Monday, April 24, 2006

Commentary: Sotir: Splogs and Spings?? Oh NO!!

I know that you are still reeling from terms like 'Blog' and 'Wiki'...not to mention 'RSS and Atom'...or even 'Vlogs' (video blogs). Now new terms have been coined due to the rash of spammers who have branched out from email and are now posting unwanted and potentially harmful fake blog posts or comments. The term for this is 'Splogs', for Spam Blogs or 'Spings' (recalling that legitimate sites like Blogarithm can keep track of your interests by 'pinging' your email when a new post of interest comes up).

As a Blog administrator, these are more than annoying. There are methods to thwart the buggers (or Sploggers). Some sites ask for word verification, a particularly annoying method of asking you to read letters that are uneven and write them into a box before your post is published. While these usually workbecause 'bots' or robotic readers can't read them, frankly, neither can I, most of the time. Other methods allow for moderating comments or posts from anonymous sources. I prefer this method, so if someone is not registered as a Blog member, their posts go into a holding site that allows me to agree or not agree to publish them. Not foolproof, but not too bad either.

According to an article on by Christopher Heun:
"The people who create splogs - or, more accurately, the people who write the programs that do it for them - rarely intend for anyone to actually read their posts. They're just building a giant clump of links that refer back to some other site - that, say, promotes gambling or sells something like Viagra - and thus increases the page rank of that site on different search engines.

Then, in the odd chance that anyone might actually read their junk posts, the creators put ads on them that generate a small commission, usually a fraction of a dollar, for every click. "

The underlying factor is that if someone wants to annoy you, with a little effort, they can. Buggers.