Thursday, 24 May 2007

Spam reduction in effect

I just added reCAPTCHA to the blog, which should cut back on some of the comment spam issues around here immensely; this solution means your commenting also has the nice side-effect of helping to digitize old books that can’t be OCRed reliably by computers.

Since this should eliminate the spam problem, I’m also going to allow comments on posts up to four weeks old; the previous limit was 10 days, which might have been a tad short. Please send me an email if something is broken; my testing was reasonably thorough (considering it only took me about 45 minutes to add the code, since there wasn't much to do at my end), but you never know on these things.

Thanks to Adam Rossi-Kessel (via Planet Debian) for the tip.

Replication and extension

An anonymous commenter on the rumor mills posted a link to, which seems like a semi-promising attempt to create a service that partially bridges the gap between online job listing sites and credentials services like Interfolio.

To my mind, the ideal site would function more-or-less like Interfolio from the candidate’s point of view: you submit a virtual “packet” for each job, which can be accessed by the receiving department as a web page, an email with every item in the packet as an attachment, or (for departments in the dark ages) a paper file sent to the department.

Indeed, Interfolio functions like this now, but hardly any political science departments are registered to receive packets on there (only one job I applied for last year, at New College of Florida, accepted electronic applications via Interfolio). My expectation is that will have similar problems achieving buy-in from departments, as would any political science equivalent not coordinated by APSA.

Meanwhile, APSA‘s eJobs system has about 80% of the needed infrastructure, but as far as I can tell the association has no interest in saving job candidates and departments time and money by finishing the job, even though I’m sure they could get people on the market to pony up $50+ a year for such a service.