Re: Response to spam

From: <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 21:44:37 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Jan 11, 11:17 am, joel garry <> wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:44 pm, wrote:
> > On Jan 10, 12:02 am, "Martijn Tonies"
> > <> wrote:
> > > >> > >>> I know that quite often members of the group don't see the outcome
> > > of
> > > >> > >>> what some of us do to fight spam. Here's one positive outcome.
> > > >> > >And kudos to Daniel for showing us a positive outcome and for his
> > > > > >diligence. And to James for understanding.
> > > > > I have to agree, wholeheartedly. It is very easy to grow frustrated,
> > > > > seeing the seemingly endless stream of spam spewed upon the forums.
> > > > Very true... And in e-mail as well, luckily, I have that filtered. Worse
> > > > solutions are floating around the net though.
> > > > > That makes it easy to give up and stop sending in the abuse reports.
> > > > > Daniel has showed us that it might not be totally futile.
> > > > Yep, but as I said, I really wouldn't want to call this a "real" spammer.
> > > >I do and I did.
> > > >>lnk=gst&q=jg#f8326235fb135c9c
> > > Hmm, good call :-)
> I meant to add I posted in that other group before I saw Dan's post.
> > > --
> > > Martijn Tonies
> > > Database Workbench - tool for InterBase, Firebird, MySQL, NexusDB, Oracle &
> > > MS SQL Server
> > > Upscene Productions
> > > My thoughts:
> > > Database development questions? Check the forum!
> > > >I consider people who perform actions of specific misposting in order
> > > >to drive traffic to their sites spammers. And not a trivial form of
> > > >spam either, as this is the sort of thing that can become high volume
> > > >very fast, as everyone wants to make a million dollars from other
> > > >people googling.
> > > >The ethics of me not following the google webmaster help charter is
> > > >left as an exercise for the student.
> > "I consider people who perform actions of specific misposting in order
> > to drive traffic to their sites spammers"
> > Good definition. It means all those silly people who have just
> > participated in the "8 things you didn't know about me - pass it on to
> > 8 others" nonsense in the Blogsphere are also spammers.
> Are they really trying to drive traffic to their sites, or just a bit
> deluded as to the consequences? I think I would have fallen for it
> had I a regular blog.
> > The worry is reading some of the names who have been sucked into the
> > innocent-sounding "blog tagging game" as one deluded individual called
> > it.
> > It's not a game, though: It's a complete waste of time and, worse, it
> > drives good information out of the blog aggregators faster than it can
> > arrive.
> I don't generally use the aggregators, so I was a bit late to this
> party. I thought it was quite amusing. I thought that since the
> number of Oracle bloggers seems relatively small, it would limit
> itself early being something close to a power of 8. You may have
> changed my mind.
> > If a pyramid letter suggesting you can earn a million bucks by passing
> > the letter onto 10 others is spam, so is this crapola.
> > If you have an Oracle blog and you are "tagged" by one of these
> > idiots, please don't "pass it on". By all means share your 8 initimate
> > secrets with the world at large, but don't encourage others to do so,
> > especially as the general idea of blogs was, from the outset, that
> > their authors would share all sorts of information, intimate secrets
> > and otherwise, without encouragement
> I kind of thought you taking your site offline was an overreaction,
> but am explicitly making no such public judgement.

When I posted something which simply pointed out that 8^4 is 4096 metoo  '8 things' posts, I got replies that I needed to chill, stop being grumpy and that I was dictating what others could do with their blogs.

In response to me pointing out, therefore, that there are practical and detrimental consequences from this blog explosion, I got two people telling me what they assumed my emotional state to be and one telling me that my concern at actual consequences was just me trying to fling my weight around.

What do you propose I do when the blogging community of which I am allegedly a co-equal part doesn't take the points I make seriously (which is different from agreeing with them, I hasten to add) but instead immediately reaches for the personal attack?

> In general, if
> something looks to me like an overreaction, I try to assume either
> I've missed something, or there is some other motivation that I don't
> know about - but usually would like to, as it is likely to be
> interesting or informative. Have you had something specific happen
> having to do with chain letters?

No, of course not. What an odd suggestion. I don't have to have had weird experiences in the past to be aware of what is happening to OraNA right now. Posts containing good content (not all of it technical) are being shunted at a rate of knots down the page and off the page, because of the constant arrival of new me-too '8 things' posts. That's a practical consequence and not one I just made up.

The response to this has been (from Tim Hall) "It's my blog and I can do what I like with it" (stuff anyone affected by what he does with it, too, I suppose).

Tim's other thoughtful response was "I don't care. I never asked to be included in the blog aggregator in the first place". Very civically minded.

The response (from Jake who started it all) was "filter out the posts you don't want to read"... once he tells me how I can do that on, I'll certainly take that advice, but I suspect it might be just a bit tricky to filter stuff out of a webpage I don't control!

Other responses have been "don't read it if you don't like it" (great: they pollute the waters, but the answer is that I shouldn't drink it if I don't like it. Very considerate).

Then there's the "Oh, blogging is supposed to be fun! Don't be so grumpy about it!" as if my complaint about what is happening at OraNA has anything to do with whether I think blogs should always and only be about Oracle technical stuff (I don't, and I've posted vast quantities of frivolous and personal stuff myself in my time, so I would have thought the point didn't need making).

They don't even register the point that there's no problem with 16 personal things about 16 different people on 16 different days, but there's a major problem with 320 different things about 40 different people in 2 days, and with the promise of an exponential growth of the same sort of stuff to come. (And no, I haven't bothered to count whether they're the actual numbers. It's just what it feels like).

What you consider to be an over-reaction is actually just a considered reaction to noticing and experiencing the positive *damage* this silly 'game' is causing, as well as to the dismissive, personally abusive reaction some of these people have had when someone has dared ask them to re-think their participation.

> Of course, we all overreact at times, that's not anything to get
> excited about.

I haven't over-reacted. I politely asked perhaps 4 or 5 people who had 'passed it on' to ask their 8 names not to perpetuate the thing further. I then blogged about it, in which I pointed out the dangers of an exponentially-increasing volume of me-too blog posts to a blog aggregator like OraNA, and then I got personally abused for my trouble. Meanwhile, it is difficult to find anything of worth on OraNA at the moment, and I resent being told to change my reading habits and software just because others fancy having 'a bit of fun'.

When the "community" decides to behave in such an irrational fashion (in any other context, this exponential flood of content that prevents a site like OraNA publicising good content would be called a distributed denial of service attack), I simply want no part of it. Which is why the site and its content will remain inaccessible until some semblance of sanity prevails.

Those who dislike not having my material available should perhaps consider that I dislike not having OraNA available to me in a fit and usable state. And as far as I can tell, so far, I'm not alone in that.

> jg
> --
> is bogus.
Received on Thu Jan 10 2008 - 23:44:37 CST

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