Spam has always been a hotly debated topic in the digital realm, so it should be no surprise that its form in the blogosphere--"splogs"--is the source of much angst. But the latest controversy over splogs is far more specific than the broad condemnation that has become the standard response to spam in email, cell phones and other electronic communication.
In his own blog, dot-com billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban targeted Google's popular Blogger.com as "by far the worst offender." Cuban, who defines a splog as "any blog whose creator doesn't add any written value," writes: "Go to your favorite blog search engine and type in hair loss. Or you can try Cialis, or Discount TicketsÂ… You get the idea. Anything that has ever been spammed about is spammed in monstrous proportions in the blogosphere because its so easy to do."
Some suggest that Cuban's rant may just be a way to get publicity for the filtering technology of IceRocket, the search engine he is backing and intends to re-launch as BlogScour. Regardless of individual motives, however, everyone agrees that splogging is an epidemic that has only just begun.
Blog community response:
"Mark Cuban is mad about splogs (spam blogs), and he thinks the answer is to threaten to stop indexing Blogger-based blogs over at IceRocket, the blog 'search tool' he owns. And yes I put that in quotes because despite much trumpeting, I find IceRocket even worse about capturing reliable linking data than Technorati!"
--worker bees blog
"Some people are saying 'Who cares what IceRocket does?' but in my opinion it's only common sense. I wrote the other day that a Technorati search just turned up 'splogs' and I seriously don't believe people have a clue how much crap is out there. Nothing is really being done about it.'"
"With every misleading splog title, people's precious time is being wasted. Looking for legitimate information? Sorry. Splogs have placed more interference in the way of you finding what you need."
--give love:get love
"Any individual blogger can afford a symbolic price, say $3/month, which would still add up to significant cost to spammers who create blogs by the thousands automatically. An even better option may be to slap them with a one-time blog creation fee. Â… When technology fails, why not use economic means to fight spam?"