Friday, October 23, 2009

Waiting For The Tap On The Shoulder

I'll be honest here. I was a nerd in college (and I am one even now). So this story is one that I've only seen in movies - neither I, nor my friends, got even this far.

College Secret Societies
Some of them have no name even. There are no published entrance rules - membership is by invitation only, and rules are communicated by word of mouth. And the initiation process starts like this:
  • The prospective members are blindfolded, and led to a dark room.
  • The prospective members are put into a circle, in silence.
  • The prospective members wait, for what will happen, they are told nothing.
  • Periodically, one prospect will feel a slight tap on the shoulder. In silence, he / she will be taken by the hand, and led into another room where they will join the elite.
  • And eventually, those who don't get elected will open their eyes, remove the blindfold, and find herself / himself in a pitiful group of rejects, all waiting (hopelessly) for that tap. The tap that never comes.

Now maybe you should be advised that this article is a rehash of one that I wrote long ago, about a more pleasant and positive experience.

The subject of this narration is the spam detection problem of this week. So, here are my words of wisdom about this mess.
This problem is caused by criminals - spammers who are publishing thousands of spam blogs, daily.

They make dozens of clones of your blog, by scraping the content from your blog, pasting it into their blogs, and adding the spam content to just a few of their blogs, at any time. Blogger can't tell the difference between the spam blogs without active content, and your blog. So all of the blogs that look like your blog - including your blog itself - get locked.

If you are not a spammer, look at the next guy (also reporting the problem), because it's likely that he is one. And when you get concerned about how long it's taking Blogger to restore your blog, if your blog is not a splog, place some blame on the spammers, and the thousands of splogs that have to be locked, then reviewed, daily.


Anyway, the only thing that makes this even endurable is the thought of the spammers who have lost their blogs this week. Many of them are gathered in Blogger Help Forum, reporting their blog loss. Some of those gathered in BHF are not spammers - and that is what will give hope for everybody gathered there.

Now Blogger, being the "secret society" in this analogy, will restore a few blogs - the ones that were not splogs. But they will not be posting a big notice.
The following blogs were determined to be spuriously locked, have been restored, and we apologise to their owners.
and conversely
The following blogs were righteously detemined to be splogs, and will never be restored.


Nope.

Blogger will walk around silently, and tap the owners of the spuriously locked blogs on the shoulders. Those owners will wake up one morning, and their blogs will be back, operational.

The spammers will be the ones waiting, until they figure it out on their own, that they will never get the tap. They will wait all night, then slink home in silence.

BooHoo.

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13 comments:

dogimo said...

That was one neatly tied-in analogy, sir. As much as the first scenario galls, the second, when you bring it home, is exactly that satisfactory.

Jill said...

Thanks nitecruzer. I will stand here blind-folded waiting for the tap, cuz I know I'm not a splogger. I guess I could look at it this way, of the millions of blogs out there, Blogger chose MINE to block. lol. There's always an up side. :)

Chuck said...

Thanks, Dogimo. Sometimes, the stories write themselves. I wish it was this easy every week.

Jill, you are the other side of the coin. Ever been in a little car, on an expressway, in the midst of a bunch of big trucks? That's where you are, right now. You are in a mini car, trying to stay on the road, with hundreds of big trucks blowing past you.

Now, we will see how Blogger handles the false positives. I'm not optimistic.

Jill said...

Well, I will remain optimistic. What else can a little mini car do??

Aviatrix said...

Are you saying that there are people who don't know that they are sploggers? That is, is Blogger cutting so deep into the splog that people who are just doing a pathetic job of using their blogs for self-promotion are being caught?

Chuck said...

Ignorance, or semi ignorance, would be a lame excuse, but still possible. We note that Alan Ralsky, a well known spammer from 2000 - 2005, called himself a "Internet marketing consultant" or some horseshit title. No doubt some of our sploggers will be waiting, even through next Friday, to hear from Gatsby.

Chuck said...

Bear in mind that this is probably the tip of the iceberg only. The big spammers simply don't worry about getting their blogs back, because they publish 10 for every 1 that is used for spam, at any time. So as soon as one goes offline, they activate another and they are back in business.

Have you ever gotten 2 spam messages in 1/2 hour? That's an automated, robust spam delivery mechanism in action.

DarkUFO said...

Nice post Chuck, missed this one on your site until your link to it today

Chuck said...

OK, now I need a word. What term was used, completely rude and superficial, to describe the first reject who left the circle in anguish or disappointment?

Anybody here was in one of those societies, who can remember any such terms?

Marty said...

Does this kind of stuff happen with WordPress?

Chuck said...

I wonder. I've seen folks leave Blogger for WordPress, and we also see folks leave WordPress for Blogger.

I had one bud who got his blog TOSsed by WordPress with no warning.

I guess it depends upon how spammy your blog is.

StephenD7 said...

Thanks Nitecruzer for the analogy. Hopefully Blogger will maintain the Tap On The Shoulder rather than We Do Not Have Time to Sort This Out approach.

mr.kell said...

agreed. real nice analogy there. haha.. i'm here also cuz i'm in a mini car..
hahah... ;p