Wednesday, February 19, 2014

RPGBA Status Report

Greetings,

It's been about four months since the last status update that I have given. So, I thought it was high time that I did one. After spending a lot of time routing out the hacking attempts and the code injections, and other such security issues, I'm happy to say that things have been stable and so far all the hacking attempts and stuff have been cut way way down and there have been no known breaches that I am aware of. If you know of any, please contact me so I can attempt to deal with it.

With the security stuff mostly out of the way for now, I am also happy to report that we are currently at over 600 working feeds. You will notice I said working feeds. There are several sites that have working feeds but haven't posted anything in a long time (aka last 365 days) and many of those have very few posts. I currently unsure of what to do with them right now. On the one hand, the websites are still up and system isn't having issues with the number of websites, so why do anything. On the other hand, these sites are clearly inactive and perhaps even abandoned. I would love to hear the RPGBA membership thoughts on the matter.

Finally, I do plan to go to GENCON 2014 this year. I was wondering if I should bother to try to set up a quick and dirty meet and greet. I know that I attempted to do one I think in 2012. I think there was three people that showed up. Part of that was my fault. I think I failed to promote it. Please let me know if I should set up an event. One thing to remember that there is that Pulp Gamer (I think that right) usually has a media meet and greet, which is for pretty much all bloggers, podcasters, and the like. Although I don't think I got much interaction with people there. So, let me know what you guys want me to do.

- Jeff

Friday, November 22, 2013

Results of Survey

Greetings Members of the RPGBA,

Let me start by saying thank you all for taking the time to do the survey. The current 169 response was far more than I expected to get and with around 560+ sites on the RPGBA, I think it's a good sample size to judge things from. Here are the results that I have gotten so far.

1. Do you see an increase in Traffic by being a member of the RPGBA?

Value   Count   Percent %
Yes     123             72.8%
No          46          27.2%

2. Do you monitor the RSS Feed?

Value   Count   Percent %
Yes     82              48.5%
No          87          51.5%


3. Do you use the RPGBA Twitter Account?

Value   Count   Percent %
Yes     51              30.2%
No          118         69.8%

4. Do you get any value from being a member of the RPGBA?

Value   Count   Percent %
Yes     138             81.7%
No          31          18.3%

In addition there were two free from texts that i am still reading through.
5. If you get value from the RPGBA, what sort of value?
6. Are there any additional Comments?


Overall, I have to say the responses were fairly positive. In truth there were a few surprises to me. The first being how high the Twitter Feed monitor went. 30.2% doesn't sound high on the surface but it is higher than the 10% I sort of expected. The RSS feed at 48.5% was actually a little lower than I expected but still not far off from the 60% I was sort of expecting. Lastly while only 72.8% saw an increase in traffic, 81.7% found value in being a member of the RPGBA. The write in comments that I have read so far have been really postive and there are a few good ideas in there as well. I'm going to review all them and likely send out another email and blog post to comment on them.

At this point, I guess some of you may be wondering what this all means? It means that it will be worth my effort to go through every line of custom code and related libraries that make the RPGBA work and review it for security holes. One thing for sure is that I'm likely going to need to simplify the structure a bit because the more complex the structure the easier it is for a hacker to hide stuff (some of the bad code I've already found was hidden 4 directories deep). I may even do an enhancement or two, but I'll have to see how much time the code review is going to take, so no promises there.

Again, thanks for all the postive support that you the membership of the RPGBA has given me.


Jeff
RPGBA Admin

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spammers, Hackers, and the Value of the RPBGA

Greetings,

It's hard to admit but the RPGBA has once again been the target of Drug Site Spammer. I rather not get into the details but basically, if one did a search for the RPGBA in Google, they would get result that makes it look like the RPGBA sells mail order drugs or something. This is not a new thing for the RPGBA it's something that we been fighting quite a bit off and on for a few years. Not to mention the few hacking attempts we've had over the years as well.

This all brings us to the question is there value in keeping the RPGBA around? After all, there is no charge for membership and all the costs in time and money (and sometimes sanity) are pretty much mine.

So, I'd like you guys to take survey with a few yes or no questions. Please answer as honest as you can.

You can find the survey here


Jeff
RPGBA Admin

Friday, August 2, 2013

RPGBA.ORG site issues

Greetings,

I just wanted to let you know that for some reason my hosting provider seems to be having issues this morning. This means that you may or may not be able to get to the rpgba.org website and the process that polls your RSS/ATOM feeds may not be able to reach your site for a while. As soon as I know more, I'll update this post in the comments.


- Jeff

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Issues and Fixes

Greetings RPG Blog Alliance Members,

It's been a while since I've posted anything. For the most part, things have been fairly calm. Which I think is a good thing. That said a couple of things has come up and while they been fixed, I thought I should tell you about them.

First up, we have finally switch back to our own Twitter posting software again. We were using Twitterfeed ever since there were some major API changes at Twitter which prevent the library we were using from working. The downside to Twitterfeed was the lag in posting and sometimes it seems like some new blog posts were skipped. The new library has allowed me to once again automate the posting from our end. Which means all posts should be posted on Twitter. They should be posted in a fairly quick manner to boot. Of course, this is not to say that Twitter will not change the API and break the library I'm using. We shall just have to wait and see.

The other major thing is we told about an issue with logging in after someone changes/updates their password. If they reset their password with the reset system, they could login again with that password. However if they changed it they would not be able to. Well it seems we had a flaw in the update password code, which created a bad hash. That's been fixed, so if you update your password, you will be able to login the next time.

Well that's all for now. Happy Blogging.


- Jeff

Monday, May 20, 2013

Database Glitch

I just wanted to let everyone know that there was a database glitch and all RPGBA users need to use the recover password word feature to reset their passwords. We apologize for this inconvenience.

- Jeff

Friday, May 17, 2013

Twitter Account Back Up!

And just like that the Twitter Account is no longer suspended. Never did get a reason or explanation from anyone. I really wish Twitter was not the only service that people used. While there have been attempts to create alternatives, none of them really gained any traction.

At any rate, the Twitter account is active again. I have re-enabled the the Twitterfeed service to post the RSS feed items. I'm not sure how long that will take to start doing it's thing. It seemed like it took a while last time to start. The real problem is that they removed all the followers and following links from the account. So those that were using it need to re-follow, https://twitter.com/RPGBlogAlliance .

If people spot any additional issues, please let us know.

- Jeff