Registration and you, aka “Now’s the time to speak up”

BFB has grown. And with that growth has come complexities, in the form of spam and their attendant spambots and trolls who, frankly, sully the mess outta what we’re trying to achieve and preserve here.

It used to be that people could just show up, enter a screen name/e-mail (which didn’t even have to be a real address) and post away. That became a problem, which led to the intermittent outages many of us have noticed, thanks to (as I understand it) the onslaught of the spambots.

Then came Captcha, which is universally reviled. I hate it, my mom hates it, her mom hates it and so does her cat. Even a simple, 4-character Captcha sometimes malfunctions and when it does, bye bye comment. Not cool. So the matter of registration is under discussion. And when you’re done thinking great thoughts, go and laugh some more at Isaiah’s rockin’ hilarious Banquillo.

Those of you who use message boards already know about registration. But essentially, here’s everything (I think) that you will need to know about registration:

Everyone will be allowed to register. This is a space for one and all, no exceptions or exclusions. You can even not be Catalan, and over the age of 14 wtih no direct family members related to you and/or fond of squirrels.

Registration isn’t a done deal. If the family is overwhelmingly against it, we will consider other alternatives. But as it stands, we have two (actually, three) options:

1. No Captcha, which means spam, bots and the inevitable server overload/crash/no BFB joy.

2. Captcha, the present system.

3. Registration, in which you use your e-mail/screen name to in effect sign in to the site, after which point you can post away. This also means no more **//(link) skullduggery. πŸ˜€ You’re registered, so you can post links that won’t go into moderation and whatnot.

Registration isn’t a form of control, or punishment. People are allowed to be free thinkers now. That won’t change one iota. FYI, we can ban people now if we choose, via IP address. We haven’t used that option, because that isn’t what this space is about. I know that some have speculated that users will be banned for disagreeing with the mods and whatnot, which is madness. Never. Never in a million years, or for however long never is, will that be allowed to happen.

Registration will affect the number of comments. A simple fact is that people who aren’t planning to stay at a site for any length of time won’t bother to register. I know, because I am that way. On the up side, no more posts from people with screen names such as Barcelonablows or ****messi, and no aggressively hostile screeds from people who just want to foment nastiness. Now they can register and post those hostile screeds, it must be said. But then the user has to have a real e-mail address, and if things get too far out of hand, a note from a mod might be in order. On the down side, our glory-making stats will go down, because …. well …. not any all and everybody can just show up and post.

Registration will make the place easier to manage. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a case might arise where a user is so aggressively hostile and disruptive that they might need to be put on time out. But I can’t think of a situation up until now where that would have happened, to put things in some perspective. The family is very effective at self-management, and I see no reason for that to change.

The space will not function any differently. Just as you enter a handle/e-mail address now to post, you will need to enter one to post with registration. But once you’re signed in, that’s that. I must add that I’m not sure about avatars, but I don’t see any reason that those should change or go away.

So I think that about covers it all. Any questions, worries, suggestions and concerns should be aired. Part of why this space is what it is and feels how it feels is because everybody matters. And that will never change.

Categorized as Thoughts

By Kxevin

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Puyol is out and Pique suspended. Thankfully, Milito has been passed fit and ready to play. Jeffren is also back and cleared by the medicos.

    1. they said fontas would play against levante, but it was bartra who practiced with the team today, not fontas.

  2. I failed to notice ANY cons to the registration?

    Think Milito or Fontas will start vs Levante. I say Fontas given Madrid’s 8-0, and Maxwell at LB.

    Ah I need a nap.

  3. Registration still works for me. Thanks for the post anyway, Kxevin. Clear and concise.

    However, don’t think that it’ll mean the total disappearance of unwanted arrivals. As an admin on our school’s online forums the email requests for new accounts come to me for activation. We only open registration at certain times to allow students to register but in that window of a couple of days I’ll get about 40 + requests for me to activate accounts from such worthies as “Viagrauser” πŸ™‚

  4. +1 for the registration.
    I promise I will be more active. I have been around since theoffside and pep’s old place, under the name Jazzy. Somebody took my name there so I change it.
    If I register I’ll just put my real nick name.. πŸ˜€
    Sorry if there are some grammatical error. English is not my first language. :p

    1. No worries, Bebop. Sometimes English isn’t MY first language either, even though it is, technically. πŸ˜€

  5. I can only see one downfall of registration. Every once in a while when a post goes up that has another teams name (I’m thinking specifically Arsenal) after wading through the usual deluge of nonsense I find a genuinely interesting and well thought out comment from an infrequent visitor. However, when I compare the frequency of that to the normal nonsense we get in those situations, I personally think that registration would be helpful.

    My main questions are:
    1. How would we be approved for registration? Would it be a moderator who approved applicants, or would it be copying and pasting a code sent to our email? I only wonder because an unregistered person may have a pertinent comment that they want to share, and it would be a shame if they had to wait to post it until it was no longer pertinent, and because of that decided not to post as a result.
    2. Would we be able to remain signed in? Many websites have that little box you can check that keeps you signed in. That would be awesome because frankly… I’m lazy.

    On a side note, I don’t believe you would need to be registered to participate in the liveblog. Not sure how that will affect things, but I figured I would throw that out there.

    Finally, I don’t mind the CAPTCHA too much, but I’m generally in favor of making the blog easier to run. I also hope it will generally cut down on some of the… unfortunate posts that have been popping up from time to time.

  6. I’m all for registration instead of Captcha.

    However, I want to comment on one thing. I used to follow an Arsenal Blog when I first started keeping up with Football/soccer but I never commented because I would need to register. Found BFB and was immediately drawn in by the quality of posts (the other blog was full of jerks and pretty negative) and also by the fact that I could be involved just by putting my name and email address. I have since stopped keeping up with the other blog because this one is so much better. (I also like Barca much more than Arsenal)

    Would it be possible to have registration and also use Captcha for those just dropping by or looking for a place to call home? It might use too many resources, and if that was the case then go with the registration all the way. This sight is so simple and It wouldn’t be hard to figure out

    1. This last paragraph is exactly my feeling as well. I am in favour of registration as a way of cutting out spam and making the mods’ lives easier, but it would be a shame if it stops the casual user/drop-in visitor from posting. Even Arsenal/RM supporters have made some excellent posts and started interesting discussions, and I would hate to lose that. If there is a way we can keep the CAPTCHA code for “guest” commentators to use, that would be great.

    2. Would a category of “awaiting moderation” maybe help this type of situation ? Anyone unregistered could post but the comment would have to be cleared. Then the mods could decide if it was contributing to the discussion or not. That doesn’t mean that dissenting voices would be deleted – merely that the trolls would be kept out. On the other hand, that would be a heap of work at some points of the season.

    3. Yeah, I think that would make too much work for our dear mods. Well, let’s wait and see what they say about it.

  7. A little news to brighten your day.

    Apparently everyone and their mother wants to get them some Thiago. However, Barcelona is planning on offering the young thug (thanks Ramzi) a five year deal with promotion planned for next summer (according to MD). My instinct says he stays.

    Who knows what’s happening with Nolito. News has gone from an agreed deal to Benfica, but he is now saying he has an offer for the first team from Barcelona. My instinct says he goes.

    1. This is a win-win he’s clearly not ready. He’d get some appearances and what not, but by next summer he’d be a role player..

      Who knows though, maybe in those appearances he shines and earns a real callup, not an incentive-based callup.

  8. Yes, YEs and YES to the registration. Will make this place a lot more civilised since trolls dont usually register. Can you imagine a space where the mention of Cesc doesnt bring a horde of angry Arsenal trolls!?!?!

    Plus I think it will bring back a few of the more regular posters who seem to be posting less these days (myself included) simply because of the amount of trash that is unfortunately frequenting this great blog.

    Plus, Captcha sucks!!!

  9. Regarding the game… considering recent form I think Abidal and Fontas at CB and Alves/Maxwell fullbacks. Thats pretty solid.

  10. I am all for registration. For a community like ours, which is going to be here to stay for most of us for years, registration is perfect.

    With smart browsers, even u/n and p/w is not a problem anymore.

    Levante will be interesting. Theoretically we should easily win but practically, people have been on holiday and the fitness regime would be focussed to get players at peak two months down the line and not today. I do think we will win, maybe 3-0.

  11. +1 for the registration too!

    Actually, how about if we can just connect an account from twitter, facebook, google, etc?

    1. I’m not an IT guy myself so I won’t be able to offer you any technical knowledge and advice on how to set it up. Perhaps you should contact their administrator for help. I’m suggesting this simply as an option to consider., (as a sample)

      In short, the commenter needs to register (pending an approval after a trial period, not sure if “we” need that detail here) and log in to the website.

      It can be done through a user name or a facebook account for an example.

      The main difference is the ability to edit the post even after it has been posted for a while (for typos, clarifications etc).

      The commenting box on the tread is smaller. To me, this is more visually appealing. It allows to follow the multiple-post discussion easier.

  12. i like trolls. i’d never respond to any of there nonsense but i loved seeing them get under some people’s skin.


  13. barcastuff, ofcourse: “Tweet Luis Enrique: ‘In the end, we’ll play on 2 Jan at 5pm at the Canary Islands. It will be my 100th game as coach. My god, time flies!'”

    1. But it is broke, momo. That’s the problem. All of the Web crap necessitates this measure. We’d all love to have it be wide-open, like it was back in the day. But alas, that just isn’t possible any longer.

  14. Apparently, the IT gods say registration is all-in. There can’t be a more casual level of commenting, or one that sends a comment to moderation.

    Also, the registration is automatic, rather than having to wait for mod approval.

    1. Does that mean no Captcha for guests?

      I like the registration idea, but I would also like to allow casual posters to comment via other regulatory means. But in tge end if it is either or then I choose registration.

  15. Kevin, how much information do we need to supply for registration? I know that I’m somewhat wary of what I put “out there” and this may also scare the more casual contributor that we want, as well as the trolls that we don’t.

    1. I’m guessing just your chosen screen name, your real name a valid email address and a chosen password, soccermum. Anything else would be optional (like country of origin?)

  16. Important Point:

    -Will the registration remember the ID/pass/email etc? Because if it doesn’t then there’s absolutely no point in doing in. The main reason everyone hates CAPTCHA is because you have to type in 4 letters. If we are already too lazy to type it in and the registration does not remember our IDs then it will be an absolute disaster.

    This plus, the fact that passer by-s won’t be able to comment that easily and simply makes the registration much likable to me.
    Until, we get more clarification to the question in the para above, I disagree with the registration idea.

    1. Any board with registration that I’ve been on always remembers my login details if I set it to, Eklavya. Agreed that if it didn’t it would be a close call. However, I’m hearing what the admins are saying about the amount of work in keeping this site clear of spam and in the end I don’t want this to be too much of a chore for them.

      Imo, its a rare passer by that adds a lot to our discussions anyway and I’d hope that the one or two who have had something sensible to say in the past might take the time to register. I’ve just registered on a Line 6 guitar amp board and it’s only a passing interest I have. I guess it’s mainly CL traffic with us and we know what most of them are going to say anyway.

    1. That’s no issue.. You don’t have to fill in your name/email every time you comment do you? If you have a browser that accepts cookies, then its done..

  17. Off topic—does anyone know where
    I can watch the 6-2 Clasico? thanks to Jnice, I’ve finally seen the final in Rome and I guess I’m greedy for more.

    1. KARI!!!!! What would I do w/out you and Jnice!

      Just for this, I’m hoping Cuddly starts on Sunday (just for you! ;D).

    2. Okay, seriously, THANK YOU so much for this link. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to watch this Clasico for ages now, and this link is hugely helpful.

  18. If I know the wordpress registration plugin, its quite simple to register.. There’s no waiting period (usually I think i.e. the moderator may have rights to bar some people from registering, but I think its not the case with THIS wordpress blog) and you have the option to bar people who haven’t registered from posting..

    It’s a simple yet a bit stifling way to prevent spam, as many people are turned off by registration.. Keep in mind there are a lot of lurkers here (yeah YOU guys, I know you’re reading this :P) I hope it doesn’t discourage the budding Hectors and Eulers from contributing to the blog..

    For the regulars here I feel that it’ll be like a godsend.. Imagine not having to put * or what have you to put a link!

  19. I’m down with registration if it means spam and trolls are kept out, but I have similar misgivings as the others in that I also want lurkers, casual fans, newbies etc. to be free to comment. Also agree with Eklavya re: saved ID/email/passward

  20. I’m down with registration.

    We might lose some of the lurkers and opposing fans, but it seems to me that overall the pros outweigh the cons, so I have no qualms.

  21. Also, this shouldn’t mess up being able to comment through Smartphones/iPhones etc.

    But if registration actually happens then no one can ever ever ever say that this blog doesn’t do as asked!

    1. T’will be just as easy (easier) via smartphone. Those of us who are fond of Opera Mini have to switch between screens to enter the Captcha. Sometimes, the site doesn’t like that, and it hoses the comment.

  22. Yep, the only information you’ll have to divulge won’t be much. And unfortunately (I feel you all on the casual posters and lurkers), there isn’t any way for the unregistered to post. But as those of you who are familiar with blogs and message boards know, registering takes about 30 seconds.

    And yes this one, like any registration system worth a dang, will remember your data.

  23. I think 99% of the great posts come from the users that will register while that 1% of great posts come from people just dropping by/ fans of other teams ex: those guys from monchismen, RM fans and a few Arsenal fans too. Every now and then they make good posts leading to interesting discussions. However 99% of the “bad posts” are from those who post once. I feel that registration is a necessary sacrifice for this place provided that this community always remains self moderated and the mods taking action VERY rarely as that is the charm of this place.

    From my experience of other forums such as Barcaforum, FCbarcelonaweb and Xtratime the fans of other teams do register just for a post or two as well and half of the time they are likely to stick around as well.

    So I’m in full favour of the registration which hopefully encourages old timers like Hector and Kamikaze kontiki etc. to return as well.

    1. i agree, cesc pistol. i was thinking about the same thing. outside opinions are valuable, but if they really want their great opinion heard (from us at least), all we are asking is one step more. it may end up discouraging a lot of passerbys, but, like you said, good posts will find their way to good space. and i believe a good space such as here will remain just as great if not better.

      i will support you guys (all bfb staff) like i support the club. so, go for whatever you guys think is right.

  24. about registration:
    I’m too new here to have much of a say, and too clueless about blogs to contribute much to the discussion, so I’ll just go with the concensus (and be happy I have someplace to discuss my addiction).

  25. But, but…if we get rid of all the trolls, there won’t be any inspiration for posts like this epic moment of genius from SoMa:



    No, I’m really OK with registration. Whatever happens, I’ll still be here.

  26. I agree with most of the comments above. I haven’t been able to be as vocal as I would like due to some professional endeavors and my resigning from the iReports, but this blog is in my top five sites across the entire web, and whatever maintains the solidarity of this community, I support.

    visca el barca

  27. Tribalfooball- full of shit should never be read, what a website made of horseshit, it pisses me off no end.

    Haven’t been around for a while for pure festive reasons but thats just how i roll. Lets just hope Sundays game goes ahead.

  28. looks like registration is favored at the moment, but it seems like lots of commenters haven’t shared their opinions yet. Where are you guys?

  29. I am personally all for registration. It would be cool if we could have small basic profiles so we could all learn about different members of the community and connect in different ways even outside of BFB. might be cool, maybe not. i think registration would just make this community even more close-knit and even cooler. just my opinion though.

  30. Apologies to anyone being caught out by Captcha this evening. Twice, I got a “Cannot read Captcha token file” error message. I imagine I’m not the only one.

    Registration, judging from the comments, will be a go. Soon. We’ll keep one and all apprised of when and how, so no worries.

    On another note, we’re going to be looking to expand the BFB Team, so anyone with a hankerin’ to see how the heat feels in the kitchen can reach out to us via Obviously, because of the high standards that you folks drive us to, any additions will be made with those standards in mind. I don’t think you all would have it any other way.

    But you shouldn’t feel shy, since if I progressed from being a know-nothing commenter at The Offside to a know-nothing blogger, anyone can. πŸ˜€

    1. what are you looking for though kxevin?
      editors? writers ? people who will offer ideas for expanding specific posts ? people who will deal with pictures/videos around here?

    2. We’ll see who raises their hand and what they bring to the table, mei. Nothing specific in mind.

  31. I’m indifferent, this is still the number 1 barcelona site I go to for “opinions” and this wont change that

  32. lets do registration. i think there is a general consensus on this, which i feel is awesome. hope everyone is looking forward to the new year. visca barca!

  33. well,well,well did anyone see the interview cesc gave at the arsenal channel…?is the guy paving his way to madrid or something ? *utterly pissed*
    via barcastuff
    # Cesc: “Without Song, Arshavin, vanPersie, Gallas and me, we could have gone 2-0 up in the 2nd leg when the referee wrongly blew for offside” about 8 hours ago via TweetDeck

    # Cesc: “We had a good comeback in the 1st leg from 2-0 down, and we could have made it 3-2 but we were playing with 10 men after my injury.”

    1. I’m surprised you’re the only one to see this, when I saw it last night I was like is he freaking serious? I like Cesc, I always have.. a bit of a softie but still.

      But this is just wow. I don’t even remember the “wrong offsides” to be honest. And didn’t his PK come in the 88th or so? So in 2 minutes he’s guaranteeing a goal if he doesn’t go off? I still am not 100% sure it was a PK I think maybe for interference because Fab kicked Puyol no? Memory is hazy.

      Happy new years everyone!

      P.S. When I hit reply, my screen scrolls up near the top. Make it so it stays put and I don’t have to scroll down to type πŸ˜€

    2. If you have a manager that is delusional, it’s no surprise players come out saying things like this.

      I’m not surprised.

  34. I support the registration.

    One question – I love seeing insightful comments from from other club fans because it’s really nice when you hear about your favorite club from an arsenal fan, etc. True, probably 90% of the them are trolls but are we willing to leave the other 10% (the bunch that bring in really great comments – I’ve seen them here on numerous occasions) out because of them?

    Will the the idea of registering on a barcelona based forum keep them away? – when all they want to do is comment or give us a different perspective on one of our posts?

  35. What’s your take on this design?


    P.S. I’m cool both with captcha and reg.

    1. I’d say given that that “leaked” design seems to be most prominent these days, that’s probably the one. I think it’s kind of cool, but will be made ugly by the Qatar Foundation logo on the chest, so I won’t buy or wear it.

      I did, however, just pick up a couple of the Authentics, one vanilla, one fully tricked out with Xavi’s name/number, FIFA Club Champs and TV3 badges.

      It should be noted that no, I am not a fan of Xavi or any player, but I wanted the shirt, so I’ll deal with it.

    2. “It should be noted that no, I am not a fan of Xavi or any player, but I wanted the shirt, so I’ll deal with it.”

      That’s probably why I respect your take on issues. Your a club guy, not a player guy. Your judgement is less clouded than mine. Personally, I get psuedo-emotionally attached to players. I am a fan of all 20 players on the squad((I get sad when guys are transfered, etc.(but not Ibra, no sadness there) (maybe it’s a girl thing (thinking of the team as a collection of individuals and not as representatives of the club)). I too, got the Xavi jersey. But I got the cheap, non-authentic, girl-has-kids-in-college-and-has-no-money-to-spare version. So I’ll not only “deal with it”, as a “fan” of Xavi I’ll covet your real version.

      BTW, don’t like the new style AT ALL. But if they keep the stupid tree off the shirt, it will be some consolation.

  36. I recommend DISQUS commenting system instead of creating your own. I am aware of the prestigious side of having your own but why gambling while there is a tested and delivered system available.

    It provides all the pros of registration and avoid most of the cons, as the majority of people already have a DISQUS account -which is the most common for blogs- so they dont need to register just to comment on this blog.

    Even the “passing by” visitors will be able to comment, using their DISQUS account. You will also limit the negativity of getting used to a new comments template (even when theoffside blog changed to DISQUS, visitors got confused for a while). I think lot of people are already used to DISQUS template.

    And comments management for administrators is very good.

    1. Our IT guy doesn’t like the way that the DISQUS system handles comments. It’s also a klugenfugge to use on a mobile device.

      The other problem I have noticed with DISQUS is that it seems to have chronological complexities, so comments are difficult to find. With registration, there shouldn’t be any getting used to things period. The site will function the same, except you’ll log in once, and that’s that.

Comments are closed.