RSS, OPML and the XML platform.
Copyright 2003-5 Randy Charles Morin
Last October and January, I wrote pieces on the state of the splogosphere, that is the ability of our blog infrastructure to handle SPAM, SPAM blogs, blog comment SPAM and spings. In these pieces, I talked mostly about the splog problem that was rooted in Google's Blogspot hosting service and the inability of blog search engines to filter the splogging noise.
Here we are six months later and nothing much has changed. Splogs are still everywhere and the search engines are struggling with result pages that are littered with splogs. Let's examine a few blogosphere search engines and score the amount of splog found compared to useful results. Let's compare search results for my primary domain; kbcafe.com.
Currently, I'm using a combination of BlogPulse, IceRocket and Google blog search. All three do a good job of filtering splogs and still report a lot of new referrers.
One things that has changed is the preferred splogging framework. Six months ago, almost every splog was found on Blogspot, but thanks to a lot of effort on Google's part, this is no longer true. Sploggers prefer the self hosted Wordpress platform. Don't get me wrong, there's still lots of splogs on Blogspot, but the search engines and Google have teamed to reduce the number of those splogs that are appearing in the blog search result pages.
There's a new evil in the blogosphere and that's blog comment SPAM. The amount of blog comment SPAM is not only increasing, but the spammers are writing relevant comments that are less likely to get removed by the blog's author. Some blogging platforms are simply inadequate at stopping blog comment spam. I have a Blogspirit test blog and if you check the right sidebar, the comments are dominated by blog comment spam and I really have no idea how to stop this. I've even tried to disable comments, but the software seems to be broken in this regard.
Another new evil in the blogosphere is spings. Spings are blogosphere pings on behalf of splogs (or fake blogs). The end user doesn't really see this problem, but search engines like Technorati do. David Sifry is reporting that the majority of blogosphere pings are actually spings.
Conclusion? We're not getting anywhere. Splogs are devaluing the blogosphere, as much as email SPAM is devaluing email. The problem is that governments move at a slower speed than the Internet. A spammer or splogger is a millionaire before the authorities know how to deal with them. The solution must come from the private sector.