The Escalating TrackBack Spam Wars

I’ve been noticing what I think is an upgrade in TrackBack Spam on my blog. Uusally they’re pretty easy to spot — a load of links spattered across some gibberish. But the ones I’ve received today seem to be better, like this one:

Trackback1

Looks innocent enough, right? Except the words are actually mine, from another, unrelated post, and the from link is a pharmaeceutical website. It’s the fourth trackback (update while writing this: sixth; update again, 13th) the site has sent me in the last hour, and each one is a little bit different, always using text from one of my postings. The revamped TypePad trackback notifications give one pause for thought, too: could it be legitimate? Like this one:

A new TrackBack has been submitted to your weblog “loose wire,” on the post “The U.S.’ Next Big Thing: SMS-TV.”

TrackBack from:

Source: <a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/cheapest-phentermine/”>J</a><a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/cheap-phentermine/”>e</a><a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/discount-phentermine/”>v</a><a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/order-phentermine/”>y</a>
From Post: http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/2068728
Title: Productivity<a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/phentermine-online/”>K</a><a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/purchase-phentermine/”>i</a><a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/”>n</a><a href=”http://fami.home.sapo.pt/buy-phentermine/”>g</a>
IP: 81.8.110.33

Excerpt:

Here you go. Here are some handy links for you to enjoy: 43FoldersWiki – A system that helps you be more productive. Also has also productivity related stuff A Directory of Programs designed for USB Thumbdrives Starting with CSS lifehacke…

Yes, these things are a pain, but you can’t help admiring the spammers’ inventiveness. TypePad, your turn in the TrackBack wars.

Trackback Spam, Praising Dvorak, Office Revenge And Other Byways On The Route To Where You’re Going

One of the scary, but compelling, bits of having a blog is seeing how people found you. TypePad offer referring addresses which make this very easy, but all it does is make you wonder whether most of the people visiting you are on their way to somewhere else. (It also reveals how well trackback spam works.) Here’s a sampling of the past few hours:

That said, most of the searches seem to be pretty good matches. Only now I dread to think what kind of search results this posting is going to end up in.

Dvorak Doesn’t Like Tagging, Or Bloggers For That Matter

John Dvorak has a go at tagging: To Tag or Not to Tag, That Is the Question

Enter yet another more baffling attempt at tagging. This one is fascinating since it’s been gussied up with a new name, and for some unknown reason been given the blessing of a bunch of brain-dead bloggers. This is because a few of the favorite sites that the bloggers love have tacitly approved of the so-called—get this—”folksonomy tags.” Oh, a new term! This one is a laugh riot, since there is nothing new here except the new name: Folksonomy. I mean even in HTML there was the “metatag.”

No, no. This is different because, uh well, uh, lemme think. It just is!

I love his writing, and I admire his feist, if that’s a word (feistiness doesn’t seem to do justice to him, but feist seems to refer to ‘a nervous belligerent little mongrel dog’ so I better return to feistiness). I disagree with him on tags (I would, I’m a brain-dead blogger) but he makes a good point or two. I’ll leave it to others to pick up the argument, who will do a better job than I, but I was interested in the nearly all positive comments his column received online. Clearly the technorati aren’t popular in all sectors of the city. Is all this blogiverse thing turning into the same elitist, self-referential, self-reverential bunch of blowhards as the folks they’re trying to dislodge? Or as Dvorak puts it:

The influential bloggers should be defined here. These are people whom you’ve never heard of, but whom other influential A-list utopianist bloggers all know. I reckon there are about 500 of them. He (or she) influences other like-minded bloggers, creating a groupthink form of critical mass, just like atomic fission, as they bounce off each other with repetitive cross-links: trackback links, self-congratulatory links, confirmations, and praise-for-their-genius links. BOOM! You get a formidable explosion—an A-bomb of groupthink. You could get radiation sickness if you happen to be in the area. Except for Wired online and a few media bloggers, nobody is in the area, so nobody outside the groupthink community really cares about any of this. These explosions are generally self-contained and harmless to the environment.

Is this the first salvo in a backlash, or did I miss an earlier fusillade?