Hits from 58.*

As many of you might have noticed, these hits were not disappearing. Thats because their ‘hitdate’ (ie, the date when they looked at your diary) where incorrectly stored as a time some 300 years or more in the future. Rather than wait for them to expire naturally (since most of us will have expired before they do :-)) I have now removed them. I didn’t want to do it earlier because statistically they were semi-valid hits. The hits had occurred, but the address they came from was invalid and the date was invalid.

This was due to a screw up in the script which imports the statistics from a file as mysql unfortunately doesn’t deal at all well with us logging every hit directly to the database…

Anyway, the bogus hits are now gone, I hope. If anyone has any that are still hanging around, if you could give me the IP address of the offending hits and I’ll try to remove them.


New Server Ordered.

OK. We give in. We can’t see any other way to sort the system speed out this time other than to bite the bullet and open the purse strings….

The new server is on order, is a dual pentium 850 with 512M of RAM and dual SCSI… Even thats not a big server by any stretch of the imagination, but it should be plenty compared with the current server which is a single pentium 500 with 256M of RAM and an IDE drive…

To be honest, its a miracle its stood this long :-)

But – and this is the reason for listing the hardware above – unlike other sites who like to boast about the hardware they run and they list huge systems and burn loads of cash to do it, we prefer to get the last drop out of the hardware. We prefer to code things so they’re more efficient and can run effectively on minimal hardware. Thats how, since September 1999, this server has undergone NO hardware upgrades until now. We gone from zero hits a month and zero sites online to DearDiary.Net, AtomIC Webrings, Open Fiction and AtomIC Albums, and over three quarters of a million pages (somewhere near 4 million hits) per month on the same hardware. Its time to give it a break!

The new box should be here within ten days. We then have to migrate everything across, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you haven’t subscribed yet, now would be a really really good time to, cos we’ve just doubled our outgoings!! Please help us, we’re not a rich dotcom, and we know you don’t believe us but we DO do this because we enjoy it!


Test entry, ignore

Answer to a Question

Someone posed the following question in a comment:

Where does your responsibilty end with children that are disclosing abusive situtions on your site?

I know of other sites where they have to report, via ISP numbers or the information is given to Cyber Angels or Net Detective or one of those such organisations.

I am wondering are you under any kind of moral or ethical obligation to report alleged abuse? There are minors writing here that are still in these situtions.

I realise of course there is no obligation and you cant be held accountable or anything for not reporting suspcions as we all could be held repsonsible because we read it and do nothing. I want to know your personal view on it.

Abuse disclosed to teachers or doctors if not reported they can be charged with neglect in some countries.

Interested in how it works over the internet.

From our perspective, this is the kind of approach we take:

We don’t read everyone’s diary because it’s just impractical. We are not set up to deal with all the laws in all countries either (we’re only a couple of guys doing this :) ) and neither are we (more specifically) set up to deal with emotional and psychological problems.

We have received a couple of mails in the past from some people that misunderstood what our abuse email address was about and as much as it pains us there is nothing that we can do to help other than offer an ear and strongly recommend they talk to someone like a Doctor and get it out into the open immediately. We’ll always be happy to lend an ear to anyone that wants it, whether that’s by IRC, AIM, Email, whatever – with the caveat that we’re just people on the Internet, we’re not qualified or even trained in that kind of psychological support.

I also believe that it isn’t our place to intervene – if Children (or anybody, abused wives are another good example) feel that by writing in this place that they could cause problems – it is often felt by some victims that they don’t want to cause problems for the abuser incase they receive worse abuse – then these people will not open up at all. Atleast by being able to freely write and communicate with others they can pull from the strength of the people that communicate to them (childish idiotic funsters aside). I personally am more of the opinion that we should let the people that are geographically local to the victim help them – with all the anonymity of the Internet there is only so much that you can do – instead, we should spend our time focusing on getting that victim to understand their situation, understand they are not alone and understand and fight to get themselves out of their situation.

This is one of the reasons we have tried to encourage ‘Kids of Courage’, get it a bit more into the lime light so that children can find it and immediately they find out that they are not alone.

As with just about any aspect of this website, if anybody has suggestions for making this site a better, safer place for everybody then we’re always interested to hear them. We have approached the ICRA (Internet Content Rating Association) to find out how we can go about rating a site like Dear Diary (they normally only appear to deal with content-based sites where the webmasters specifically control the content). We also have a number of other measures coming in with 3.0 to protect people from seeing things they would rather not see.

I hope that’s answered your question!

Reader Comments and Abused Kids.

This entry is likely to be emotional, and I may swear a bit. Most of it is not directed at individuals, because I don’t (yet) know who the individuals are. You know who you are though, so take heed. This is aimed at the supposed adults of this site. Those who are at least adult purely by effect of their age. Most of them are more childish than the children.

We WILL NOT tolerate abusive behaviour at this site. ESPECIALLY when it is aimed at people who are, or even appear to be, children. I don’t give one flying hoot whether you believe they are abused children or not. IF you cannot believe they are who they say they are then quit reading their diary.

I remember the episode where some of you were taken in by a diarist called Fairy something. I know you’re hurting over that. But there ARE genuine cases on this site of abused kids and they need support. They do not need your further abuse in email or in comments.

If I catch anyone being abusive to kids, heads will roll. I mean it. Grow up or get out, its as simple as that. The bottom line is this;

If you don’t believe someone, thats your choice. But do not leave comments doubting them. Just, do not leave comments at all. Do not. You do not understand or realise the hurt, pain and suffering you cause genuine kids. If you don’t believe them, just walk on by. Don’t say, or do anything.

Failure to comply with this is considered a gross breach of our terms and conditions of use, and a serious misuse of our network. As such, if you are in the UK you will be considered in breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (a jailable offence) and I shall endeavour to find out the law of the US so that the same applies. You have been warned.

To the kids who have suffered as a result of the nasty comments, I apologise sincerely on behalf of the subhumans who frequent this site merely so they can wait for your diary to be updated and have, what they believe is a bit of fun. The saddest thing of all is that they don’t even stop to realise the pain they cause you and the people that believe in you. They don’t stop to realise the effects their comments have on you, and above all, and saddest of all, they don’t stop to realise just how easily it could have been them in your shoes.