Persistent Spam

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Like many over the past few months, I have happily filled my aggregator with persistent queries from the likes of PubSub, Newsgator, Technorati and Feedster.

At first it was ego surfing without leaving the couch. Now I’m creating lots of queries for even short term memes I want to track. There is a lot of buzz about

One of the many disturbing points a Spammer made when interviewed by Chris Pirillo was that they could even spam RSS. Chris said something to the effect of, “bullshit, there is an unsubscribe button.” But when he explained that RSS provided perfect fodder for creating blogs that looked real, there was an Oh Shit moment. No need for scraping, blogging has structured it for you.

All this clicked for me recently when I noticed an uptick in stupid fake blogs in my pretty smart feeds (I am not linking to examples). All that persistence is pretty easy to use for spam. Of course, there will be countermeasures as with any spam war. An link-based reputation and confirmed ties beat the heck out of black or white listing. But it is a shame when social software is a victim of its own openness. When you have to sacrifice your peripheral vision for greater focus on nagging problems. Ah well, at least I can still subscribe to my friends, and some of them have time to filter for me.

UPDATE: Josh Hallett points to a conversation with Bob Wyman around RSS spam.

Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.

Persistent Spam
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