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Over Christmas (Dec 26th, 2006 to be precise) I experimented a little with extracting geographical information from poster's IP numbers.
Yes, I do and have always stored the IP numbers of posters. I think every standard message board software would do that. It makes it a lot easier to administrate the postings, e.g. to move all posts made by a certain person on a certain day to a separate page.
The IP number is stored but never displayed on the site.
The IP number can be used to make a guess where the poster is from. In almost all cases it actually means information on the user's ISP. For example my home IP number is 63.193.xxx.xxx
If you plug this number e.g. 188.8.131.52 - into a web site like http://www.ip2location.com/, then you will find out that I am located in San Francisco, California. This is not exact though. My ISP - SBCYahoo DSL - has a hub there. I live about 70 miles south of San Francisco, in a different county.
My thought was that it would be interesting to see where every poster is writing from. So I downloaded the freely available database "MaxMind - GeoLite Country | Open Source IP Address to Country Database" http://www.maxmind.com/app/geoip_country and added it into this site.
I displayed next to each poster the city, state (region) and country where they seemed to be from, together with a little flag.
I did get an email from an unhappy user, who voiced privacy concerns. I had not realized that in some cases, the database could be fairly accurate - in this person's case it had correctly guessed a small town (where he lives in).
So I removed this functionality again.
What do you users think? Would you find it interesting to see geographic information displayed? I could make it an option - like a checkbox
"Yes, display 'xxx' as my geographic information"
Where xxx would be whatever the database suggests. The default should probably be 'unchecked'.
If I get no replies at all, I will not further spend time on this.
UPDATE: (January 10th, 2007)
when you post, you can now choose to display city and country, or just the country or hide your geographical information alltogether.
Cher Cibo!Je suis tres contente de recevoir la letter de toi.
Commerce avec toi est tres agreable. Je vois que tu est un homme
bienveillant et honnete et j'espere que nous continuerons notre
correspondence!Donc j'ai une demande chez toi. Si tu es pas sur que tu
veux m'apprendre effectivement mieux ou tu doutes, s'il te plait, dis
cela maintenant. Je veux pas etre blesse. Je suis honnete avec toi et
je veux expliquer pourquoi je commencais la recherche a l'Internet.Je
suis la jeune fille assez familiale, j'aime le confort domestique et
je voudrait faire le temps a cote d'un homme bon et compatissant. Je
pence que tu es pareil. Malheureusement, j'ai pas rencontre l'homme
qui serait effectivement interesse de la creation de la famille. La
plupart des hommes russes sont interesses par les relations non
serieuses. Ils ils rencontrent avec de differentes femmes. Bien sur,
pas tous les hommes sont tels, mais en general les bons hommes sont
deja occupes. J'avais une mauvaise experience avec l'homme russe.
J'avais les relations de longue duree avec lui, mais il a casse le
coeur a moi malheureusement. Il me mentait longtemps parce qu'il a
trouve une autre femme et il cachait cela de moi. C'est pourquoi je
crois pas les hommes russes.J'entendait que les hommes dans ton pays
sont tres familiale, qu'ils sont plus bien eleves sous ce rapport et
c'est pourquoi j'ai accepte la decision essayer trouver ma deuxieme
moitie au Internet.J'ai la question a toi. Pourquoi tu cherches la
femme au Internet? Si cette question est pas agreable pour toi ou tu
veux pas repondre a cette question, je comprites toi et je demanderai
pas les questions semblables.Et encore je voudrais connaitre un peu de
tes desirs et de reves. Quells sont tes plans de la futur? Est-ce que
tu voudrais avoir les enfants dans l'avenir? Si oui, combien? Je
voudrais apprendre toi si c'est possible et j'espere que reconter de
ta vie et de toi-meme c'est pas dificile pour toi.Aussi je serai
contente de recevoir tes photos si tu as. Oui, tu peux voir ma
nouvelle photo!J'attends ta reponse avec l'impatience. Bien a toi,
anonymous from India
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Bonjour, je m'apelle Yvan et je viens d'avoir été arnaqué (comme un con) par une 'jolie jeune fille' américaine qui se nomme Catherine Mary Kooker. Tout un scénario invraisemblable (je le constate maintenant) où mes 3 enfants et moi-même ont été manipulés. Je contacte un max de site pour que d'autres personnes ne fassent pas les mêmes conneries que moi. Salutations. This image was also posted here: Dating scammer pretty
IT took me 2 or three emails before I got it! der.........
Hello (insert your name here)!!! This is me again! I was so happy when I saw your e-mail in my mail box.
I really like you so much! Now I know that you are interested in me and I hope we will be able to meet soon when I will come to your area. Why I chose you? I found you at the site by chance. Telling from the beginning I know a
woman who is on a dating site. That profile wasn't mine, it was a profile of that woman, but she let me find
someone from the dating site from her profile. I don't know how to use the site, so I found you by chance and wrote you.
I think I should write you more things about me, I hope it will be interesting for you to know me better!
As I wrote you I`m 26 years old, My birthday is 29 of December 1981.
I'm 167 cm tall (5.5.) and 51 kg weight. I don't know exactly my bust-waist-hips measurements, I don't have a reason to measure it because I think it's OK and my body is proportionate )) I take care of my body, for truth its very easy for me, because I work as a dancer, so it helps me to keep feet!!!
I've never been married, don't have kids but I love them and they love me! I don't smoke, drink occasionally.
And I want to tell you that I always wanted to find an older man. I think older men are much more serious and they can take
care of me, they are more experienced in life and can teach me many things.
As for my family - I live with my mother and my brother. My mother is 48 years old, I love her very much, she works as a hairdresser in a beauty salon.
I have a sister, her name is Olga, she is already married and she lives with her husband.
I also have a younger brother, he is 13 years old, his name is Maksim.
He is very clever and he wants to be a naval officer like our father. My father was a great person, he was courageous and brave. He is an ideal man for me.
My father died in auto crash... My mum cried for several months but now she is ok, she will never meet another man because my father was the only man in her life and now her aim in life is to grow up our brother.
It was my mother's idea to try to work to another country.
She loves me very much and she thinks that its impossible to earn good money in russia working as a dancer or dance instructor. I teach ballroom dances. My mother read many stories about girls who found their happiness abroad and now she wants me to do the same.
As I wrote you I live in Russia, the name of my town is Krutoyarskiy it is situated in Chelyabinskaya Obl. (District).
It will be great if you also tell me some interesting facts about your city.
I don`t remeber if I told you or not but I graduated from Chelyabinsk University two years ago, Economy faculty but I don't work on my specialization because I can't find a good job here in economy sphere, my city is so small. I don`t use any translators and I can speak and write English well. I also have a certificate of aerobic's instructor.
I write my emails from Internet cafe, we have a computer but no Internet.
If you want I can call you when we get to know each other better it would be nice to talk to you. Today I'm going to tell my mother about you, I'm sure she will be happy I've met someone over there who can show me around!
I hope you are not getting bored to read my emails?
It's a pity there is no messenger here, so we can talk only using e-mails..
My address here is Russia, Krutoyarskiy, Tokarey street 48, flat 65.
So now you have a representation of who I am....
I just can tell you I enjoy life and I try to live to the fullest, I like to try new things. I'm very tender, caring, artistic, faithful, decent person.
Sometimes I can be not well organized, I think everybody had it's own minuses and pluses.
I don't look any special qualities in a man. I just hope he will be faithful to me and ready to create a happy family with me and I will do everything to make him happy. I'm looking for a soulmate! Do you look for any special qualities?
PS I'm sending more pics this time! They were taken in Sochi one year ago.
Whoever reads this email, pls be vary on what you are up with this kind of peope who exist in our world. There so many people suffering, suffering from exile, orphnage, hunger and in refugee camp. Most people would have some feeling and passionate for helping this kind of people who are seeking help. Unfortunately, there are people in this world making joke out it and putting other people in a situation not to help people who are asking for help. The question this another scam.
I don't understand this kind people who not god fearing, using Gods' name in telling lies.
Never will I go forward to help people who from this kind of places - this 3rd world countries should be ashamed of themself.