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Perspectives on Blog Spam

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What do Nicholas Cage, David Carradine, Susan Hayward, Richard Burton and a whole host of Hollywood stars past and present have in common?

Their names have been hijacked by blog spammers, according to Akismet which stops spam appearing on my blog.

A tidal wave of comment spam this weekend has been stopped in its tracks by Akismet. Apart from one little recent glitch, Akismet really is an excellent service which learns from the collective feedback of everyone who uses it.

Then there’s trackback spam. Again, loads of it this weekend, mostly from one particular site trying to connect to my post the other day about Microsoft’s RSS feeds directory.

What was interesting about this trackback spam salvo is how Akismet dealt with it. The first three trackbacks were waiting in my comment moderation queue, so not initially seen as spam. A quick look at the site left me in no doubt that this was clearly a splog so I marked them all as spam. That action sent my choices to Akismet to add this info to their database. From that point on, all other trackback requests (more than 20 so far) have been stopped automatically by Akismet.

Originally developed for WordPress, Akismet is also available as a plugin for blogs running Movable Type and on some other platforms. To use it, you need an API key which you can get only by starting a blog on the hosted WordPress.com service (now that’s a smart move).

One nifty plugin I have installed is Akismet Spam Count which lets any visitor here know how many spams Akismet has stopped. No other use, really! It’s in the sidebar on the right under the heading “The War Against Spam.”

Over 1,340 spams stopped dead so far since I started this blog at the end of February. Small beer, though, compared to the second most spammed person in the world with over 270,000 trapped spams.

That certainly puts a lot into perspective.

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Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.

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