Friday Links 07-10-12

From the Web

Public Speaking FAQ – Recently I was sent a copy of The FAQ Book on Public Speaking. The book is thorough and tackles many questions you might have about giving a presentation or honing your craft. A good read for anyone interested in boosting their speaking skills.

Social Polarity – Brad has another great article here about getting people to like you without trying. The main point? Stop trying to appeal to everyone and instead try to become more aware of people that match who you are. Although dating is Brad’s frequent example, I find most of the advice he gives can be broadened to deal with most areas of life.

The 7 Energy Sinkholes and How to Avoid Them – A lifehack entry I did recently.

From the Archives

Ten Steps to Cultivate the Now Habit – Tips for staying in the now.

From the Shelf

Stumbling on Happiness – A great read for anyone interested in happiness from a scientific standpoint. Gilbert does an excellent job compressing the findings of hundreds of psychological studies into easy to understand information about what makes you tick.

Quick Question for Readers:

Do you use the comment form? I currently use a moderation system where all comments must be approved by me before they appear on the website. I use it to ensure spam (which accounts for 95% of the entries) doesn’t clutter the website. But I’ve been told my moderation system makes it hard to have discussions since it can be a day or two before people can see other replies.

If you have any other suggestions for preventing spam attacks but allowing discussion flow, I’m all ears. I’ve always found CAPTCHA systems to be somewhat irritating, but they might be preferable to my moderation. Spam filters aren’t strong enough on their own (Even with Askimet I get around 50% spam). Any suggestions?

  • Jay Andrew Allen

    Great article on staying in the Now. Thanks for that blast from the past!

    As for comments, if you’re on WordPress, you can allow frequent readers to sign up for accounts on your site, which you have to approve. Once someone has an approved account, you can allow their comments to go straight to the site without moderation. You should also be able to do this without user registration, allowing someone with a specific email address to have their comments appear straightaway if one of their comments has been approved in the past.

  • Eric

    Thanks Scott for the special mention! I’m happy to let you know that till today (that’s 2 days), we have sold about 187 books! We are now in the midst of writing version 2.0 🙂

  • Iair

    Agree with Jay, aso would be an interesting experiment to have your own community.

    Also, Scott, captcha is not as irritating as you think, but if you think so yo can try the alternative “Math Comment” (a bit geeky) which validates a human user by asking a simple Math calculation (like: one plus one?)

    here is one link for a WordPress Plugin…

    Thanks Scott,

  • Jean Browman–Cheerful Monk

    On my site (using WordPress) I allow users to comment without moderation as long as they have a previously approved comment. That works great for me. The box to check is under Options/Discussion.

  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I’ll test some of these ideas over the next few weeks.

  • Ilja

    Here’s an article about CAPTCHAs and their accessibility gotchas:

    Although its main focus is on accessibility, it (and the comments) also gives some anti-spam tricks. Adding a checkbox that has to be checked or unchecked by the commenter is quite simple to implement, but seems to be rather effective.

  • Peter

    Hi Scott,

    I do the same as Jean and it works well (in combination with Akismet).

    Also the Public Speaking FAQ looking interesting. I actually went to my first Toastmasters meeting this week as a guest. It was surprisingly fun and I even got involved in the Table Topics.