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.

Ian Griffiths blogs about the removal of Raw sockets in XP SP2

Ian Griffiths’ Weblog: “Raw Sockets Gone in XP SP2 ”

I haven’t decided if I agree with Ian on this yet. He argues that hackers will find ways around the limitation, and that it limits the platform’s usefulness as a security tool.

I think that making things harder for hackers, even if it’s just a little bit, is a good thing… But I also would rather not have to fire up a Linux box to run NMAP. One more good reason to keep a Knoppix CD handy.

Fast Company is running a Brand Improvement Contest

Contest: How Can This Brand Be Better?

Help Fast Company reinvent these successful — and struggling — brands.

It’s an interesting contest, Microsoft and McDonalds are among the companies… It will be interesting to see the results! I’m not sure what I’d do with the prize (a three-hour branding consultation with Karen Post, author of Brain Tattoos: Creating Unique Brands That Stick in Your Customers’ Minds , and a free, signed copy of the book.) but the contest looks like fun just the same.

Interesting Error on Bloglines

My aggregator ( just spit out an interesting error:

These guys evidently have a sense of humor. Kudos on that, and on the fact that every time I’ve emailed on tech-support-like issues (back when I was hosting my Blog on BlogLines) I would get a response in a couple of hours, and a resolution in less than a day (happened twice). Pretty awesome customer service for a free site.