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Changes to the MPTT Registration Process

As those of you who are MPTT authors very likely already know, we have been fighting the good fight against comment spam for several months now. The pattern is the same: a bot registers for a new account, cleverly bypassing all captcha and other obstacles we try to throw in its way, and immediately spams dozens if not hundreds of stories with link spam in comments. This is obviously distressing and annoying to our members--who have been wonderful and patient with us through each attack--and can take hours for the mods to repair.

As a result, we have decided to begin manually registering members. If you already have an account with MPTT, this will not impact you. For new members registering for an account, instead of self-registering using a form that automatically creates the account, we now require new members to email us with the pen name they want, and we will set up the account for them.

Yes, this will create a minor inconvenience for new members, who will have to wait a couple of hours before they can beginning posting stories and commenting. But we hope it will save our authors much frustration in believing they have a new comment on a story only to find they are being peddled Rolex Watches and Cheap NFL Jerseys from yet another Internet shyster.

ysilme and I (dawn_felagund) have spent today making the changes to the MPTT site to reflect this new approach to registration. As always, we welcome all questions or comments at manypaths@lotrgfic.com or on this post.

Spammers at the archive

Dear all,

We have suffered two consecutive spam attacks today. We were quick on the mark and locked the spammer accounts as soon as the first violation reports came in. Our moderator Ysilmë has started to delete the reviews and have been in touch with many of you already.

If you have received one or more email notifications alerting you of a new review for one of your works, you may find that the link is no longer working, because the spam reviews have been deleted from the database.

Thank you for the very prompt reports, we ask you to keep alerting us at the mod account if it happens again.

On behalf of the MPTT mod team,

Rhapsody

Spammer at the archive...

Hi all,

Yesterday we were visited by a spammer who left about 74 spam reviews for stories of our members. Some of you reported it immediately to us and when we got the chance, we suspended the account until further notice. The situation is now under control and the spam reviews are deleted, also thanks to the prompt alerts received by a few of our members.

If you ever notice spam on the site, please report it as soon as possible to the moderator team at so we can deal with it before it can do much damage.

Unfortunately these spam attacks most often come in the form of spam reviews on stories, but can also appear in the contents of a story. If you notice spam content anywhere on the site, use the "Report This Link" found beneath the review, or story, or email us directly at websmith@lotrgfic.com. The faster we know about a spammer on the site, the faster we can lock that account to prevent further damage.

Thanks!

On behalf of the MPTT moderator team,

Rhapsody

MPTT Archive is back online

Hi all,

We are very happy to report that our MPTT archive is back online. Today we and our host were able to establish the technical reason as to why the site had to be taken offline. With the problem isolated, we could work on it to have it to fixed. We were also able to put the pre-cautions in place as much as possible for now, but will continue the coming days to finish the rest of work that needs to be done. It will not affect your user experience of the site.

Thank you all for your patience while we sorted this out.

Rhapsody
(the other MPTT webmaster)
Hi, everyone,

I wanted to give everyone an update on the MPTT website. I spoke to a tech support specialist with our webhost last night. At last, we were able to get some more specific answers about what went wrong with the MPTT website and what we need to do to get the site back online. The webhost is claiming that part of our database is causing performance issues, and we were finally able to narrow down what part of the site we need to look at for repair.

I want to emphasize that nothing has been lost from the site, including stories or registrations. This is a site performance issue, and once it is resolved, everything should return exactly how it was. Your account and your stories are all safe.

I know this has caused inconvenience for some people, and we regret that. Unfortunately, our webhost didn't give us any sort of heads-up that they were having problems with our site, and we found out the same time that everyone else did that they had to take the site offline.

I will continue to keep everyone posted about updates as I have them. We will be working to figure out how to get the site back online this afternoon and evening. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, we are always reachable at manypaths AT lotrgfic.com or at websmith AT lotrgfic.com for strictly technical issues.

Again, my apologies for this mess, and I hope to have good news to report soon!

Dawn

(MPTT webmaster)
The MPTT Archive is currently not available due to technical reasons. We don't know yet how long it will take until everything is back up. Thank you for your patience!
6th mptt anniversary (2)

Today is the Sixth Anniversary of the Many Paths to Tread Archive! Six years ago we started the archive for all Tolkien-related fanworks.

In six years we have racked up some impressive stats:

Members: 309
Series: 164
Stories: 3040
Chapters: 7037
Word count: 13202445
Authors: 179
Reviews: 3148
Reviewers: 102

In addition, we also have had the Tree and Flower Awards for the last four years.

If you haven't checked us out, come on over and see what we have!
MPPT 5 Anniversary

In celebration of our Fifth Anniversary, we are pleased to announce the third Many Paths to Tread "Tree and Flower" Awards!

Here are the rules:

1. Only stories posted at the Many Paths to Tread Archive are eligible.

2. Stories or art must have been posted at the MPTT Archive by July 26 of this year to be eligible. All stories posted to the site prior to that date are eligible. Stories may be updated after that, but the story must have gone up at the archive on or before that date.

3. No stories or art which won an award in the previous year are eligible for a second nomination, except a story which was nominated in the Work-in-Progress category in a previous year may be nominated in a different category when it is completed. Lists of previous winners will be posted for nominators to check prior to making nominations.

4. No self nominations.

5. Nominations will be made to posts at the LiveJournal Community. (If you have trouble accessing LiveJournal, you may email the mods at: manypaths@lotrgfic.com to make nominations for you.)

6. Stories may run in only one category; if the story is nominated in two or more categories the earliest nomination will count. (We ask that nominators check other nominations prior to making their nominations, to avoid duplicates. This is very important. Please check other categories a story may be nomintated in.) Nominators may nominate one story per category, but may make nominations in as many categories as they wish. In the event that a category is not viable, the mods may choose to move the story to another category; a story must have at least two nominations to be viable.

7. Nominators are permitted to promote the stories they have nominated, though they cannot ask people to vote for any particular one.

8. Nominations will open on July 29 and will run through August 15.

9. The first round of voting will begin on August 29, and will continue to September 15. Votes will be cast in a poll, the link to which will be announced at both this community and at the Yahoo! email group on September 28.

10. Places will be first, second, third and Honorable Mention in each category.

This is a simple old-fashioned "ticky-box" awards, but we hope everyone will enjoy participating in it! Come and help us celebrate our Fifth Anniversary!

Many Paths to Tread is Five Years Old!

MPTT 5 Anniversary banner

Five years ago today, the Many Paths to Tread Archive was opened. Founding mods were ceshaughnessy AKA Cathleen, dreamflower02, pearltook1 and dawn_felagund, who also designed and built the website. labourslamp AKA Celeritas also was a mod. Later rhapsody11 became one of our co-mods as well.

Cathleen, Pearl and Celeritas are currently on hiatus as co-mods, but we hope that one day real life will allow them to join us again.

To celebrate, we set up a special Comment Fic Challenge. which was to be unveiled today, but the stories are not yet complete, so we will be extending the challenge for another ten days! If you have not yet taken the chance to contribute, go have a look and maybe join in! We are also extending the Art Challenge for the same amount of time. We as yet have no entries there, but hope some of you might feel inspired to contribute!

Thank you all for the support you have given the archive over the years!
Don't forget to contribute to our Fifth Anniversary fics! We only have a few more days!

All the prompts now have begun to be stories--but they still need more! Feel free to comment again even if you have done so before, or just jump in if you haven't! Even if you've no time for a longer story, surely some of you can manage a few more sentences to move our heroes along! We have five different stories going--The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, First Age (Silmarillion), Second Age (Silmarillion) and Multi-Age.

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