I suppose we had better get one thing straight - the Post-Before-Registering function has been touted by Invision as a way of improving engagement of new members to your community.
In practice, although this is a nice idea and it probably does happen, but Invision have really missed the point.the real value of the PBR function is to honeytrap spammers and to ban their IP addresses and email addresses before they go public.
Unfortunately, this honeytrap function has not been usable until Adriano wrote this application which gives you access to PBR posts and related IP and email data.
I originally gave this app only 4 stars the full five stars because it needed a lot more features although it was a very good start. I understand that the lack of some features may be because of constraints which have been imposed by IPS. If so that's a great shame.
However, Adriano has very quickly produced a new version with a lot more functionality. Five stars
This app installs extremely easily and then in the "community" section on the admin CP there is an opportunity to see a log of posts which have been made under the "post before registration" system.
This is what you get:
It can now also be accessed through the ModCP which allows the entire site team to help out dealing with overnight posters. This is a great improvement from Adriano
at the very least this gives you an idea of how many genuine people you have got trying to access your board by using the system. In the case I've listed above there are an overwhelming number of spammers – and as far as I'm concerned this is great because it means that by and large they never make it onto the public forum.
It is now possible to access the IP address of the poster, to see where it resolves to and also to ban it. It is also possible to ban the email address.
This is exactly what was needed and this allows the true usefulness of the PBR to be exploited.
It would be useful if there was a bulk delete so that anything that is not genuine can be got rid of straightaway rather than have to wait the 30 days. Additionally, it would be a great idea to be able to identify genuine posters and have some way of messaging them to ask them if they need any help. I understand that this is not permitted because of IPS/Invision protocols.
It is entirely possible that some genuine posters have attempted to post using the system and then for some reason rather have given up and then come into the forum again may be on a different email address and eventually post it. It will be nice to identify those people.
It would be very nice to have another notification icon alongside the bell and the envelope at the top right hand corner which might flag up to admin that there is another attempt to post before registration. In that case one might be able to react immediately with an instant message to that person may be by means of a sticky note asking them if they want any help. This might encourage engagement even more – which I understand is precisely what "post before registration" sets out to do.
I'm certainly looking forward to the further development of this app.
I'm amazed that in the 12 days since we upgraded to 4.4.2 and activated the "post before registration" function, we have had at least 80 spammers which have attempted to post by this route.
I think that the Invision team should re-evaluate the PBR facility and adjust their focus from new member engagement to improving its functionality as a honey trap feature. If they were to do that, then who knows what further useful innovation and development might occur as a result.