Burningbird Social Media

Focusing on the social in social software

Yule, who is about the most wonderful kicker of butts I know of, posted a link to my previous entry in a comment at another thread related to comment spamming. Unfortunately, the tone of my post had more impact then the words, which shows the dangers of writing in anything other than the most non-emotive manner. But then, what’s the fun of that?

I am frustrated, and I have no qualms about introducing a frustrated tone into my writing when it comes to comment spammers, and webloggers and their reaction thereof. For a people who pride themselves so much on being social software devotees, I’ve never seen a group of people less likely to recognize brilliant social software in action then webloggers. And yes, it is frustrating.

The comment spammers have met and pushed past any barrier we put up. They do so by listening to what we say, and then acting accordingly. They move past the barriers because anything we do other than a re-engineer of the MT comment system is nothing more than an obstacle, not a closed door to the spammers. What we do, though, is overreact. We put on the most amazingly complicated code that if we’re hit with anything approaching some of the new Script Kiddies MT comment attacks, we’re done because the machine can’t keep up the processing. We blacklist at the drop of a hat, using each others blacklist import lists without once considering that each might have good URLs in addition to the bad.

In other words, we take it personally, while the comment spammers take it professionally, and we’ll never win the battle with odds such as these.

I used to take it personally until I started following the actions of the comment spammers. Now, sorry for offending folks, I’m filled with admiration for them. I still think that Tim O’Reilly should have featured comment, and email, spammers as speakers at the Emerging Tech Conference. These people really do know the concepts behind social software, and we could do well to emulate them. In other words, they learn from watching us? We should learn by watching them.

But I’ve said all this before, and this is frustrating.

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