The single biggest challenge in keeping this service running is in managing the infestation of spammers. People who try to sneak into an open publishing platform in order to publish links to their viagra/casino/pr0n/worse websites to try to trick Google into listing them higher in the search results, and somehow profit from that.

They’re relentless.

I’ve tried keeping UCalgaryBlogs.ca separate from the main UCalgary login system – CAS – which is used for webmail, my.ucalgary.ca, Blackboard, etc… but now I’m wondering…

Would it be a good thing to require a UCalgary account in order to create a website here? Currently, anyone can create an account and create as many websites as they like. Would it poison the spirit of an “open community” by requiring a valid UCalgary login in order to create a website?

I need your feedback on this – is it worth putting a simple lock on the door to keep the bad guys out? Would that cause more problems than it’s worth?

Ideally, I’d always allow non-UCalgary folks to create accounts to participate in websites, if invited by a UCalgary “sponsor” – whether faculty, student or staff – but they wouldn’t be able to create their own website. Is that fair? Onerous?