E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Tempted by Blogs, Spam Becomes Splog

I am sure that by now, one way or another, every single weblogger out there may have been affected by splogs. And if they haven’t that means that they still haven’t been exposed to them but will shortly be doing so. Who isn’t affected by spam at some point or another? We have seen it in e-mails, IMs, web sites, newsgroups, you name it. Now, the latest trend in spamming is splogging.

Just recently there has been lots of commentary about how this new kind of spam is getting really strong out there in the Blogosphere. Check out, for instance, the discussions held over at /. or the CNET news article on the subject: Tempted by blogs, spam becomes splog. I think it wouldn’t come to nobody as a surprise that this was about to happen. I mean, right now Technorati is indicating it is tracking 20.9 million weblogs and I very much doubt that all of them would be authentic weblogs. There are lots of chunk out there and somehow I feel that we all know this was something that we should have prevented but never bothered doing it. And now we are starting to pay the price.

How many great weblogs and their corresponding weblog posts are passing by unnoticed just because we haven’t been able to stop splogging? How long will it take before something gets done? I mean, it has happened in e-mails, IMs, and so forth and in most cases it is sort of manageable now. But why not with splogs? What are we waiting for, folks? I am not sure if people would realise about this or not but this is a phenomenon that apart from being very annoying it could also create a lot more harm than helping out spreading the word about weblogs. If not check out in the CNET article how many search engines are already thinking about restricting the number of weblog services they would crawl (Blogger being one paying the big price so far).

There must be a better way to handle this issue. We all know how crucial it is to have a working search engine to find stuff stored in weblogs, so what are we, webloggers, going to do to find the content we need if search engines are no longer going to crawl the weblogs we want? How sustainable that can be? How long before people give up and start moving elsewhere? Indeed, there must be a better way for weblogging services to stop this new trend. Otherwise, the consequences would be much higher than what may have looked like so far.

The key question remains though: are weblogging services like Blogger, and whatever else, ready to kill this new trend? Once and for all? I am sure there is a way of doing it. I mean, I refuse to think the splogging can take down such weblogging services just like that. So why is it not happening any way faster? Are we witnessing the beginning of a new era where weblogs will get hammered with an increasing amount of spam that in the end would make them unmanageable? I hope this might never happen, but so far I see very little that these weblogging services are doing to avoid this problem. So what needs to happen to take some further steps to stop it? That a whole system goes down and becomes unusable? Will we be able to afford it ? I am sure we will not, which is why I am hoping that we may still be on time to fix it, otherwise it is going to be some interesting times for us, webloggers.

Will we be ready for the fight ? You bet we will ! We just need to find that better way of handling the creation of new weblogs, and I am not sure about what you think, but I wouldn’t think it would be too complicated to change the way setting up a weblog works now and make it much more interactive for the hands of the new weblogger. After all, what is it like to follow a couple of extra steps knowing that it would eventually get you there? As I said, I am sure there is a way, we just need to find it and implement it. And the sooner, the better.

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