2005/01/19

Comment spam and nofollow

AOL Journals hasn't been hit by comment spam yet as far as I know, butI'm sure it's just a matter of time.  We're somewhat protectedbecause we don't allow anonymous comments, but commentspammers can get around that once they put some effort into it.
So AOL Journals plans to support the initiative to make at least one form ofcomment spam ineffective -- the rel="nofollow" attribute. The idea is that this would be honored by search engines such asGoogle, and would mean that these links wouldn't count towardsincreasing the page rank of the target.  So, this form of spamwould be rendered useless immediately.  Of course, other formswould still persist, but I say it's better to light a candle than cursethe darkness.   Or at least do both in parallel.

2005/01/12

Virtuous cycle of creativity

The combination of blogs and aggregation is so powerful not justbecause these are complementary technologies in the obvious sense, butbecause they promote a 'virtuous cycle' that promotes the creationa andtransformation of information.   Of course this cycle isnothing new -- it's been around since forever, through the media ofbooks, libraries, universities, newspapers, et cetera -- but theblog/aggregation combination vastly speeds up the process and reducesthe transaction cost to effectively nothing.  Which makes the Long Tail of the information economy accessible.

That's why the announcement of My MSN RSS aggregation with feed search is interesting; a My MSN aggregator, plus MSN Spacesmeans Microsoft can leverage both sides.  So they could make itvery easy, for example, to subscribe to the RSS feeds for Spaces ownedby people who comment on your blog.  Or do any number of otherthings which increase the value of being an MSN member.  And,obviously, these tools still interoperate with the rest of theblogosphere (note that Spaces has had RSS feeds since launch).