Corporate Blogging Survey 2005

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October 11, 2005

Verisign Buys

Verisign just purchased from David Winer, there is a discussion of the new purchase on the Verisign blog. One aspect of the purchase is Verisign’s hopes for reducing blog and ping spam. Blog spam has become an increasing problem over the last six months, making many of the major feed search engines virtually useless for some high trafficked terms, I think in some ways we are back in the late 90’s for search engines with feed search engines. Some bloggers are even abandoning their use of feed search engines, I would not go that far, but we all of the spam blogs it does require some more ingenuity to find good blog content than once it did a few months ago.

We’ve just begun doing some analysis on just how many blogs out there are real – the work of real humans crafting posts – rather than simply splogs – web pages that are generated automatically by scripts and programs to look just like (or much like) real blogs, but serve only as a place to park keywords that will hopefully be found in a search, and advertisements that hopefully will be clicked on by humans who happen to somehow land on that page. In talking to Google, they can confirm what our initial scan tells us: there are an enormous number of splogs out there, and the number is growing faster than the number of real blogs. By a good margin. This problem is fraught with many of the same problems that plague the email world in its struggle against spam: Who is the source? What is the content about? Is it a copy? What does its distribution look like? Is this purely a solicitation? These are not easy questions, and a robust solution is not readily available. However, at the infrastructure level, very little is currently being done, and there are remedies that can be deployed that will provide significant, if not thorough relief. As a first “killer app? to deploy on top of ping services, we’d like to make progress in improving the “signal-to-noise ratio? in the blogosphere. Does that mean censorship? No. As above, we’re committed to maintaining the integrity of the free and open ping stream, in all its wild and chaotic glory. But we believe that many will want to take advantage of filtering services – screen out the splogs based on a threshold value in the analysis – in much the same way that mail users see value in spam filters for their email inbox. That’s a tough task, and one we won’t be able to make much progress on alone. We’re already working with a number of parties in the ecosystem on this subject, and believe that as part of a community effort, VeriSign can help lead the way to much better “signal? at the infrastructure layer of the blogosphere. Which will improve the user experience for everyone. Which is why we got involved in the first place.

Posted by johncass at October 11, 2005 11:15 AM

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