How many folks do you know, who's birthday is on Halloween? Besides mine?
Out of curiousity, I looked at the bottom of the page to see if my birthday was listed and sure enough, it was. Along with 47 other people.
Looking at their random character, computer generated user names, it is easy to see that every single one was possibly spambot or equivalent generated. I looked at the profile of every one and of the thirty I looked at were all obviously spam generator accounts.So, if you extrapolate that out, we the real members are vastly outnumbered by spambots 47 to 1 (or more). Of the 3354 members, that would work out to about 71 who are real. Do you realize the strain all that flotsam places on the forum software and ultimately the server hardware? It would probably reduce the wear and tear on the system if:
A) Eric installs one of those authentication templates that generate an image of random alpha-numeric characters that the applicant has to repeat back to the form. They are hard for humans to read and nigh impossible for simple text recognition spambots to read.
B) Eric assigns temporary admin permissions to a few, computer administration experienced members, who over a period of time would go through the membership roster and examine the profiles and statistics of suspect members. Once a suspect member is identified as being a spambot and believe me, it's not hard to figure out, that member record would be purged. A sub-forum can be created that only members of a specific function group can view and participate in. They use it as a "back-channel" to discuss forum activity that is suspect and ongoing work to remove junk accounts. That's how we did it on other forums. Some of which were much more heavily utilized than this one by a power of 10.
C) The purged members records would be stored in the odd chance that one of them is somehow (doubtful) wrongly purged, so that it could be restored if that member contacted us.
All of that, having been said. It's a little humbling to realize that if you apply the 47:1 ratio, that there are only about 71 of us out there, who care enough about this caliber, to find and join this forum.
Edit: We gained two spambot members while I was typing this.