On Blog Makeovers and Human Computation

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The blog needed a bit of a face lift. I stole J's handwriting [and his banner idea], and this is what we ended up with. Oh, and I added some floating hair of mine, in neon green. You know, the usual stuff.

I took this opportunity to add my blog email address to the front page, as shown in the above image, so now you guys don't have to click through to my Blogger profile as before. However, in order to avoid spam bots sniffing out my email address, I decided to use reCAPTCHA's mailhide. You've all seen CAPTCHAs before (the fuzzy letters you have to type to make blog comments), and a reCAPTCHA is a similar thing except it helps digitize books through human computation (think Amazon's Mechanical Turk). You can find more information on the reCAPTCHA website, but basically, you type a CAPTCHA word and a fuzzy word from a poorly scanned book, which helps the New York Times and Google Books identify words they could not automatically decipher on their own. Typing these two words gives you access to my email address, while protecting me from spammers.

reCAPTCHA offers its mailhide service for free, here, so you can add it to your own blog/website/propaganda too.

A sample reCAPTCHA.

Hopefully your annoyance over ~10 extra keystrokes will be pacified by knowing that you're contributing to the knowledge of mankind. Yeah, profound.


mina said...

That's such a good idea. It's so lame that you can't post your email online without getting all kinds of spam.

Thanks for sharing your blog link with me and thanks for reading ours!

kelli ann said...

love the new design :)

Sick by Trend said...

hey! so cool! thanks for sharing and great blog! I'm following!

Look my blog and if you like it, follow me!




Julie said...

Congrats on your blog make-over! It looks great. Love your green hair silhouette!

Kris said...

I love the new design and the recapture email feature is really cool!

J. said...

Great new design, especially the green hair!! And, thanks so much for the mojito gelato tips! I was ready to drive straight to the strip when I read that haha! Happy Easter!

h said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! I, too, think my blog looks a lot better. This design thing is very much an iterative process!

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