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Subject: Post your e-mail address safely with your own CAPTCHA - *no* programming needed

Written By: Tommy Turtle on 11/16/09 at 12:52 am

Some writers like to post their email address with their songs and/or bio. I don't, because automated programs ("spambots", "spiders", "web crawlers", etc.) are continually scanning the entire Web, and some record e-mail addresses that can then be used by spammers.

Fortunately, there is a free and easy way (*no* programming knowledge required) to hide your e-mail with your own personal CAPTCHA, much like the Security Codes in the Comments box, but even stronger: The user must type *two* whole words correctly to reveal your e-mail. Since I started using this, I've been able to post my protected e-mail address without seeing any increase in spam.

This is a public service started by the prestigious Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. You are doing a further public service: The words shown are from books that are being made available online. Present computerized Optical Character Readers (OCR) are not 100% accurate, so the transcriptions may not come out right. Your readers' transcriptions of the CAPTCHA words make for a perfect rendition from book to Internet version.

It's this easy: Go to:

In the box under "Protect an email address", enter your full e-mail address in the box. (Don't forget the part after "@"!)

Click "Protect it!"

New boxes open:

"URL" (ignore this)

"HTML Code" (that's the one!)

Copy and paste the gibberish-looking HTML code to any text document. In Windows, Notepad and Wordpad work just fine, and are fast to open. Note the scroll bar -- be sure to copy the *entire* code block in the window. Save it conveniently near where you keep your songs. It will look something like this:

tomm<a href="hxxp://!@#$%^&*(){}|:"ZXCVBNM<M=" onclick="'hxxp://', '', 'toolbar=0,scrollbars=0,location=0,statusbar=0,menubar=0,resizable=0,width=500,height=300'); return false;" title="Reveal this e-mail address">...</a>

(I changed a few of the characters for my own privacy, and to make the links non-functional.)

To make your e-mail address available safely to humans (and turtles 8) ),just copy and paste the code from the text document where you saved it, into the "Bottom Comments" box of the "Song Parody Lyrics -> Submission Form"  I usually first type, "E-mail:", then paste the code after that, to give readers a heads-up that that is what the next thing is.  So it looks like this, as it has at the bottom of all of my songs for quite a while:

E-mail: (That is what it *looks like*. This is not an actual live link.)

All that the readers have to do is click the blue-underlined dots, then type the two Captcha words. Your full email address is then shown.

This will work in any other site that allows users to post HTML code. However, most sites do *not* allow user-posted HTML, because of the danger of a user posting malicious code. Most forums that allow instant posting of comments, including this one, use BBCode, which is different from HTML, and safer. Since all of our song submissions are reviewed by editors before being posted, they have a chance to intercept scumbags who would post evil code, and so can allow this instance of HTML.

If you have any problems, well, -- e-mail me  ;)  (or PM). Cheers to all!

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