ProBlogger’s MyBlogLog community has continued to grow in number over the last couple of weeks since I added it to my sidebar however the last few days have given me numerous reasons to wonder if I continue with it.
Community Message Spam – I am increasingly spending time deleting spammy comments left on the community from members. While I’m not overly concerned by the ‘check out my community/site/blog’ comments (although leaving a comment like that’s not really incentive for anyone to check out your community/site/blog in my experience) over the last few days I’ve had an increasing amount of ‘harder edged’ spam on my community – particularly linking to porn and drug sites.
The result is that I’m spending more and more time each day removing spam (something I have enough of with my email and blog comment spam).
I’ve suggested to MBL that they give community owners a higher level of moderation. Perhaps one way would be to not only send an email every time a comment is left with a link to the comment – but to include what the comment is as well as a link within the email to delete it (similarly to how WordPress does with comments).
Author Spam – Last night I received numerous invitations from other communities to join them as an author – despite the fact that I’ve never heard of the blogs (let alone the fact that I’ve not written on them). The communities in question listed hundreds of authors. Today a number of other bloggers posted that they’d been added as authors on blogs that they didn’t write on including ShoeMoney, John Chow, Danny Sullivan and Web Metrics Guru. Reading the comments on these blogs shows that many others were spammed this way also. (The Jason Calacanis community also looks like a victim of this as he seems to have been made an ‘author’ of an SEO community).
Reliability – I’ve had a few problems with deleting spammy comments this week. Sometimes it takes hitting ‘delete’ 3-4 times before they actually are deleted.
I guess I’m also still a little confused about what MyBlogLog offers bloggers (as I was last time I wrote about MyBlogLog). While there’s definitely potential there (they do seem to have a large number of enthusiastic users) I’m worried that in it’s current form their communities could actually hurt the reputation of the blogs that they form around.
I’ve already had complaints from a number of readers about the nature of some pictures appearing in the widgets and some of the content in comments left on the community pages. Unless there is added levels of moderation, tighter controls over authorship and some sort of features that adds to community around a blog I’m not sure it’s something I’ll continue much further with.
I’d love to see MyBlogLog go to the next level and become a useful tool to bloggers and blog readers – but adding any feature to a blog has the potential to add to and strengthen that blog’s brand and message – or take from it. When it takes from it there comes a time to take action.
update: The team at MyBlogLog have fixed the co-author spam problem. Well done MBL!