Tuesday, January 31, 2006

On Combating Spam and Using Gmail

I was just reading Ronald's post and really felt his frustration. Spamming hurts our productivity and spammers are getting more and more sophisticated in spamming our sites. Just the other day, I noticed 51 comments on one of my blog posts only to find out that most of them were spam and on top of that, one user had posted 20 of those messages (Ughhh).

I recommend following Matt Cutts' advice on using rel="nofollow" for all links in comments made by the users of your site. Using the CSS hack Matt mentions, you can view all the links entered by a user on not only your site but also on any other site.

I still recommend opening up your blog for comments but using comment moderation to filter spam before posting. Just an idea.

You do have great ideas on combating spam. Since I am not a billionaire (yet) I can only help you with implementation, if you would like.

BTW, I'm surprised at how many technical folks, especially MySQL DBAs use Gmail. When Gmail was launched, I had a lenghty argument with a fellow MySQL DBA about the kind of people who will use Gmail. My argument was that since most of the technical folks understand tracking and privacy issues, they'll never use Gmail. But these days I am just speechless seeing the number of Gmail addresses I see around.

Here's my question to you all, Do we not understand how contextual advertising works? Yes, the emails are probably not being spied on today, but what about the future? Though I have nothing to hide, frankly I get nervous thinking about the day when Google will get a subpeona for providing not only Google searches but also Gmail statistics and usage. If you are just using Gmail for list subscriptions, fine. But I have serious reservations about using it for personal purposes. I don't even want Google to keep track of information like "X number of ads were served on my account due to Y occurences of Z keyword." When I think about it, the free 2GB email account space isn't worth my privacy.

I'm not against Gmail, I'm just surprised.

In the news, Google's 4Q revenues for 2005 exceeded $1.9bn. Jeremy's mytop is now available as an AJAXed version (Thanks Jeremy for the link). Also see by Jeremy, "Has Google lost its soul."


1 comment:

Sunnybrook said...

Thats why I use PGP encryption in Gmail and for google searching you could use something like dogpile.com which uses the google search but is not directly connected to google if you know what I mean.