Wednesday, July 25, 2007
7 characteristics of blog comment spam
Paid opinion blogging, and compensated blog comments, are crap. Nobody believes incentivized remarks and they simply pollute the blogosphere.
If you're being paid to praise or attack something, in the guise of being a spontaneous remark by an actual customer, you're polluting the blogosphere with worthless remarks that have an ulterior motive.
Such blog whoring breaks the peer-to-peer recommendation system of the Trust Web.
Take this one for example.
This comment was in moderation this morning. Blogger notifies me via email when a new comment is in moderation. This enables me to prevent comment spam and abusive comments from appearing on my blog.
I'm not censoring anybody, just blocking the spambots and the PayPerPost blog whores.
Comment spam is a remark that typically features the following characteristics, which you'll see in the comment spam below:
Now here's the comment spam.
Hey buddy! Nice blog that you maintain here.. I just chanced upon your blog surfing the blogosphere. I was thinking.. you could try out some interesting widgets on your page and spice it up with some great pictures. E.g try out the poster widget on [-- URL deleted --] with your relevant keywords. It has some of the best images i have ever seen.
(1) Anonymous: no name, no web site URL embedded in a signature, thus no way to verify who this is.
(2) Flattering: "Hey buddy", not even using "Vaspers" or "Steven". This makes me think it's an automated program, a "spambot", that tried to post this bogus "comment".
Since I don't use a "captcha" (character recognition, human-verification device) to block spambots. I quit using a captcha, because it's often hard for real humans to see what letters or numbers are displayed. Jim Estill, CEO blogger, gave me this anti-captcha advice.
(3) Irrelevant: No indication that the comment poster read any of my blog, or the specific post they are trying to attach the comment to. Not even an attempt to fit the remark in with the topic of the post or the theme of my blog. A dead give-away.
(4) Tangential: Not only is the comment not pertinent to the discussion, but it goes off on a tangent. This is called "thread-jacking": hijacking, or subverting, the "thread" of the conversation. In this case, the topic "widgets" is introduced.
(5) Promotional: Having brought up an irrelevant topic, the comment is promoting a web site that pertains, not to my specific post or blog theme (web usability, socnet analysis), but to the topic of the comment.
(6) Amateur: The anonymous, probably non-human, comment poster is unprofessional. I have widgets in my blog, but "he" doesn't even acknowledge it. In fact, he seems to be blind. He could have at least said "I noticed you have a few widgets already, but have you checked out (blah blah blah)."
(7) Linked: Nearly every spam comment will link to a site that is selling something, or seeking to increase traffic and clicks to ads displayed on the site.
The reason this comment fails to use my name, and fails to be relevant to the specific post, is because the human or spambot who is attempting to use my blog as a free advertising bulletboard, is: this comment is generic, and designed to be posted at a variety of blogs on a variety of topics and themes.
Comment spam is similar to email spam. You did not request information from the company, the company is irrelevant to your needs, the message is generic, and the spam is inrusive, disruptive, and time-wasting.
Delete all such generic, boiler-plate comments.
The links may lead to malicious, Trojan or spyware-attaching sites. Protect your blog visitors. Keep your site clean from blog whore pollutions.