage of.

What we are doing is simply covering our costs and creating a renewal structure that allows us to offer enhanced services, like the spam system, around our products. This is why we switched to the renewal very 6 months that the Standard license offers. That renewal structure covers the increased costs services like this entail so we can offer them at no additional fee. The Lifetime and Perpetual licenses do not include that type of renewal structure.

We are discussing options internally to allow for those on Perpetual or Lifetime licenses to work into a solution without feeling like they are "losing out" on anything. We will update everyone once we come up with something. In the interim, just have a small slice of patience and understanding while we look into options. Thanks!

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[quote name='Charles' date='23 July 2009 - 08:31 AM' timestamp='1248355885' post='1831583']
We decided not to track usernames as it is much easier to just randomize your username on each registration than your IP or email address. Besides, if someone registered all over the web with "Bob" as their username then all the Bobs in the world would become quite upset.

You're right in that it is easy to randomize your username and that common usernames are not as useful. However, in my experience over the past several years, I have caught hundreds of spammers based on the username alone (and in most of those cases they are fairly unique names). When you search google for new usernames, and you see a ton of forum profiles on that name returned, that's usually a damn good sign you have a spammer. I then usually click on a few to see when the user signed up on those forums. If they were all within the last day (or week), you usually have a spammer on your hands. Even with common names, if many people suddenly report that "Bob" is a spammer, then it would be good to watch over a new member who signs up on your board with that same username.

Stopforumspam.com includes usernames in their database, and I use that as a resource often. I hope you reconsider including usernames, at least as an additional data point.

..Al

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[quote name='AtariAge' date='23 July 2009 - 09:38 AM' timestamp='1248356298' post='1831589']
You're right in that it is easy to randomize your username and that common usernames are not as useful. However, in my experience over the past several years, I have caught hundreds of spammers based on the username alone (and in most of those cases they are fairly unique names). When you search google for new usernames, and you see a ton of forum profiles on that name returned, that's usually a damn good sign you have a spammer. I then usually click on a few to see when the user signed up on those forums. If they were all within the last day (or week), you usually have a spammer on your hands. Even with common names, if many people suddenly report that "Bob" is a spammer, then it would be good to watch over a new member who signs up on your board with that same username.

Stopforumspam.com includes usernames in their database, and I use that as a resource often. I hope you reconsider including usernames, at least as an additional data point.

..Al


Yes, we could add it. I guess we will just have to see if it's worth it :)

The system is new and will take a while to "learn" the spam behaviors of people, of course, so we can enhance it as we go.

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[quote name='Charles' date='23 July 2009 - 09:36 AM' timestamp='1248356189' post='1831586']
For the Perpetual / Lifetime license holders who are upset:

First let me say we are not out to "grab money" or anything like that. I mean you are talking about a few extra dollars a year here - certainly not enough to get rich off. Anyone who has suggested this is our goal clearly does not recognize the years of honoring our past commitments that we have done or gone out of our way to be sure no one feels taken advantage of.

In case that is in response to anything I've said, I'd like to clarify that from a business perspective, I can understand and appreciate the goal of trying to improve the companies revenue and never implied (or meant to imply) that IPS was just trying to be a Mr. Krabbs at all. My primary upset is with the wording of the initial post (only to be contradicted in the follow up post) then with no regards to satisfying current Lifetime/Perp holders without their being required to convert their licenses. If I were to decide to 'free myself' of my Lifetime license, I would try to make arrangements with IPS to place the license into a separate account and then sell off that account so that I could use the funds to buy a community suite in its place. That would give me everything the conversion would give me, plus IP.Blog and IP.Gallery to boot.

But I'd rather keep my Lifetime, since it provides me the ability to run dry but still keep an updated IP.Board running, if it should ever become necessary.

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[quote name='Charles' date='23 July 2009 - 08:40 AM' timestamp='1248356450' post='1831593']
Yes, we could add it. I guess we will just have to see if it's worth it :)

The system is new and will take a while to "learn" the spam behaviors of people, of course, so we can enhance it as we go.

Yes, it will be quite interesting to see how well this works. My main concern is how quickly new spammers will be flagged as such. Right now, most spammers on my forum sign up overnight. Since I manually validate, by the time morning comes around, they may already appear in the Stopforumspam database or a Google search, giving me valuable information on whether or not to approve the accounts. With this automated system, I am concerned that if your system is hit earlier than most, the spammer will get through.

It would be nice if there were options to give higher scores (higher being more likely to be a spammer) to email addresses and IP addresses located within certain countries. On my forum, addresses/IPs from China, Vietnam, India, any countries in Africa, and Russia are 99.99% spam (I've only had a rare few valid Russian registrations). I know this would need to be on the client end, since there are obviously valid forums in at least some of these countries who would want people in their own country to register. :) But anytime I see an email address ending in ".in" or the IP location is "Nigeria", I don't even waste my time going further--I immediately nuke the account.

..Al

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[quote name='AtariAge' date='23 July 2009 - 09:52 AM' timestamp='1248357128' post='1831603']
Yes, it will be quite interesting to see how well this works. My main concern is how quickly new spammers will be flagged as such. Right now, most spammers on my forum sign up overnight. Since I manually validate, by the time morning comes around, they may already appear in the Stopforumspam database or a Google search, giving me valuable information on whether or not to approve the accounts. With this automated system, I am concerned that if your system is hit earlier than most, the spammer will get through.

You could still keep your registration process the same as before, just that when someone has a high enough score, you could set it to ban them immediately, so you don't have to do the work yourself.


[quote name='Charles' date='23 July 2009 - 09:53 AM' timestamp='1248357219' post='1831606']
Yeah we have lots of options and are, of course, not going to post everything that it checks and such :)

It's already caught spammers here on our forums too which is good.

:rolleyes: I've seen quite a few over the past few weeks on here.

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[quote name='.Wolfie' date='23 July 2009 - 09:05 AM' timestamp='1248357903' post='1831624']
You could still keep your registration process the same as before, just that when someone has a high enough score, you could set it to ban them immediately, so you don't have to do the work yourself.

Ultimately it would be nice to have it completely automated, as it is time consuming to manually validate many registrations throughout the course of a day. Initially I will just watch it and see how the system flags various registrations.

Question for Invision: Will I be able to see on the Member Validation page how each new member is ranked according to your system? That would be extremely useful.

..Al

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[quote name='AtariAge' date='23 July 2009 - 10:18 AM' timestamp='1248358721' post='1831631']
Ultimately it would be nice to have it completely automated, as it is time consuming to manually validate many registrations throughout the course of a day. Initially I will just watch it and see how the system flags various registrations.

Question for Invision: Will I be able to see on the Member Validation page how each new member is ranked according to your system? That would be extremely useful.

..Al


It logs every query so you can see what it sent us and what the response code was.

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[quote name='Charles' date='23 July 2009 - 09:25 AM' timestamp='1248359120' post='1831635']
It logs every query so you can see what it sent us and what the response code was.

Is this displayed on the validation queue screen? If not, that's extra work for me to parse through, potentially slowing me down. Ideally the response code would be added to the members table (or a new table if you don't want to modify the members table) so it can be displayed in a column along with the other information when validating users.

..Al

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[quote name='Charles' date='23 July 2009 - 03:36 PM' timestamp='1248356189' post='1831586']
For the Perpetual / Lifetime license holders who are upset:

First let me say we are not out to "grab money" or anything like that. I mean you are talking about a few extra dollars a year here - certainly not enough to get rich off. Anyone who has suggested this is our goal clearly does not recognize the years of honoring our past commitments that we have done or gone out of our way to be sure no one feels taken advantage of.

What we are doing is simply covering our costs and creating a renewal structure that allows us to offer enhanced services, like the spam system, around our products. This is why we switched to the renewal very 6 months that the Standard license offers. That renewal structure covers the increased costs services like this entail so we can offer them at no additional fee. The Lifetime and Perpetual licenses do not include that type of renewal structure.

We are discussing options internally to allow for those on Perpetual or Lifetime licenses to work into a solution without feeling like they are "losing out" on anything. We will update everyone once we come up with something. In the interim, just have a small slice of patience and understanding while we look into options. Thanks!

I don't think anyone has a problem with the new renewal structure and its pricing. What we have a problem with is that we have to give up our licenses to get it. Why not allow us to retain our licenses and use the new renewal structure? After all, we've already paid more than the current standard license price for our licenses.

Having said that, glad you're discussing alternative options and I'm looking forward to them.

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[quote name='AtariAge' date='23 July 2009 - 03:37 PM' timestamp='1248359846' post='1831642']
Is this displayed on the validation queue screen? If not, that's extra work for me to parse through, potentially slowing me down. Ideally the response code would be added to the members table (or a new table if you don't want to modify the members table) so it can be displayed in a column along with the other information when validating users.

..Al


It wouldn't be difficult for us to do that. It could join in the email address quite simply.

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[quote name='Charles' date='23 July 2009 - 03:36 PM' timestamp='1248356189' post='1831586']
We are discussing options internally to allow for those on Perpetual or Lifetime licenses to work into a solution without feeling like they are "losing out" on anything. We will update everyone once we come up with something. In the interim, just have a small slice of patience and understanding while we look into options. Thanks!


These are FANTASTIC news...

At the end you'll do what will be more useful for your company...

But at least, you are listening us... the customers !!!

And that's very important for the success of the company... :thumbsup:



Thanks for reading
Regards from Barcelona

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I apologize in advance as I do not have time to read seven pages of replies.

Having a lifetime license, I feel insulted that in order to use this service I have to give up my lifetime license and convert it into a "standard license". I feel that this tactic is shameful, and dishonorable. On the other hand I do understand it takes resources to run a server for this, and there are costs involved. That is why I feel that if you need to exclude lifetime/perpetual license holders (which perpetual do pay support fees too), then you should exclude all license holders and establish a low monthly fee to the service. As you pointed out, this is a debate of apples and oranges. It's a separate optional service for IP.Board, thus it should be treated as such.

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