They're like the Borg. They adapt. Especially to sleeping habits or when I'm technically on a break (I spread my 8 hours throughout the 24-hour period so I can cover more time on the forums). I've been noticing recently that they've completely adapted to when I'm not online, like they did once before. It's frustrating, so I've been trying to change-up my times so I can hit the forums during my typical downtime. It's not easy. I've been cataloging spam posts dates/times, and they're MOSTLY doing it during my downtime now. A few weeks ago, they weren't. I'm technically off-the-clock right now, but I'm monitoring to gather data.
I'm looking into other options (including requiring permissions for first-time posters and/or the possibility of citizen-moderators, which would help with approving first-time posters ((you Valued Community Members who are here more often would have that ability))), but I haven't received a go-no-go yet from the Powers that Be. I really
detest the idea of moderated first-time poster threads though, considering the nature of this forum ... it's here specifically for first-time posters, so I don't want to limit that ability, and many will find it frustrating (considering the sheer number of first-time posters). Those of us who have been here for the last 8-10 years often forget that the vast majority of new members are drive-by one-off events. Limiting that ability for them to post and receive an immediate (or near-immediate) answer would be detrimental to the forums, and the ONLY way to mitigate this would be with citizen-moderators. But even that comes with some downsides, so I need to explore the idea a bit more before I can submit it to the Powers That Be.
I am still trying to get other "better" countermeasures in place (like some of those posted above), but I still have to go through superiors to approve them, and weigh costs vs effectiveness. I think the next week or two will be better for the community, however. I have a few other things I have to focus on right now, so the spam issue, while not ideal at the moment, is at least manageable, even if it is frustrating for you, me, and the rest of the community. Unless the spam is overnight, I usually get to it within the hour except in a few circumstances (my darn alarm clock is my biggest failing
C. Shawn Smith
The Cosmos is all that is, and all that was, and ever will be. -- Carl Sagan