Deleting spam comments from
WordPress MySQL database

Even if server space is not expensive, it pays to massage the MySQL database back-end of WordPress from time to time.
One example of this is deleting entries for spam comments.

The WordPress blogging system relies on the free MySQL database, which stores the information needed to link all posts to images and themes. Images are stored separately in a folder called ‘uploads’: < root >/wp-content/uploads, where < root > is the directory path on the server to the WordPress installation.

The database stores all words typed or copy-pasted into WordPress, including all comments.

Continue reading “Deleting spam comments from
WordPress MySQL database”

Deleting spam comments fromWordPress MySQL database

Even if server space is not expensive, it pays to massage the MySQL database back-end of WordPress from time to time.
One example of this is deleting entries for spam comments.

The WordPress blogging system relies on the free MySQL database, which stores the information needed to link all posts to images and themes. Images are stored separately in a folder called ‘uploads’: < root >/wp-content/uploads, where < root > is the directory path on the server to the WordPress installation.

The database stores all words typed or copy-pasted into WordPress, including all comments.

Continue reading “Deleting spam comments fromWordPress MySQL database”

Presentation lessons learnt?

INN331 – Management Issues for Information Professionals

WEEK EIGHT: Ruining presentation design.

qut-presentation

MAKING a presentation is a moral act as well as an intellectual activity. The use of corrupt manipulations and blatant rhetorical ploys in a report or presentation-outright lying, flagwaving, personal attacks, setting up phony alternatives, misdirection, jargon-mongering, evading key issues, feigning disinterested objectivity, willful misunderstanding of other points of view-suggests that the presenter lacks both credibility and evidence. To maintain standards of quality, relevance, and integrity for evidence, consumers of presentations should insist that presenters be held intellectually and ethically responsible for what they show and tell. Thus consuming a presentation is also an intellectual and a moral activity.

(Tufte, 2006, p. 141.)

The brief initially called for a 12 slide presentation of (no more than) 20 seconds talk for each slide to comprise a complete presentation in four minutes. The brief did not mention the requirement for a slide of references, but subsequent questions and answers resulted in a definitive ruling that such a slide had to be incorporated.

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Gullibility 2.0 for degree 2.0

INN332 – Information Retrieval

WEEK FOUR: Liturgy on social media technology.

the-mountebank

Trying to make sense of readings that attempt to evangelise the marketing term ‘web 2.0’ re-tasked as ‘library 2.0’ for an LIS agenda in the QUT IT Master’s programme is no easy task. The information and knowledge management literature is quite short on history and critical analysis.
However, it is possible to trace the 2.0 terminology to decade-old Silicon Valley snake oil, and its evolution into library 2.0 as disappointingly vacuous nonsense from which the only beneficiaries are software vendors and those academics who publish papers about the topic.

So how did the conflation of web 2.0 with library 2.0 come about?

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Rationalisations for inertia

INN332 – Information Retrieval

WEEK FOUR: Liturgy on social media technology.

reference-desk

The Whatley & Collard paper reiterates information I am already acquainted with via INN533: that library users typically don’t know how to use search tools to their best advantage. So, OK. What can be done about it? Whatley & Collard don’t really have any revelatory insights, apparently implying only that reference librarians are needed to explain stuff to idiots. Not a terribly sophisticated proposition.

It seems that adding detailed help files and how-tos is not a preferred option, even if it seems the most obvious one to me, and certainly my preferred option; I’s much rather read written instructions on using search engines than having to wait for a reference librarian to be available and on my wavelength. But I suppose I’m in a minority here.

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The blurry future of information organisation

INN533 – Information Organisation

WEEK TEN: Reflections on user-generated content in library catalogues.

It is difficult to recognise in hashtagged tweets a potential to assist with information management.

Even the gadget blog, Gizmodo, is openly contemptuous of the content of most tweets, with Biddle referring to them as ‘frivolous gestures’ made as a ‘lazy reach for substance in the personal void’ (2011, paras. 6, 9), and Chan republishing cutting satire by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake (2013).

One has to wonder whether Chang and Iyer allowed their enthusiasm to blind them to the meaning of their own words, ‘that taggers seem to encounter less cognitive overhead’ (p. 251). If cognitive overhead is a euphemism for thoughtfulness, can its absence be turned into its presence just by ontological contortions and software aggregation?

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Cats and dogs, but not much else

INN533 – Information Organisation

WEEK FOUR: Reflections on council websites and pets.

Often we find that an existing system has been built as a monolithic solution that jumbles the raw plumbing of the system with the business process and the user interface. Unfortunately this leads to a brittle solution that can’t evolve with new user interfaces, new underlying systems, or new business realities.

– McManus (2000), para. 2.

In making brief assessments about Melbourne, Hobart and Perth city council websites, seen through the user journey of looking for information on pets, it becomes clear that city size, and therefore budget, is a principal factor in how much attention has been paid to user experience and interaction design, formal information architecture, and flexibility of access.

Unfortunately, for the council examples, this appears to reveal an inverse relationship with the planning and execution stages outlined by Garrett (2000, 2010), where usability considerations were excluded at the outset and information organisation and retrieval structures have become rigidly tied to portfolio and management focuses rather than those of users.

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The ‘Met’ experiment

INN533 – Information Organisation

WEEK TWO: Reflections on a user journey.

Observing a search effort by M. Stevens attempting to locate information about a work in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”) confirmed for me the main themes of the foundational readings for INN533. The Met online search function is limited to text and curatorial categories, no “advanced” search functionality, and no “help” section explaining how to search. Stevens, not an expert in art or search technology, faced what I regarded as a serious challenge in locating the print and information on it, working only from an untitled digital copy (figure 1).

Figure 1: the image for which more information was being sought.  Honoré Daumiere's 'The Connoisseur', c. 1860-1865.
Figure 1: the image for which more information was being sought. Honoré Daumiere’s ‘The Connoisseur’, c. 1860-1865.

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Day zero: reaching equilibrium

You could argue the toss whether the cold, wet winter’s evening in Brisbane on Monday, 22 July, could be legitimately counted as part of the ‘user experience’ for my first lecture in my MA programme – INN533: Information Organization – and if so, whether it improved matters or not. After all, a hot sticky night have had as many pros and cons as its opposite. What I can tell you is that, following in the footsteps of Max Weber, Herbert Marcuse, and Jürgen Habermas, I think there’s a whole range of salient factors in developing a critique, and that nevertheless doesn’t preclude the possibility that there are no right or wrong answers.

The late notification of the lecture’s nature, the ambiguity of the language used in the notification, the mention of a physical lecture hall, and the fact that I was not alone in misreading the instructions, made me realise quite sharply that things were not going to meet my expectations. The lecture was to be virtual, conducted across the ether, and via some dodgy Java application called Blackboard Collaborate.

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