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08-01-2020, 07:20 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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This site needs your help.

I need an "easy button" for some forum admin tasks. The manual methods are just too unwieldy.


The bounty:

I'm not necessarily asking for free help here -- though it would be nice. Perhaps you can return the favor for my past advice that helped you?

If not, I can offer:
- free Premium Membership (with benefits growing after new site is launched, price increasing)
- discount on my hardware
- some money
- a favor, to be used at a later date, and that's never a bad thing to have with me
- some tape conversion work, either discounted or free (least preferred, but will do it begrudgingly)
- some combination of the above

So, with that out of the way, onto the help needed...


The reason:


This is mostly so we can start sending out regular newsletters again. There is important info that needs to be communicated, be it warnings on Win10 updates mass killing capture cards, new drivers, new developments in video, etc. Important stuff. Not too often, brief, useful.

Also zap spam.


The 1st problem:

We can export member profile emails from vBulletin. But it's just raw data.
Code:
john@gmail jack@hotmail sally@gmail etc
It can be dumped in Notepad++, and space replaced with return. Then dump into Excel and sorted, but that's not always how I need it sorted.

We often need to sort by domain, all data after the @ symbol.
That can be done "easy enough" (manual work, time consuming) with a mix of yet more Notepad++ replacements and Excel. Then after sort, I have to again used Notepad to turn back into whole addresses.

I really need to cut down my admin workload.


The 2nd problem:

Forums have a problem with both spam and "disposable" emails. We do a really good job of keeping those worthless a-holes out, but some still manage to slip through (though usually not for long).

The easiest way to detect those is by looking at the domains and TLDs (.com, .xyz, etc). So that means splitting an email after the @, and also before the .com (but NOT all periods, as ".co.uk" is a single TLD, and that always messes up the Notepad++/Excel sorting)

The subdomains also always mess up sorting (example= @tx.rr.com, or spammer @ahole.163.in). So in programming terms, I'm assuming both compound domains and TLDs need from-end-of-domain sorting instructions, not from-start. In the above example, all @_.rr.com and @_.163.in are the sorted TLDs.

I'd also like to be able to show only domains as a single entry, in addition to the full list. For example, all @gmail can be shown in a sorted list. Or only a single @gmail entry is shown, because all duplicates are ignored, so I can see a simple list of just the various domains being used here. It's too easy to overlook smaller domains when you have elephants in the room, so remove or condense those elephants.

When seen, I can just manually delete the member in vBulletin.

And yes, we know lots of spammers use Gmail. But that eventually sorts itself, usually via bouncing or lack of activation.


The 3rd (and final) problem:

As you may know, as I try to often point out, this site attracts many professional and business users, not just home/hobby users. And those pros and businesses often do not use freemails (gmail, hotmail, etc). The ISP emails can go either way (@comcast, etc). They use there company/business emails in most cases.

I need to be able to extract and communicate only with these members. Some sort of option that automatically removes all @gmail, @hotmail, @gmail, @aol, @yahoo, etc, in a "pro user only" mode. And then also lets me add manual exclusions (exclusion list, hopefully in-script and not via external text files) if I decide that none of the @isp emails need to included this time.

Then I can appropriately only send emails to @hollywoodstudio, @b2b, @conversionbusiness, etc.


The script wanted:

These days, everything is "online script", so I'm just assuming this will be written in PHP or something. And we have development space, if needed.

I need a versatile script. (Or maybe several scripts?)
I need to be able to dump in all emails.
Then sort based on criteria needed. Sometimes I'm just looking for spammers or disposables to zap. Other times, I want to send an email only to pro/business members (using non-freemails, maybe non-ISP).

If I notice TLDs not mentioned here, like @protonmail, @gmx, etc), I can manually add those into the script (array?) myself. I can edit scripts, but not write them.

The output is the whole emails again.


The unlikely bonus:

This is less likely, probably more of a dream. But if this could be integrated into vBulletin, that would be awesome. We can setup a test environment. I'd also up the bounty.

Maybe not all features could be built into vBulletin, but just some, mostly the ability to exclude @freemail users from some Free Member newsletters. Even that single vB task would be a win, and may simply be an edit of the email members template; perhaps an added call, array, something?

But I would be happy with non-integrated script/solution. The vB stuff is just icing.


Questions?

Post questions here, any clarifications needed. Then we can move to PM/email as needed.

I really hope somebody(ies) here has the skills to do any/some/all of this. This is too far outside my skills.

Note: We will NOT be giving out actual email data. That goes against our policies. You will need to create dummy data. I can, however, provide dummy data suggestions, based on our actual email lists.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
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