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Google to Kill Blog Comment Spam?

Steve Rubel points to a rumored announcement of a system of blocking Google’s bots reading your comments – thereby taking the incentive for comment spammers to leave comments.

‘But since then several bloggers have reported that Winer was testing a new Google linking mechanism that might put an end to blog comment spam by omitting all links from its PageRank calculations that have a rel=”nofollow” attribute tag. This would change the economics behind why people comment spam popular blogs – to boost their Google search rank. If this is true, it would certainly be welcome. Stay tuned.’

I’m all in favor of any such system – but suspect that if it is left up to bloggers to insert the code into their own templates that it will only ever be used by a certain percentage of the blogosphere and as a result there will always be some incentive for comment spammers to continue on their merry spamming ways. Maybe if such a system were to be included in all future releases of the big blogging systems it would help combat the problem more. Bring it on though I say – I’m sick of the morning ritual of cleansing my blogs from the filth.

Of course there will be a cost of blocking Google from Comments also. A cost to legitimate bloggers who interact with other legitimate bloggers. In the same way that spammers comments will no longer promote them in Google – legitimate bloggers will lose backlinks from comments and slip in their Google rankings. Search engine ranking is very dependent upon backlinks to your blog – if many of us were to review our backlinks we’d find that a lot of them come from our own comments. I do not leave comments for this purpose – comments for me are about connecting with other bloggers and exchanging ideas – however a side benefit of doing so is the way it increases profile in Google. I leave around 10 comments per day on others blogs – over two years of blogging this is over 6000 links to my sites. If these were to disappear I wonder what impact it would have. I suspect that if this system were to be implemented on past comments that many bloggers would see a corresponding slip in their SERPs. I guess there is a cost to every gain in life.

Technorati Tags for Dummies

Everyone is talking about Tags at the moment. With the launch of Technorati’s new Tag service it is no wonder that they are because it is a technology that has the potential to change the way we find and interact with one another’s content. Rather than rewrite what has already been written on the topic I thought I’d provide you with a list of excellent resources that have already been written on Technorati Tags. Feel free to submit your own suggestions and articles on Tags below in comments. Here are some of the better posts and resources on tags that I’ve found so far:

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Blogger asks to be removed from Bloglines

Saw this interesting post over at the The Trademark Blog where he explains why he has asked Bloglines to remove his RSS feed from its service.

‘It was brought to my attention that a website named Bloglines was reproducing the Trademark Blog, surrounding it with its own frame, stripping the page of my contact info. It identifies itself as a news aggregator. It is not authorized to reproduce my content nor to change the appearance of my pages, which it does. In response to my inquiry to Blogline’s CEO as to whether they sell advertising, he indicated that they ‘are not currently running advertising.’ Nevertheless, the Blogline’s home page currently is soliciting ‘targeted advertisements.’ I would also assume that Blogline is accumulating commercially-useful mailing lists (its privacy policy appears to allow it to sell information). The privacy policy also has a provision entitled ‘mergers and acquisitions’ clearly allowing it to sell its lists.

Thus, in my view, Bloglines’ reproduction of my site is a commercial derivative work. Bloglines has agreed to remove my site from its service and I thank it in advance for its cooperation….’

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Why ((Insert Occupation Here)) Should Blog

There seems to be a recent spate of articles being written that argue the case for why different occupations ‘Should Blog’. Here is just a few that I found in just a few minutes.

- Why advertising, marketing and PR pros should blog

- The 6 Top Reasons Marketers Should Blog

- Seven Reasons Why Business Should Blog Now

- Why Small Businesses should blog

- Why corporate boards should blog

- Why ministers should blog….

- Why MP’s Should Get Blogging

- 10 reasons why should a politician blog

- Why postgrads should blog

- Why Journalists Should Blog

- Why sociologists should blog

- Why Authors Should Blog

- Real Lawyers :: Have Blogs – almost makes the field but just needs to get a ‘should’ in there.

It is a good list – but there are a few missing articles I suspect. How about:

- Why Teachers Should Blog

- Why Accountants Should Blog

- Why Academics Should Blog

- Why Hairdressers Should Blog (well why not!?)

- Why Plumbers Should Blog

So here is my challenge to you (it is part of my ‘Blogger Idol‘ project for this week). Write a “Why <<Insert Occupation Here>> Should Blog” article on your own blog. Then head over to the Blogger Idol Blog and leave a link in the comments section to your article. I’ll add my favorite ones to the list in this post.

Update: Here are some of the new ones added so far:

- Why Stay at Home Mothers Should Blog
- Why PhD Students Should Blog
- Why Writers Should Blgo
- Why Journalists Should Blog

Will Podcasting Make Money ?

pc4media has a good post examining the question of Will Podcasting Make Money?

Blog Ethics, Transparency and a Raging Debate over Blogging for Money

I’ve been busy the last few days preparing for and speaking at a conference so have missed the big blow up on the payment of bloggers as consultants by Howard Dean last year. The story has brokens’

Read more at Orcinusbroken recently and bloggers everywhere are having their say about Blogging ethics, transparence etc. I thought I’d link up to a few of the emerging conversations on the topic. Just to name a few:

- Zonkette: Financially Interested Blogging

- HughHewitt.com – On “Black Blog Ops,” Conflicts and O’Reilly

- BuzzMachine… by Jeff Jarvis – Media on Media

- Orcinus – Ethics Indeed

- John Kerry 2004 – The Best Supporters Money could Buy

- Slate – Blogging for Dollars

- Secure Liberty – Bloggers On The Take

- Powerpundit: The Transparency Of Bloggers

- Captain’s Quarters – Kos, Teachout, Williams, Lauck, Van Beek

- Instapundit.com – January 13

- Instapundit.com – January 14

- Hullabaloo – Those who can, Blog;, Those who Can’t, Teachout

Mapping the Readership of your Blog by Location

Due to the tool being profiled in this post being discontinued it has become irrelevant.

However you might find this more recent post on a Mapping Service more helpful.

I’m taking Questions….

Just a reminder that on Thursday (20th) I’m blogging for 24 hours straight in my annual blogathon to raise money for victims of the Tsunami. I’ll be asking for donations on the site during that day and hope to beat last year’s $540.

Last year the main reason I got to 112 posts in the 24 hours was that I had a whole heap of questions from my readers to answer. People asked about my blogging (tips, experiences etc), others asked about life in Australia, about my personal life or story, others just asked random wacko stuff etc.

I’m taking questions again here in comments below. You can ask anything and I’ll do my best to answer anything (within reason).

I’m also taking your suggested links, articles, blogs, sites that I can blog about during the 24 hours – if you have any funny, interesting, insightful or bizarre links for me feel free to leave them below. I’ll attempt to give you a link when I answer your question or use your suggestion to make it worth your while.

Otherwise – tune into my blogathon blog on Thursday for all the fun and shenanigans. I’ll try to limit the toilet humor this year to under 4% of the posts – unless of course I get desperate because you don’t help me out with some links below!

PS: I’m still looking for a sponsor/s for the blogathon site and am open to offers. I will sell space on the site in return for your donations to the cause so make a donation and get a little free publicity at the same time (I’ll sell you text links, banner space, editorial space – anything to help the orphans of the Tsunami). Your links will remain on the site for a whole year for whatever price we agree on – not only good exposure to readers but also a boost to your blog’s page rank. Please consider a donation or sponsorship at the site.

Pro Blogger’s Errors

Jason has an excellent post on The Zen of Delegation which I’d highly recommend for anyone considering following Weblogs Inc’s footsteps with multiple blogs on a network.

Of particular interest are the three mistakes that he’s learnt over the past year or so. These are valuable lessons, two of which (I’m not paying anyone yet) that I’ve recently started to learn also – or are at least grappling with myself on a smaller scale.

Error one: Most writers want to get a revenue split. WRONG! Most writers want a steady pay check.

Error two: One domain name (i.e. www.weblogsinc.com) with sub-domain names (i.e. http://apple.weblogsinc.com) is better then multiple unique domain names (like http://wwwEngadget.com, http://www.autoblog.com, or http://www.tuaw.com). WRONG! Stand-alone domains do better.

Error three: One common design for all blogs is more appealing to advertisers and users because it builds trust and familiarity. WRONG! People love a unique look and feel above the benefits of a standard design.

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Bottom Up Blogging vs Top Down Culture of Business

Also in the Enterprise Blogging article was this gem of a paragraph which sparked my imagination – it’s about one of the barriers to blogging for ‘top down’ cultured companies and the ‘bottom up’ nature of blogging.

‘A potential problem is that blogging does not fit with the corporate culture of many organisations. If an enterprise values a “top down” approach, then blogging, with its emphasis on freedom and open access, may not be a useful tool: “bottom-up organizations use blogs” says Jay Cross; for him, “… blogs are the leading edge of the social software movement that’s propelling the bottom-up, self-organizing reformation of versatile businesses. A bottom-up organization values the collective work of individuals over top-down authority; it supports cooperation and co-evolution in lieu of command and control. Instead of telling people what to do, it provides the networks that enable them to do what they want to do”’