Your data protection sucks – spam protection in times of the GDPR

The new European General Data Protection Regulation is on everyone’s lips these days. Hardly any customer conversation can do without the ominous letter combination. Was it GDRP, GRPD or GDPR? Not important at all, from May 25th you should be serious about data protection, and that’s a good thing.

Those who now expect concrete instructions from me will be disappointed by the following contribution. I am sufficiently informed on the topic to bring my WordPress installations, those of friends, acquaintances and customers to terms until May 25th, but my interest is not sufficient to punish myself by reading law texts and to chew the whole thing up here again. Others can do better. I want to write about a single WordPress plugin that currently appears in many articles: Antispam Bee.

Antispam Bee is one of the plugins that are maintained and developed by a group called “Pluginkollektiv”. The Pluginkollektiv consists of WordPress developers who have set themselves the goal of maintaining the excellent plugins by Sergej Müller and keeping them in the best possible condition for the many hundreds of thousands of users. Small disclaimer: I myself belong to the Pluginkollektiv, so in the following I am not only an uninvolved third party.

The trick in Antispam Bee – like in all plugins of the collective: it is designed from the beginning with German and European data protection in mind and today therefore offers the perfect solutions for all, whom want to make their websites somewhat more compliant with GDPR.

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Le Meetup c’est moi

With the founding of the WP Meetup Frankfurt at the end of 2012, a new chapter in my life has begun. From the first small group meetings to the most recent meetings with dozens of visitors, I haven’t missed a single one of the 62 Meetups. But now it’s time for some changes.

About Meetups

WordPress Meetups are local meetings of users, developers and anyone who is somehow interested in the open source content management system WordPress. For the past five years, as an active member of the local community in Frankfurt, I have organised such a meeting every month.

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Ten Years Later

Ten years ago I set up my first website with the help of a content management system. After some research I decided to use Joomla. But already after one week the whole thing was history again. Because I was not was not as aware of the importance of passwords at the time, interesting Viagra advertisements found their way onto the site overnight. The blame for this problem is certainly not with Joomla to look for. But I was nevertheless demotivated and made me on the search for another CMS.

And so at noon on January 8th, 2008, I finally arrived at a small but fine system called WordPress.

Trial and Error

What one forgets as a die-hard user of a system (not only CMS, but also operating systems, text editors, etc.) is how difficult the first steps can be. Once you’ve climbed the tree, the way up seems quite clear, but from below there are countless ways. And because 2008 wasn’t that much documentation yet and WordPress itself wasn’t at the level we had the pleasure to experience in recent years, my personal first steps were difficult.

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Speak and talk (a lot) about it

During my school days, I was crazy about giving presentations. In the almost 200 years that have passed since then, I have almost completely lost this enthusiasm and only rediscovered it this year. Now the whole thing turns to the other extreme: I’m marauding through the German-speaking WordPress community.

I’m not quite sure how that happened. In any case, it certainly wasn’t a deliberate decision. Suddenly, some other Meetup Organizers asked if I would like to come over and tell something about Topic X or Y. I was sure that I would be able to do that. Apparently, that’s all I needed to get me back to speaking.

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Let’s get this blog started

This blog has probably moved more often in the last 7 years than I could have written in it. But this time the move is due to a happy fact: I bought a new domain. Once again.

We are talking about Since my first name is not one of the most unusual ones and I’m allowed to share my last name with a food company, I haven’t been able to enjoy a simple first or last name domain yet. When the .blog domains finally started, I was faster than my namesakes, paid a hefty pre-registration fee, and now I’m forced to fool around with this new adress I suddenly own.

So the blog I had previously on now lives here – the old domain becomes a simple “About me” page and my photo stream and a small geolocation experiment (discontinued by 2019) are placed a bit more prominently – all four pages will share a single navigation.

But a moving a new blog would not be complete without a redesign. This time I decided to create a completely new design, which will also be used on all four pages and which I will talk about in detail at some point in the future.