Friday, February 22, 2008

Keep The "Next Blog" Link Safe To Use

The Blogosphere, like the web in general, is subject to attack and misuse by malicious people, even as it is available for legitimate use by any person. Until a month ago, the "BlogSpot.Com" region of the Blogosphere was known for rampant misuse. I warned of this misuse, by referring to use of the "Next Blog" link as "Porn\\\\Next Blog" surfing. This analogy of mine was not a great stretch of the imagination.

You could see this fact reflected in the blogs visible in "Next Blog". Besides the illegitimate blogs - the ones published for hacking and for porn and spam distribution - a large number of legitimate blogs, when visible, would have no Navbar. The task of removing the Navbar is not at all complex.

On January 18, 2008, this situation changed, for the better.

Today, as I surf "Next Blog", I see personal blogs. I don't see hacking, porn, or spam. And most blogs have the Navbar, and the "Next Blog" link. This tells me two things.
  1. The Blogosphere is being cleaned up.
  2. People publishing their blogs recognise that it's being cleaned up.


Neither of the above observations are redundant, the two go hand in hand, and the two require each other. As long as Blogger works to keep "Next Blog" safe for use, people will provide the Navbar and the "Next Blog" link, on their blogs. As people actually use the "Next Blog" link, they will watch for blogs that don't belong, and they will report blogs that don't belong. This will help Blogger continue to keep "Next Blog" safe for use, encourage people to keep using "Next Blog", and make any new successes by the hackers, porn vendors, and spam distributors more obvious. The more obvious any hacking, porn, or spam becomes, the more likely that it will be reported, and removed, immediately.

Help Blogger to help you.
  1. Provide the Navbar on your blogs.
  2. Encourage the use of the "Next Blog" link.
  3. Report, immediately, any blogs that you see, that don't belong in the "Next Blog" link.


Take back the Blogosphere. It's ours - take it back.

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5 comments:

Koreen said...

While training 20 teachers on Friday, February 21st to use Blogger for their classrooms, two teachers clicked the next blog button only to find naked pictures on the next blog's site. They appeared to be legitimate sites, just amateurs who want to be seen naked. And, if I see any I will report them. However, I can't afford to have my elementary or middle school students stumble across them. I need to simple be able to remove the next blog button. Hopefully blogger will develop the capability because blogs have great potential for bringing students into classroom discussions.

Chuck said...

Report the blog, and flag the blog.

THEN remove the Navbar, if you must.

But if you see a problem, and you don't report the problem, then you are part of the problem.

Mrs. Russell said...

I, too, work in a school district where my teachers are chomping at the bit to use a blog with their classroom students. You have to understand, since this involves children, we're going to have to rely on the rest of the world to report the problems going on here. Since we are working with children, sorry, the navbar has to go! It would be nice in the setup to be given the option to remove the Next Blog link. Since that's not availble, we're forced to remove it if we want to use blogs in our classrooms.

Chuck said...

Whatever, Mrs. Russell,

I can't force you to do anything that you don't want to do. So, remove the Navbar.

BUT.

If there is a problem (unacceptable content linked from the Navbar), and you don't do anything about the problem (unacceptable content linked from the Navbar), then YOU are part of The Problem.

Hiding your head in the sand is NOT doing anything about the problem.

Koreen said...

We're not hiding our heads in the sand. I'm sure you would not advocate a 2nd grader to be the one to find an inappropriate site on blogger. Mrs. Russell and I, as adults, will report problems if we see them, but we are not willing to subject our children to the inappropriate sites for the sake of helping blogger flush out the inappropriate sites.