Blog Comment Spam, and Thoughts on Rss-based Messaging

Raymond Chen complains about comment spammers: Spammers look stupid when they don’t read the blog they spam on

I deleted my first comment spam a couple of days back. I don’t even remember what it was about. I like having comments enabled, but I’d hate to see blogs get as cluttered and obnoxious as email has become.

I think email is going to die a slow death, mostly because the open-ness of it makes abuse too easy. Ideas like SPF may work to some degree, but if you trust too many entities, then spam gets through, and if you trust too few, the usefulness of email diminishes.

I’ve been toying with the idea of building an rss-based person-2-person messaging system. One of many ideas I don’t have time to develop right now… I hope someone beats me to it, for the sake of the Internet. Basically, individuals would “publish” multiple feeds. Some would be public (like most blogs today), some might be accessible by small groups (family news, small organizations, companies, teams and workgroups, etc), and others would be unique to individuals. You would subscribe to the feeds based on what you want to read. One of the big benefits is that your messages would be pre-sorted based on where you retrieve them from. Going on vacation? You could turn off all your advertisement feeds. Your personal feeds could pile-up, and you could check your business feeds from your PocketPC in the hotel. Prioritize information-load based on your priorities! This would make auto-filtering email obsolete, and it would give users _total_ control of the information they receive!

For an rss-based messaging technology to take hold, the process of building social networks has to become seamless. If I meet a guy at a conference, I need to be able to build the link with him in the last 5 seconds of our interaction. Something has to replace the email-on-my-business-card method. I’ve been kicking around ideas like temporary access tokens encoded with a 2-d barcode, or having an “connect with me feed” that people could subscribe to, and the client would automatically set up individual feeds on both ends.

Well, I don’t have time to pontificate any more on this now, and I think it would be best hashed out in front of a very large whiteboard.