A while ago, I got an e-mail from an AOL dude(tte), bringing to my knowledge that the feedback form on the contact page was being used by the scum of the Earth (a.k.a. “spammers”) to send out bulk e-mail (forged headers and all that shit). The dude(tte) was also kind enough to suggest a solution, which was very simple and seems to have been working very well (I did implement it right away, naturally).
The only drawback being that, in order to thwart the spam bots, the solution consists in adding a “required” field that asks for more than the usual user interaction, namely the action of using the mouse to select an item from a pulldown
option list, action which, so far, can’t be simulated by the majority of spam bots out there.
Hence the “Location” field has been added, with a list of countries and Japanese cities, requiring you to use the mouse to select one of the options in that pulldown list and —needless to say— simultaneously thwarting any attempt of a spam bot to send mail through that form.
I am aware that this might be a little bit of an annoyance, especially when not using a mouse or any other pointing device, but believe me, if I had any other choice —as simple and easy to implement as this one— I would’ve picked it.
I don’t really have a need to know wherefrom my clients or readers ar sending mail —most of the time they’re telling me anyway and when they don’t, it’s not very difficult to guess— and I don’t use that information in any way (except, maybe, to mind my spelling of “colo(u)rs” and stuff like that :)) so, basically, the only purpose of that location field is to keep away spammers.
I could’ve used anything else —like, “how’s the weather there?”, “do you believe in Magneto/Jesus/Orcs/Anakin Skywalker?” or any other pick-your-poison–like thing— but, if I do have to bother people with an additional click-scroll-click, I figured that I should at least find something that has some meaning and might come in handy one way or another…
So that’s the story of that new “Location” field; sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for reading this.