Monday, February 12, 2007

Tweaking Brausch' Munius Article Moderation Script

The James D. Brausch Munius Article Directory Software PHP scripts are a pretty slick article gathering mechanism to get content from others for your e-commerce or other website. But there are few rough edges, necessitating a few tweaks I've found desirable.

Update 2009-06-18: I no longer am an affiliate for this product, and no longer recommend it.

One if them was derived as follows: When a contributor submits an article, he is supposed to select an appropriate category from the drop-down "Article Category" select menu on the submission form. But generally, they just leave it as whatever your default is -- usually just "General".

Then, when you go to moderate, and you want to accept the article, and want to put it into a more appropriate category, you have to manually type something in. I don't know about you, but my memory is not so good, so I don't necessarily remember exactly all the category items and their spellings. (If you type in a category incorrectly, it won't show in any category to users -- only to you in moderation mode.) Anyway, I figured I needed a drop-down select menu in the moderating (article reviewing) page.

Browsing around the Munius scripts, I found the menu for contributors in "submitarticle.php". (Lines 21-37 of the original Brausch script I have.)

Copying that into "reviewarticle.php" and making a few modifications to that gets and displays what the contributor originally selected, then allows you/me (moderator) to select either that or a new category. (The code linked to below replaces lines 42-45 of the original Brausch script in "reviewarticle.php".)

See for the code.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Brausch Closes Comments on His Blog

James D. Brausch has closed comments (disabled comments) on his blog.

Too much "spam" he says. Cutting into his bottom line to handle comments. He could have implemented the squiggly letters 'challenge and response' that many sites use (including this one). That prevents automated posts or comments and provides a small but surmountable barrier for real people to deal with to see if they really themselves think their post or comment is that important.

But this is just a symptom of Brausch's attitude. He has some good stuff, I think. At least it sounds good. But while I have implemented much, no change in my bottom line. At least so far, after several months. But he is not interested in anyone's opinions or suggestions or questions, (at least those that are challenging) so cutting off comments is a logical step for him.

His attitude towards comments is an extension of his attitude towards customer service. Which is that since there is never a problem with his products or documentation, if you have a question, you are obviously an idiot; so go away.