Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blogger Beware

Eerie article on the splogosphere in this month's Wired. By now, we all know what spams are -- unfortunately. Splogs are spam blogs, and the latest online scam fad:
Like email spam, splogs use the most wonderful features of networked communication – its flexibility, easy access, and low cost – in the service of sleazy get-rich-quick schemes. But whereas email spammers try to induce recipients to buy products, sploggers make most of their money by getting viewers to click on ads that run adjacent to their nonsensical text.
Some 56 percent of active English-language blogs are spam. In December 2005, my dear provider Blogger was reported to host more than 100,000 sploggers. And thanks to robot-ware, sploggers generate up to 900,000 posts a day, while genuine bloggers only generate 300,000.

The article goes on to explain the technicalities and ramifications of splogging in minute detail. The saddest consequence is that splogging threatens the very democracy of the web:
The mess may have consequences beyond the blogosphere. Blogs are the leading edge of what is often called Web 2.0, the vision of the Internet as a bottom-up, communal platform for data of all sorts that is generated and continually updated by its users [Flickr, MySpace, Wikipedia, etc]. The openness and ease of use that make these sites popular will inevitably make them perfect targets for spammers. [more]
modified illustration Google Images

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