Ragazzi… Thanks for the GREAT response to the last article. I was in a dreadful mood on Saturday (see below for the reason) and admit my writing may have been a bit, how shall I put it, intemperate. But your responses really cheered me up.
There were lots of comments, forum posts, and even personal e-mails (one guy wrote explaining that he hadn’t logged in for a while because he’d been ill, and asking me to please not delete him. Get well soon, mate.)
As promised, we have cleared out members who did not log-in this year, and deleted everyone from the mailing list who did not open any of the mails sent in 2013. We don’t want to spam anyone. You have to really want to read this stuff!
Anyway, just a word today on the process of becoming a member of OnlineItalianClub.com (If you got deleted, click here to join up again and access our free Italian courses.)
I’m currently getting between thirty and fifty automatic spam registrations EVERY DAY.
Certain naughty people sell software designed to enable other, even naughtier people, to automatically register hundreds of times for sites like ours.
When spam registrations are completed, the software (or maybe other software, but who cares?) can then automatically fill forums and blog-post comments with links to sites containing malware or selling all sorts of crap that normal people like you and I would not want to buy.
Once I worked this out, with the help of John our enthusiastic volunteer, I installed a wonderful plug-in which e-mails me a message each time someone tries to register.
Then I get to log in myself, and press “approve” or “deny” against each of the user registration requests. You can imagine how pleasing this is. Naturally, if I’m in a meeting, at lunch or on the toilet, there might therefore be a short delay in approving your registration.
Most of the spam users are easy to spot. They have names like: Dandariadrymn Dandariadrymn or Deslavir Deslavir.
That’s not a very impressive piece of software, is it? Who the hell has first and second names which are exactly the same?
But at least one of the bad people out there has got cleverer and we’re now being hit by a flood of spam regs. with “real-sounding” names, such as Cristina Joyce.
Welcome, Cristina, to our club. We hope you love the free Italian courses!
Except of course that Cristina’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org (try Googling the domain – it’s one of those fake sites designed to part the credulous from their money. But please don’t click on anything, and definitely don’t buy anything. These are NAUGHTY people.)
Conclusion? If you’re a real person, step right in and join the fun. But if it’s night in Italy, don’t be surprised if the door stays shut until breakfast time.
If, on the other hand, your name is johnsmith johnsmith, do be aware that there’s a chance your membership request may be denied.
In which case, and assuming you really do want to learn Italian, rather than just sell fake shoes or drugs, please send me an e-mail from your mother explaining the name choice and I will be happy to reconsider. My e-mail is at the bottom of this page.
P.S. Don’t forget, Federica will be busy answering your questions about Italian in the forums each afternoon this week from 14.30 to 16.30 (Central European Time). So get over there and ask her something. Let’s see if we can catch her out with a difficult question about the congiuntivo, or something.
Or if you want to “chat” with me, leave a comment on this post.
Oh, and for any advanced students amongst you, the C1-2 level of Italian Workout! launches next week for the usual launch price of €9.99. Teachers who would like a free review copy, please contact me with your bona fides.