Ray (webmaster) on 01/22/2006 05:09 AM
It's a constant struggle to keep out spam - this forum gets several messages a day for gambling sites, "enhancement" drugs, etc. The vast majority of these never even make it onto the website, and I apologize for the few that have slipped through in the past.
However, notes like the one above are a little different, because they really do relate to a business on the Katy Trail. If you read through the forum, you'll see a lot of glowing recommendations for various businesses. Although some of these may be spam, most of them truly are legitimate messages from real trail users who had a good experience somewhere, and want to spread the word about a good restaurant, B&B, etc.
If a message relates to a business on the trail, I generally let it go through, because there is really no way of knowing for sure whether it's a legitimate note from a genuine trail user, or "spam". You, the reader, can decide whether you believe it or not. The great majority are legitimate, and it's probably pretty easy to pick out the ones that aren't, but I'll let you make the call. If a message strikes you as "fishy" (yeah, the one above just might cross that line), then you may want to steer clear of the business. But maybe the guy above really is a legit customer who discovered a restaurant that he thinks is the best thing since sliced bread - I dunno - again, I'll let you make the call.
So far, this open format has worked well and not too many people have tried to abuse it. If people do start abusing it in the future, we may have to tighten things down a bit. By all means, let me know if you feel the "noise factor" is getting too high.