Keeping the heart of the Linux Community open online

Launched in 1994 to nurture the burgeoning sense of community inherent among Linux users, Linux Journal wanted to provide a forum for its readers to share in the open-source operating system's process of collaboration and exchange. Despite using a combination of CAPTCHA and spam filters during its early years, Linux Journal's efforts to provide a secure communication channel that would reflect Linux's commitment to an open exchange of ideas was being overwhelmed by spam. They even found themselves having to repeatedly shut down their comments for whole days at a time when they felt particularly under attack.

In October of 2008 Linux Journal decided to turn to Mollom to help create a simple, secure anonymous comment forum free of the cascading effects of spam that can cripple an organization. And according to Linux Journal Webmistress Katherine Druckman, "Implementation was easy. I just installed the module and it worked."

Through its collaboration with Mollom, Linux Journal has been able to grow its community through increased visits and a corresponding increase in anonymous posts resulting in more frequent interaction between those members. With 15 years of archived material, articles views for older articles can surpass one million. Most new articles can generate 5-20k hits with more popular ones pushing 50-100k fairly quickly in the first two weeks to a month after the article is published. Almost every article generates at least one comment with most receiving between 10-200. Keeping those comments pertinent to the article being discussed is critical to generating continued conversation.

Since installing Mollom, Druckman notes that on an average day more than 95% of spam is filtered. "Over the last year there have been many days when Mollom has blocked almost 10k spam attacks per day."

Annually, the amount is more than 1.5 million messages. While spamming can still pose a threat, bulk spams slip through far less frequently.

In using Mollom to manage forum topic submissions, contact forms, user registrations and comments, Linux Journal has been able to focus its energies on promoting its mission and the positive interactions it inspires. Druckman believes Mollom frees the Linux Journal staff from having to continually monitor spam lists for false positives, allowing them more time to constructively interact with the community. Focusing less on capturing spam and more on initiating constructive discussion to continue to grow their Linux community, the time spent monitoring those comments is now a positive expenditure and no longer a financial liability.

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