I integrated a new scimitar into my weapons rack of anti-spam measure: Project Honeypot, which is a crowdsourced database of malicious IP addresses. It looks like this has around a 70% crossover with my other main repository of bad actors, CleanTalk, which is nice.
Take a look at the work it’s done so far:
There’s still a lot of work I need to do here. There are some complex and fun things I can do with figuring out placement or using some ML-adjacent things, but I’m talking table stakes level programming, like if
Malicious Actor Foo uses
firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and then some other IP address also tries using
email@example.com I immediately recognize that other IP address as malicious.
Fighting spam is equal parts gratifying and exhausting. It feels Sisyphean at times; there is no reward except for peace, and there is no constant finish line. But I’m realizing that the spam-fighting / list-quality business is more valuable and lucrative than I had originally realized — there are businesses like Bounceless that sell a high-margin version of what I provide for free.
I was poking around StaticKit’s documentation and stumbled upon their JSFiddle repository, which is just a really smart and obvious-in-retrospect idea. I want to carve out some time in the next week or so to yoink this for Buttondown; I get a lot of questions about how to format and create embedded forms, and while some blog posts have snippets this is such a beautiful and sensible way of collecting things.
When I was first creating Buttondown, I spent a lot of time going through other apps’ flows and docs and settings pages as a sort of lazy cohort research: it was fun and gratifying to see how other developers solved the same problems I was thinking about. I’ve been doing that less and less lately.
Part of it, sure, is confidence — I am much more secure in what the Buttondown way of doing a given thing is now than I was two years ago.
But the ecosystem is changing and evolving so rapidly (like, you know, an ecosystem is oft to do.). I’m gonna start trying to be a little more methodical about actively researching in 2020; keeping tabs on how people (especially in the dev-focused and indie/bootstrapper spaces) do and think about things is definitely an area of atrophy.
I’m headed to SF this week. My partner is getting ready for DreamForce, and I am dutifully tagging along.
I go to SF a handful of times for work every year, and I’ve realized that I cannot get anything done when I’m traveling outside of business hours. I used to feel guilty about it — it’s 5pm! the day is young! why don’t I have more energy! — and now I’ve just accepted it as a fact of life. There will be lots of nice seaside views and books (I’m bringing On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and The Power Broker) and hopefully, if I play my cards right, time for a couple easy commits.
(Plus emails. I am woefully behind on emails the past week or so.)