Time for Summer Camp!

Camp PAO-Wow has started over at the forum.  Did you know?  We have a camp counselor (Monica) and even a resident trouble-making cave-woman (Tawanda).  You never quite know when she’ll emerge from her cave and tempt you with the booze that the camp counselor has strictly forbidden.  Hehehe.

Camp is a pretty easy-going affair around here, as people slip in and out as time allows and in-between vacations.  But there are some fun challenges posted for those who need a prod in a creative direction.

If you’re not a member of our forum, but would like to join, simply follow the directions in this post.  I’m usually attached to a computer for several hours every day, so it should take less than 24 hours for your membership request to be approved, and we’re always happy to welcome new folks.

So join up, grab a bottle of wine (but don’t tell Monica – just tell her it’s specially fortified grape juice), and get your crafty supplies together and head on over to the Camp PAO-Wow forum.

PAO – the blog

So, we have a new “home” page.  This part of PAO doesn’t get much use – but it was put up as a way for new folks to find us, and learn about who we are and what we do.

But then came spammers… and hackers.  PAO is primarily a forum community.  We’re all a bunch of crafters – paper, fabric, ink, paint, mixed-media, whatever.  And registration used to be open to the world.  But then the spam came.  PAO is a hobby site – not a full time job.  I’m not a mommy blogger who posts crafty tips with google ads as a way to make supplemental income to subsidize my crafting habit and keep me from getting bored while the kids are in school.  No – I have a full-time paying gig, and when I get home, I’ve got munchkins and their homework to deal with and the very last thing I want to do with my limited free time is fight spammers and hackers.

So as a means of spam control, we locked down forum registration to admin approval.  Sadly, we don’t get many new registrations that aren’t direct referrals from existing members (for information about how to become part of the forum community, jump to the forum and read the global post about how to join).  I’ll approve anyone who sends a quick e-mail to the admin address – basically if you make that extra effort, I’m pretty sure you’re not some random spammer using automated registration routines.

Sadly, that’s not enough.  Our happy little homepage has also seen its fair share of hacking attempts.   And I don’t have the time or the energy to surgically carve out the bad code, or try to figure out how they got in and seal up that entry.  So the original homepage area was taken down completely, in favor of a different type of site.  I have no idea if this type of site will be any more or less open to spam and hacking.  Maybe it had nothing to do with the software used to build the site and everything to do with the fact that we’re on a shared server with our hosting solution and we have zero control over how secure our site’s files are.  But I guess we’ll see.

If you’ve just now found our site for the first time, then welcome!  We’d love for you to come join us on the forum and share your artwork.  But just know that if you are someone who intends to violate our happy home on the web, we will not tolerate it.  We’re a family here, and we don’t take well to those who would vandalize our home.