CNET News.com is running an article about Blogosphere suffering from spam. It highlights reactions by the blogging community to tackle the spam attack – right from closing down comments to tools like Akismet to advanced filtering mechanisms being developed by Weblogs, Inc.
Boing Boing would allow its readers to leave comments and engage in a discussion on the wildly popular blog, if it weren’t for spam.
The editors of the technology and pop culture blog took down the comment option about two years ago. Back then, they wanted to put an end to abusive comments, personal attacks on the Boing Boing crew and some spam. Today, their reason for not bringing it back is simpler: an explosion in junk posts on blogs.
This seems like a knee-jerk reaction to me. In my opinion, the value of blogging is as much in the comments as it is in the posts/articles. As Slashdot proves, sometimes the activity in comments provides more insights than the main post itself. What Boing Boing, one of the top blogs, has done is similar to stop connecting to the Internet for the fear of viruses. Really, isn’t spam similar to viruses? The nature of virus and spam authors to find innovative ways to work around the existing security mechanisms make them kins. I agree with what the post continues to say:
The spam is undermining an integral part of blogs. Without feedback, a blog is merely a glorified press release, Mike Cornfield, an adjunct professor in political management at George Washington University, told CNET News.com earlier this year.
There can be multiple efforts to discourage spamming. I like what 456 Berea St has done by explicitly stating that all the links in comments will have the attribute
rel="nofollow" which tells search engines like Google to not follow that link. It does not handle automated rejection of the spam, but it does foil one of the plots by spammers.
I am sure with time, the spam filters and spammers, both will get more intelligent and will try to beat each other. Somtimes the spam might win. But this should not be the cause taking away one of the important aspects of blogging – writing comments and discussions.
Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.