Tweeted and Facebooked.

To keep up with the fast changing world of social media, in addition to our recently added Twitter feed, A Fistful of Euros now also has page on facebook, which allows you, our gentle readers, to become an outspoken “fan” of afoe, and discover freshly published afoe posts right in your facebook activity feed. Have a look. Just click on the links in this post, or on the twitter or facebook icon in the sidebar.

afoe update tweets

Since Twitter has become a rather popular way to communicate, there’s a chance that some of you, gentle readers, are using it, too. So if you’ve grown tired of your good old RSS-reader and think that webpages are so 2004, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can now also follow all updates on A Fistful of Euros via twitter – the account is “@afoe_tw”. (

afoe now running on WordPress 2.5

Gentle readers, afoe’s backend has been updated to the latest wordpress. So far, the transition seems to have worked well. Over the next couple of days, the frontend will also receive a little facelift – and make the site a little faster. So, in case you’ve got the feeling that something doesn’t work as it did before, that’s probably why.

One in a million!

It’s too bad that WordPress seems to break HTML in the title field – so I can’t use a modest Roman numeral to indicate that it’s you! Yes, you, reader from, who clicked on a link in your google reader at 2:32 am CET, who is the one millionth sitemetered unique visitor to A Fistful Of Euros. Of course that doesn’t mean you’re actually the millionth person to see this page or read its content. After all, the definion of “visit” is different from counter to counter, as is the definition of unique visit. Moreover, doesn’t have a chance to count even one of the about 4000 feed subcscribers we have – according to our feed statisticians over at – if they don’t come here in addition to reading afoe in their favorite feed reader.

Still, it could have been anyone – but it was you! Congratulations! To you – and to us.

Comment Spam Problems

Gentle readers, as so many other blogs, afoe is having major problems with the way Movable Type, the system we’ve been using to run this blog since 2003, is handling comment spam.

Unfortunatly, as you may have noticed, our host,, decided this morning that it had to suspend our domain temporarily because of the excessive server loads created by our comment spam – we’re talking about a couple of thousand comment spam entries per day.

In order to avoid future suspensions, I have disabled the comments on the entire system until we have worked out a solution that will avoid future account suspensions.

You can still contact us by email and the contact form on the about page. I will update this post as soon as we’ve worked something out.

Spam filtration

The problem that has caused comments from regular readers to be treated as spam should now be resolved.

For the information of other MT and Akismet users, it relates to how MT handles multiple spam tests. MT-Akismet assigns a score of +/-6 to each comment, then the e-mail and URL fields are checked against past comments in order to establish trust. You used to get a score of +1 for previous publication of your e-mail and +1 for a URL.

The problem arose at the next step, where the total score is averaged across the three tests. MT doesn’t include zero scores in this, so the following bug results: if you get one point for each of the trust checks, and six from Akismet, your average score is +2.67, which is below the trigger level. If, however, you had never commented before, rather than divide the 6 points from Akismet across the three tests, MT disregards the zero scores, so you get a final score of +6 and instant publication.

The workaround is to increase the scores for links and e-mail to 2.

The Third Annual Satin Pajama Awards

The purpose of the awards is to recognize the efforts and contributions of Europe’s many talented bloggers, to maybe help build a sense of community among us, and, more than anything, it’s a chance for people to discover lots of new good blogs.

A blog is eligible if it’s written by Europeans or has a European (Czech, Catalan…) theme. Our own blogs aren’t eligible. Finalists are chosen based on the number of nominations as well as editorial discretion. So you want to nominate a favorite blog even if someone else already mentioned it.

Nominees for Best Southeastern European Weblog
Nominees for Best CIS blog
Nominees for Best Writing
Nominate Best Culture Weblog
Nominees for Best Personal Weblog
Nominate Best New Weblog
Nominees for Best European Weblog Overall
Nominate Best Political Weblog
Nominate Most Underappreciated Weblog
Nominees for Best Humor Blog
Nominees for Best German Blog
Nominees for Best French Weblog
Nominate Best UK Blog
Nominees for Best Expat Blog
Nominate Best Academic Weblog

…the final will be in mid-February.

…next week.


It says something about AFOE charter member and – to use a NASA title – principal investigator Edward Hugh that, when Nosemonkey recently did a roundup of new European blogs, the top one on the list had already been roped in to EdWorld, as a contributor to Demography Matters and Global Economy Matters.

You will be assimilated.