I have been running the SceneryDesign.org forums for about 3 years now and I must say that a lot has changed over these years. When I started the site, I was looking for a place to store the tips and tricks I had on my personal homepage. And I added the forum to see if a place to discuss scenery design related topics would be useful as well. By now I think we can say that the forum has been found useful by the visitors. There is a base of regular visitors and a lot of designers know to find the forum with their design problems.
But unfortunately this popularity of the site also seems to have a downside. Lately I am getting a lot of fake registrations from people (or I guess it are actually bots, as they all select the first country in the list when registering, with happens to be Afganistan) using emails addresses that do not exist. Luckily this only generate some emails with errors for me and now and then I do clean those accounts that never get activated.
But the last few days it seems some of them actually take the effort to activate their account properly and start posting spam on the forums. These spam posts only happened in the News forum until now and that forum us moderated, so that prevents them from being visible right away. Hopefully the spam with not spread into the other subforums.
I guess the future will learn if this problems keeps increasing or dies again. Until now it is manageable or else I might have to look for some extra moderators to help in cleaning the forums.
Of course trouble like this never take away the fun of running the forums. All the interesting discussions going on are a good source of inspiration for new ideas and techniques. And of course helping a new scenery designer to find his way into this great hobby is also a nice thing to do.