Monster Updates

site-update-main

It’s gotten out of hand. Call the cops!

spring14-kyoOr Spam Police. Seriously… It has been a while that I made an update post about things that are going down or have already gone down for Metanorn. Besides the usual millions of hits received per year, we made a weird record to share this time around. Overall, the team was not too happy about this development, but I have to share because some of you had to face error pages and sluggish site response randomly due to it. Not to mention, the Disappearance of Your Comments was no fun either. I am indeed talking about our Spam Monster and it has definitely grown aplenty since I last talked about it on our 10M milestone post. Don’t believe me? Here are the astonishing statistics:

Metanorn-spam-status

Look, Ma, Metanorn did something weird again!

Around 10 months ago, the spam count was a measly 1 million but in last two months, it escalated to around 2 million in a zip! I was besides myself in trying to clear the spam as soon as possible but it kept on escalating. The end result was DDoS by spam bots, which caused Metanorn to go offline for hours on 26th June 2014. Of course, our Tech Guru Will saved the day by keeping a check on our server setting and basically banning all the malicious IPs. However, even that didn’t stop the continuous attack for the better part of July. Many of the writers had to clean up the spam queue within minutes but to no avail. Finally, Will did come up with a solution to kill the bots at the server level rather than PHP level and it worked. There’s still daily spam (two to five thousand), but nothing like 2~5 spam per second. You can say things are much smoother than before and in control. Though, if any of your comments do get stuck, give us a shout on post and we’ll look for it; though, there’s regular cleanup many times a day to keep the spam monster in check. Thank you for bearing with us during last two months and if you still ever face any such issues, do ping me on twitter or email for a quick resolution. 

Besides this long-winded update, I have prepared a poll for you to give your opinion in preparation of our next site design. Don’t expect it to happen in a week or even a month. It will definitely take months and me having some free time from work, the probability of which is a bit foggy currently but I just wanted to hear from our regulars what would they like more in terms of design, site content and even something completely out of the left field. The below poll is not fixed, I would actually appreciate to get your feedback/suggestions on anything else besides it. That is, whatever site features/ sections/ content that you want to add to the next update wishlist!

Metanorn site updates that you want (Select three - comment for additional)

View Results

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All hail, Metanorn Community! Let’s hear from the Regulars/ Lurkers/ Team members! 

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45 Responses to “Monster Updates”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Prefer dark background as it 1) eats less power on the screen especially when on mobility and 2) less glaring. Then again, I’m one of those that works with the monitor on the minimum contrast/brightness settings needed and with minimal ambient lighting… like Sora & Shiro’s place.

    As for larger pictures, I don’t think it is necessary for every picture to have a larger version unless it’s to highlight some particular object. It’d be a waste of space. If anyone wanted to see things in detail, they’d already watch the episode.

    All that said, I belong to the minimalist school of thought: I rather have something simple with easy access without scripts that hog up CPU cycles.

    PS. WhereTF are all the spam coming from. It’s like somebody has latched onto the site. Would a login ala forum style actually help?

    • Foshizzel says:

      True darker background on phones works for me as well! Sometimes I check in on things with my phone.

      Yeah larger pics would work for something like a full body shot or something highlighted in the post itself.

      Spam? We really have no idea and I almost wonder if a log in style thing would cut the spam down! Good thought.

    • Kyokai says:

      I like our tech-savvy people here so much. The reason I love Lumia phones is due to their black background and techno colours! Thanks for all the feedback.

      WordPress is good enough but it’s a server hogging CMS and for the kind of traffic we receive, it’s been really difficult due to the spam. Let’s see how we’ll resolve this.

      Btw, when spam bots DDoS your site, it’s really not funny anymore and it’s on multiple occasions too. Will should have more details. But if things do come to worse, we will switch to captcha.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        I want a Lumia… T_T except there is no good reason to replace my S3 yet. Apart from the fact Samsung’s Kies is really crap software to use.

        I know this is a debatable topic but wouldn’t user registration limit the spam?

  2. Sumairii says:

    To everyone who voted for more live watches, do you prefer just the audio, which you can sync to the appropriate video yourself? Or do you prefer a video file with the audio layered on top? FYI, the latter tends to get us into trouble because of obvious copyright issues.

    • skylion says:

      I would prefer an audio. For the main reason you sited, it’s hard to site Fair Use when you basically show the whole episode.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Agreed! Live watches can happen if we just rec the audio and have everyone else sink it up to their own file.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      If it is skyLOLion’s face, I would consider… :P But otherwise as you said it, youtube would hit the banhammer on copyrighted stuff.

    • Kyokai says:

      This reminds me the Fate/Zero livewatch that I used to run but it was very audience specific and only people who wanted to watch together came in. Not sure if more people would like to join in but I’ll see again when Fate/stay night airs in Fall.

      Btw, I have affinity towards audio as well but I’ll be fine showing my moe mug if required. xD

  3. CarVac says:

    I personally don’t have time to listen to podcasts and the like…I use the time to watch anime!

    It’s disappointing when there’s nothing to read and I don’t want to single-task and listen to a podcast (given that I can’t multitask).

    • CarVac says:

      Something got pasted in somehow.

      Edit plz?

    • Foshizzel says:

      I hear that is often the complaint with podcasts, but I also hear a lot of people like to listen to them while on the go as well so there are pros and cons to them.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I like the podcasts. How fun it is to hear guys go crazy with what you like or dislike in an anime. I just have to pick a moment I’d have the most time to listen to everything.

    • thorgriim says:

      yeah that’s me, Usually I can’t pay much attention to listen very long to a podcast, I rather listen to music or something else, Though I’ve not really tired to listen hehe one day ill just do it and see =P

    • d-LaN says:

      Count me in as well. I tried listening to podcasts be4 but I find myself losing interest quickly and I can’t multitask as well since a lot of times I need to REALLY concentrate to make out the lines.

      • Sumairii says:

        Will shorter podcasts significantly improve your interest in them? If so, what would be the ideal length in your opinion?

  4. thorgriim says:

    Spam monster pff who does he think he is.. I’m still new here so I don’t really have a preference, But the black background feels easy on the eyes and i quite like it.

    Larger pictures.. ehh sometimes i want a larger one for profile picture,desktop background or drawing, BUT i can usually use the episode or find it somewhere else so this isn’t really a needed thing hehe.

    Edit for comments, YES please, I can’t count the times where i misspelled a word or forgot to add something else, But hey it does help post count just would be nice to have =P

    So ya, Spam monster needs to get himself under control but maybe he just wants to be noticed..huehuehue

    • Kyokai says:

      In terms of picture, I was referring to a pop up for the ones we use but really, our posts are not image gallery rather thought led so it works. Thank you for sharing yyour two-cents with us and I’ll definitely look into the edit comment function.

      Spam monster has literally gone Godzilla on us but ah well, we are trying to counter it with full force!

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Community regular BlackBriar reporting!

    What an awkward milestone to reach on Metanorn. The spam count was actually more than tripled in the month of July compared to June. Never pegged Spammy for an attention whore.

    My thoughts on the updates:

    Personally, I find the black theme is alright. Most sites already use the white ones while few with anything else and having black makes Metanorn unique. No need to fix what isn’t broken.

    Comment edit function after submission… That doesn’t sound like a bad idea. More like a 50/50 trade off. It would serve to rectify mistakes, evading the unnecessary need to additional comments as add-ons limiting the space beneath for other commenters to reply and better explain one’s self if they feel what they’re writing isn’t coherent enough.

    The Editorials, Manga recc, special posts, podcast episodes and/or mini-talks are good as they are. As I’m sure some bloggers here can be very busy irl, it’s enough they’re making contributions. It doesn’t matter to me much how the posts are organized. Written or audio, I can deal with both without a problem and it’s kind of fun actually hearing people expressing their thoughts. All hail the MetaVerse podcasts! Besides, it would be a burden to always have to come up with a topic on a regular basis. Such things take time. You guys are already doing a good job.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Regular? You mean Master :P

      Sometime I like the lack of the edit function becoks it maens i kanot speel korekly.

      • Kyokai says:

        It’s almost funny how the site has gone down for hours in two instances after posting this update. Not a good omen at all. >>;;

        I am so happy that no one has issue with black rather just placement of content. That’s one milestone taken care of. I’d like the edit function myself so hopefully it’s in process.

        I have fun organizing and even just being a soundboard for whatever the writers think up. ANTM was pretty cool but it requires a lot of time so we’ll see what we can do on special stuff but we’ll keep them coming randomly. ;)

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          I think someone is trying to DDOS-spam the site to death.

          • Sumairii says:

            This is a possibility we have considered but for the moment we are not aware of any one person who might want to organize/execute such an attack. My best guess is the current situation is an unfortunate culmination of various bot sources latching on to us in a short time period.

  6. belatkuro says:

    And here I thought Spammy hated me last month.
    Anything greater than 2 paragraphs that I write gets eaten ;_;

    As for the site updates, I prefer the black theme. It’s much cooler to the eyes.
    I like the idea of editing the comments after submission but if that can’t be done, at least implement a preview of the comment before submission. Most sites have that function and I was wondering why Metanorn doesn’t have that.
    I’d like to see some editorials and special posts as well, though I like it to be balanced with the currently airing anime posts.
    I don’t really have time to listen to podcasts though. I use my travel time to and from work to watch anime so I don’t have the chance to listen to them on the go. Forget about livestreams as I have a crappy net. And I live on the other side of the world as most people here so scheduling it is tough.

    Keep up the good work Metanorn.

  7. Sumairii says:

    Remember guys, you are not limited to the suggestions Kyokai provided in the poll. If you have anything you would like to see that’s not mentioned, just write a comment about it for us to consider. =)

  8. Namika says:

    Wow. Interesting milestone :D Though it’s good that you managed to tame Spammy, at least a little bit. 2 to 5 spam comments per second sounds just too unbearably crazy.

    About the suggestions, concerning the design. I have a couple. The main, laconic style is great, I really like it and I think that it should be Metanorn’s credo. What you could do is make the design more interactive. Like, showcase the latest posts, or featuured post, not just stick it to the top of the page, put make like a mini-slideshow on the top of the widget area. Also, showcase your posts by category, for example, you can start writing reviews of the whole anime series more often, give it a name and showcase that tag on the main page or something like that. Same with manga and game reviews. You can make top tens of the writers, adding polls to them to make it more fun to compare…
    I hope some of these ideas will be useful to you, guys. But Metanorn’s already awesome. <3

  9. anaaga says:

    More podcast is always welcomed, but I shouldn’t say anything about that since I haven’t listened to any. Heh.

  10. Jrow says:

    I just want to see tweaks in the site’s overall design. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by steev redesigning Anivision at the drop of a hat and the dozen or so selectable styles he made for our old-time forums, but Metanorn has stayed just about exactly the same looking ever since I’ve joined, and I’d like to see something a little different to spruce things up around here.

    -For starters, those icons for twitter/facebook/etc. at the top are very old and could be updated in minutes. Google+ button should be added.
    -I also think having a menu bar that follows the user as they scroll down would be helpful, with links to the main site/about/etc and also the social sites. It wouldn’t take up more space than what we writers see with the WP-Admin.
    -I still think anywhere from 50-100 pixels off the height of the banner would be beneficial. As I see Hwy’s Ao Haru Ride post, you can’t even see the entirety of the image and the link to “read more” without scrolling down a bit. Petty? I don’t think so… I think you should at least be able to see the entirety of the first post before any scrolling is done.

    • Sumairii says:

      About the last point, doesn’t it depend on your monitor size and resolution? This is how the home page appears to me; the banner does not push the first post off the screen.

      So there might always be people with smaller screens who won’t be able to see the entirety of the first post excerpt, which makes the situation a subjective “where do we draw the line” thing.

      • Overcooled says:

        I dunno, I’m with Jrow on this one. My computer screen is pretty big and I still can’t see the entirety of posts because the banner is so big. We should be emphasizing our posts and not the banner.

        • Highway says:

          I dislike running my browser bigger than, say, 1024×768 so I have the same problem with the banner taking up half of the landing page. So I’d be on board with a smaller banner style, not that Ness doesn’t do a great job with them.

        • Sumairii says:

          Is my resolution just too high? =S

          Well no matter, I’m not against making the banner smaller. I just wanted to make the observation that it’s possible there’s always gonna be someone with some a monitor size/resolution combination for whatever reason out there who will get screwed over.

          I thought 1920×1080 is a fairly common res, which is what I run on my 23″. If it turns out the average monitor size/resolution combination gives less screen real estate than this, then a smaller banner is surely justified.

          • Highway says:

            That’s the resolution everyone has, but the issue is that I don’t want my browser full screen. And I think most people don’t want it full screen, based on the people whose screens I’ve seen.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Dual screen~~~

            • Sumairii says:

              My browser is not full screen. I merely took a screenshot of only the browser window. You can check the res on the image to see that it isn’t 1920×1080…

            • Sumairii says:

              Actually it looks like puush added some stupid black borders to the screenshot, making the resolution larger. But even with these borders it is evident that my browser isn’t full screen.

              Here’s a screenshot without the confusing borders just to show there’s nothing fishy going on. In any case, my original intention stands that if the majority of our readers run into the problem of the first post being pushed off screen, we should of course make the banner smaller.

  11. Martin says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with the darker colour scheme – it’s a difficult look to pull off, but this is one of the sites that does it well and it’s more readable as a result (I was forced to pick up a new monitor today and boy, does the whitespace on my own blog burn my retinas out now).

    Selfishly I also voted for more editorials and oddball posts because I can’t keep up with many new shows, but it’s cool to read stuff that covers more topics.

    Also a selfish request: a comment edit function would be handy because, no matter how carefully I think I’m checking, I NEVER spot typos before clicking the submit button. Ever. orz

  12. Overcooled says:

    White text on a black background actually has a better contrast than black text on a white background, making it easier to read. Plus, I totally dig the dark coloured style.

    I think if we do a site redesign I’d like to see the sidebar get redesigned. It’s kind of cluttered as is. For example, why have both a Navigation and Categories box when they both link to the same thing? Some streamlining could probably be done to make it look better.

    Metanorn looks pretty nice as is, but let’s make it EVEN BETTER!

  13. Kyokai says:

    Funny how the day I post this, in a few hours site goes down again. Anyways, loving the feedback and I’d really like to hear more on what options you would like to see besides in the poll.

    Personally, I would like a responsive design, which is device friendly. I love our black-techno identity so that’s one thing I don’t want to change. But I definitely want to make the site content access friendlier with a featured section.

  14. CarVac says:

    Can the mobile site be made a dark theme?

    Sometimes the authors make text that explicitly is light-colored (often yellow) and that doesn’t show up.

  15. Jrow says:

    The podcast sure seems popular here… kinda wondering what’s the point, tbh.

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