DateTuesday 1 February 2005

…and a last word (for now) on link spamming

The Register’s latest letters bag has some people who are angry about link spamming. Very angry. And who would like me to give up the person’s name I spoke to so they can visit some anger upon them, in the manner of Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction.

First: sure, link spam is annoying, to say the least. I too have better things to do than delete spam about p*ker. I’d prefer to throw this blog open to comments from people who want to comment on its content from all over. But – can’t. That’s how it is. To win a battle (or a war) you have to understand your opponent’s mind. To them, it’s nothing personal; it’s just money.

Second: I’m really, really not going to go back on what journalism should be about, which is revealing the stories of people who should be heard and keeping any promises made to them along the way that enabled those stories to be told, just so some people with anger-management issues can get emotionally incontinent.

Now let’s move on.

The Daring Fireball linked list – let the news come to you

Now honest, I was going to write this anyway. (You’ll see the reason for the mea exculpa in a moment.)

If you want to read just the stuff that is worth reading on the Apple front.. and more widely, actually – then an excellent page to leave up and to refresh each day is John Gruber’s Linked List (at The range is broad, and deep, and never overwhelming, as can be the case with some blogs I could easily name.

And I was going to write this even before he pointed to the piece I wrote about link spamming. Truly, I’m not just preening. Read John Gruber. “Barely ever wrong” might sound like damning with faint praise, but on the Net it’s a hell of a target. He hits it. And the linked list, which used to be subscriber-only but is now available even to any old dweeb, is never wrong.

Of course the unpredictably infrequent Daring Fireball pieces (at the main site) are always good value. Hell, based on the rumours he dubbed it “iMac mini” – first on the web with that near-enough hit before the fact.

Ho hum, more spammer collateral damage: trackbacks are off

Since I wrote over at The Register that trackback spamming (creating a spam site and then pointing to posts on legit sites which use the trackback system, in the expectation that those sites will point back to the spam site, which will get indexed by the search engines and thus move up the rankings to the magical 1, 8, 9 or 10 spots on a search) would be the next step in the comment spam war, this site has been the target, for the first time, of trackback spamming – two hefty lots in a day.

Um, that’s childish, guys. So anyway, I’ve turned off trackbacks for now until further notice. I’ll track things through Technorati or Bloglines/ Feel free to mention any other blog-monitoring service that ought to be mentioned here.

The other thing: depending how Google weights those spam sites, they’re giving me more push by pointing to me site. Gee, wizz zeez trackbacks you are spoiling uzz, amabassador