BlogSpam revisited

A few days ago, I wrote about a site called BlogCarnival that spammed my site with a trackback to a content-free pseudo-article. Steve Damron, one of the developers of BlogCarnival, has written a post to his personal blog (which is quite a good site, actually) detailing his reasons why he believes that BlogCarnival is not a spam blog.

A few people also have complained that we’re making money off of other people’s posts. Of course, google and yahoo do the same thing.

What I do see are a lot blogs that I would call spam. For example, copies an entire post from a blog and presents it without a link back to the blog. There are other sites like that simply take a couple of lines from a post and provide a link back without any analysis.

Unfortunately, as with most things in life, the fact that there are people who are worse than you doesn’t make you great. What’s more, Google and Yahoo are both providing unique content (in their cases, a depth of search that you simply can’t find anywhere else), whereas BlogCarnival piggybacks on existing searches while “dressing it up” to look like real content.

My full response (minus an admission at the end which is irrelevant and, in retrospect, embarassing):

Hi Steve,

I just wanted to make a couple of quick points about BlogCarnival, and why the comparison to Google and Yahoo is totally off the mark. Google and Yahoo provide a service that would not otherwise exist – that is, they crawl the web and index it so that users can search almost every piece of information out there. This provides incredible broad and deep search capabilities. In other words, you get all the crap but you get all the good stuff too.

Blogs provide the equal but opposite scenario. They selectively include links in an editorial manner, and provide commentary and insight into those links, tying together pieces of information in an interesting way. In this manner, they provide “deep content but shallow searching” – they provide a small number of links but the value of those links is increased because of the aggregation and editorial content within a single post.

BlogCarnival provides the downsides of both with the advantages of neither. I fail to see how an intro like “Yeah:” or “Check this out:” provides any of your trumpeted “analysis”, and from where I sit I can’t see how or what you’re filtering in terms of content.

My primary objection still stands: Your blogs act like they are part of the community, posting trackbacks on blogs and inserting yourselves into “community” sites like technorati. Google and Yahoo do a lot of things, but they don’t fuck with my site and they don’t push themselves onto other indexes pretending to be real people. They don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are – search engines. Technorati doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is – a blog aggregator. is just a tagged social bookmarking system.

Your site looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, but it’s just a handful of dirt in a duck suit.

If you’ve received a single unsolicited email thanking you for the service that BlogCarnival provides, I would love to see it.

I think I was a tad aggressive. Urk – sorry! Just contributing to the rich debate, folks šŸ˜‰

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