Blog Spam is a Pain in the…

Lately we’ve had issues with blog spammers creating annoyances with some of our sites at BootsnAll. The volume on our soccer blogs has been pretty insane. During live blogs of games there was a noticeable slowdown caused by the spammers coupled with visitors refreshing pages and posting high numbers of comments. Initially, I was suspicious of a few plugins, which may still not be well optimized, but after getting mod_status running on one of the servers and monitoring activity, it was becoming obvious that it was more than just plugin issues.

We already run Akismet and Spam Karma on some blogs, and those do a good job of catching spam when it hits the server. The main problem with those plugins is that they still allow the spammers to post comments before taking action. I decided that we needed to give Bad Behavior a shot. The nice thing about Bad Behavior is that it stops most spammers before they can post comments. Soon after activating the plugin across the sites, the server loads were cut from averaging around 5 to 1.5 and around 4 to 1. I’m pretty happy with the results and hopefully we’ll make it through Euro 2008 with no problems.

Obviously we can’t prevent all spammers. Especially someone like the guy spamming for The Ski Channel on Gary’s skiing blog. Manual spammers will slip by, but as Matt Cutts said, making spammers lose time or frustrating them is at least good for preventing spam.

Matt Cutts on Snippets

Good info…especially for noobs…

Firefox Add-Ons Problem

I made the mistake this morning of letting Firefox upgrade itself on my desktop without doing any digging around to see if people were having problems with it. Normally I do that, but I had stopped worrying about it for Firefox. Stupid me.

Upon restarting Firefox, it appeared that the theme I use was gone. Then I noticed my plugins weren’t showing up. After attempting to look for updates or settings and having FF lock up on me, I was pissed. There’s no way I’m reinstalling this thing…too many settings and add ons that would be a bitch to recover.

I jumped over to my laptop and started searching around (was going through withdrawls without my normal FF setup). After digging through a few sites and seeing posts about it without any solutions being presented, I started looking for similar problems happening with past updates (those would have had enough time for a solution to be presented). That search led me to this. It worked…woohoo.

Corrupt extension files

Files that store information about the extensions you have installed can sometimes be corrupted. Deleting them can fix a number of extension issues; they will be regenerated the next time you start Firefox. [5][6]. Exit Firefox completely, then open your Firefox profile folder (read the linked article for its location) and delete these three files:


Google Should Stop Trying to Make Their Own Rules for Marketing

In an effort to combat spam, Matt Cutts is coming up with more warnings about paid links. I think they’re starting to realize they are fighting a losing battle and they’re trying to do anything they can to control links. Michael Gray seems to think that maybe Google is out of touch with reality. I agree.

Paid advertising should be allowed to exist in any form for any purpose. If a company can afford paid advertising and continue to afford that advertising, they are most likely doing something right. If they are doing something right, shouldn’t a paid link on an authority site count as a vote toward the quality of the site?

Is the Internet Getting Too Out of Hand?

I don’t normally write much here, but I have to get this off my chest…I’ve been seeing a ton of noise and downright stupid things lately. This is what happens when people cross a marketplace/business center with their personal lives.

Over at Creating Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra has posted some information about the nightmare of a situation that she’s going through. It’s insane. For someone to think that it’s anywhere near acceptable to threaten or even joke in this manner is stupid. If you wouldn’t say or do something when looking a person face to face, it shouldn’t be said to them online. Rob Scoble is taking the week off from blogging as a method of protesting what is going on with Kathy. He’s even boycotting Digg over the abusive comments that are happening over there. It’s good to see some high profile people starting to see a problem and standing up against it.

Social sites such as Digg are becoming a big, open sore. On one side, there’s the “Digg Mob” – a bunch of opinionated people with nothing better in their life to do than bury stories that don’t match their political or moral beliefs. Then, you have the people who, in my opinion, abuse Digg by posting any and every story that they create in hopes to land a few readers and/or links. I’m not saying that either side is necessarily wrong or right to be doing what they’re doing. The problem I have with it is that the whole environment there is becoming worthless. There are thousands of “10 things” and “How To” articles written by people that just reword what they’ve read on other blogs and/or forums. A large majority of those are written to be link bait. Are people becoming so lazy and dumb that they think those pages are really valuable? I admit, some of them are good, but most are junk. Right now, this page is #1 in the “Top 10 in All Topics”. What value is there in that? That blog is probably someone who has figured out how to either game Digg or is a part of the Digg Mob. Check out the comments on there. It’s completely out of control. This kind of crap is happening all over the place online right now.

People get behind a keyboard and automatically feel like they’re entitled to start flaming people, talking dirty, and causing trouble. If they are on a forum or somewhere that a little humor and trash talking is acceptable, that’s fine. When the immaturity carries over to sites conducting business, whether directly or indirectly, the quality of everything goes downhill. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I still believe that business is business and there is no place in business for people who can’t play nice with others and stay neutral. You don’t talk politics, sex, or attack others in an office environment. It shouldn’t happen online. The environment of the internet has become way too laid back IMO. People send business correspondence with all kinds of grammar and spelling errors. Is it out of control? Are people becoming careless, lazy, and disrespectful?

Opera Is Now Free with NO Ads

I’ve always liked the Opera browser…just didn’t like the ads they displayed in the free version. I suppose they weren’t really that much of a hassle for such a fast and feature rich browser. It doesn’t really matter now though, you can get it here for free now.

What are you waiting for? Click the damn link and start using it…or at least get Firefox. Abandon Internet Explorer.

Shortcuts and Cheat Sheets

This site contains a bunch of great little tidbits of information and help for making programming and SEO easier.

Adobe To Buy Macromedia

This can’t be good:

Adobe to Buy Macromedia for $3.4 Bln

I have used Macromedia products for years because I didn’t want to support Adobe. Macromedia makes a superior product when it comes to web based media. Dreamweaver is my favorite Macromedia program and I hope that Adobe doesn’t phase it out like Macromedia did with Homesite when Macromedia bought Allaire. I was a big homesite fan, but when it was phased out I had to move on. Dreamweaver is good, but consumes more resources than Homesite used to. I will admit that Adobe Photoshop is superior to any competition out there. Macromedia’s Fireworks software was decent and priced well, but could never really compete with Photoshop. Maybe I’ll just stick with outdated Macromedia products for now.