NowPublic using Mollom

NowPublic is a Vancouver-based news network that mobilizes an army of reporters to cover events around the world. During Hurricane Katrina, NowPublic had more reporters in affected areas than most news organizations have on their entire staff. NowPublic was up against as many as 25,000 spam attempts a day, so it needed a solution that would allow the site to grow faster and more effectively without being slowed by comment spam.

A year ago, NowPublic implemented Mollom, a web service that protects blogs, social networks, and communities against spam and other unwanted content. Within 12 months, the company had become one of the fastest-growing news organizations in the world, with thousands of reporters in more than 140 countries. In addition to this growth in reporters, NowPublic saw an 180% increase in the average number of comments posted per month by users since implementing Mollom's spam-filtering service.

"Integrating Mollom in NowPublic's systems was quick and easy," says Michael Meyers, co-founder and CTO of NowPublic. "It took only a few hours, and the API service has been fast and 100% reliable. By the end of the first month, we saved more in-person hours alone than Mollom cost us for the year."

Mollom has prevented more than one million spam attempts since it started protecting NowPublic. But NowPublic uses Mollom for more than just comment spam. It uses it to identify bogus profiles, vet new account sign-ups, and protect forums.

Mollom, in effect, removed a major barrier to visitor participation for NowPublic, allowing readers to comment anonymously. "Mollom has been a critical ingredient in our success," adds Michael Tippett, co-founder and CMO. "It has allowed us to open our comments to anonymous users while limiting the ability of spammers to vandalize our site. This has helped us grow our page views and truly tap into the wisdom of crowds."

Mollom also allows NowPublic's website maintainers and editors to focus on providing content instead of removing spam. "Since NowPublic began using Mollom," says Jordan Yerman, NowPublic's Contributor Support Manager, "I've saved at least an hour per day dealing with spam in stories, profiles, comments, etc. Thanks to Mollom, I can be more pro-active than reactive. I have more time to engage and interact with our users."

Other major publishers using Mollom to protect their websites from spam are Sony Music, Warner Bros Records, Netlog, The Economist, Fox Interactive, and the New York Observer.

Mollom 1.8 for Drupal 6 released

I just released a new version of the Mollom module for Drupal 6. The new Mollom 1.8 release does not contain significant new features, but contains fixes for several issues. The next release will hopefully add support for popular contributed modules like webform module.

Special thanks to Dave Reid and Frederik "Freso" S. Olesen for their contributions to the 1.8 release.

Netlog using Mollom

We're proud to announce that Mollom has partnered with Netlog, one of the fastest-growing web communities in Europe. Mollom is now protecting the messages of more than 40 million Netlog members, in more than 25 different languages. Netlog is primarily used by students for communication, entertainment and for sharing music and photos. Each day, Netlog members exchange more than 4 million messages, all analyzed by Mollom for spam and unwanted content in real-time.

Netlog selected Mollom as its content-filtering solution after initial trials suggested that Mollom's content filtering algorithms produced more effective results, and after validating Mollom's ability to consistently provide real-time responses. With the addition of the Netlog community, Mollom is now one of the largest website spam-filtering services available today.

We established dedicated Mollom servers in Netlog's data center, each with automatic fail-over, around-the-clock monitoring and custom-trained classifiers. Every second, these servers analyze over 50 messages (and up to 200 messages/second at peak times), proving Mollom's ability to scale to massive throughput requirements. Just like the servers handling Mollom Free and Mollom Plus users on mollom.com, these dedicated servers are maintaining 99.95% efficiency, blocking all but the smallest fraction of spam content.

Netlog has more then 30 freelance community managers and moderators throughout Europe. For their part, using Mollom allows Netlog to reduce the amount of manual moderation, and enables Netlog to support more users and different languages more easily. For our part, Mollom is committed to ensuring that our service supports that growth. This partnership provides us a great opportunity to improve our backend, to prototype new ideas for streamlining the moderation of thousands of messages, and to use Mollom in a massively-multilingual environment. For your part, well, Mollom subscribers are already benefiting from filter improvements that were the direct result of this partnership, and that's just the beginning.

Update: see also Techrunch's coverage: European social network Netlog to use Mollom’s spam filtering tool.

Mollom and SilverStripe

I'm excited to announce that SilverStripe Limited, the commercial firm responsible for the open source SilverStripe CMS, have become Mollom's second formal software partner.

In February, we announced our software partner program, explaining that our goal was finding high-quality companies able to deliver a seamless, trouble-free Mollom experience within the leading CMS products.

We have been working with Sigurd Magnusson and others at SilverStripe Limited to meet technical and commercial requirements of being a partner, and have been pleased at how easy this has been. SilverStripe's CMS also looks to have a bright future: while young, it now has over 150,000 downloads to date, a great user interface and underlying architecture, and last year won Packtpub's most promising open source CMS award. Therefore, our partnership with SilverStripe certainly meets our goals, and we're happy to have them on board to help the Mollom ecosystem grow.

This announcement coincides with the recent release of SilverStripe 2.3.1, and for an obvious reason: Mollom is now available as an official vendor-supported module for SilverStripe. The Mollom implementation in the new version protects page and blog comments, forum module user registrations, forum posts, custom forms created within the CMS user interface, and (optionally) custom PHP forms using a special field type. These features are detailed at SilverStripe's announcement blog post, which contains this 3 minute screencast:

SilverStripe's Mollom module page and Mollom installation instructions provide further information and screenshots. You can also easily try it out at the official SilverStripe demo website, which has Mollom activated on the blog comment and forum registration pages.

SilverStripe's Mollom code was originally contributed late last year by Dieter Orens, an experienced programmer within SilverStripe's open source developer community. Initially only supporting Mollom's CAPTCHA feature, Dieter's code was significantly extended by the core SilverStripe team to meet quality and feature requirements we requested. Underscoring the need for a spam filter, Sigurd mentions that their SilverStripe.com and SilverStripe.org websites received together over 400,000 website spam attempts in the last month. Only about one in 10,000 spam attempts get through, though, making the moderation process feasible and efficient to control. Needless to say, SilverStripe understands the value of Mollom.

Product partnerships like this are one way we give you time to focus on your site, rather than fighting spam. Our other partners are listed on the Mollom partners page, and a complete list of available plugins is available on the Download page. Other projects or vendors interested in offering Mollom to their users through our Software Partner program should contact us.

Happy belated first birthday, WP-Mollom

Over at http://www.netsensei.nl/archives/mollom-074-and-more/, Matthias Vandermaesen comments that his Mollom plugin for WordPress was a year old on April 2nd of this year. At the same time, he announces the release of WP-Mollom 0.7.4 (which mainly includes some new translations), and lays out a roadmap for future development. You can view screenshots of WP-Mollom in our WordPress plugin tutorial and download a copy on our download page.

But what a difference a year makes. One year later, Mollom has blocked well over fifty million pieces of spam, and Matthias' WordPress plugin is an important part of the Mollom ecosystem.

In his blog post, Matthias lays out a great set of feature enhancements and code refactoring in his blog post; like us, he's interested in optimizing his plugin code as much as possible. He's got lots of great usability ideas as well, and contemplates new features to integrate with the upcoming WordPress 2.8.

Matthias -- Happy Birthday to WP-Mollom. Let us know how we can help!