Let Us Opt Out of EMail Newsletters in One Click

If you are an internet service sending newsletters to email addresses, regardless of whether they were legitimately obtained, there should be a one-click unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message.

There are times when I sign up with an internet service, I just want to get over with all the check-marks and options at once just to “test out” the service. If I decide the service is not for me, I just ignore it and never come back. The problem is they already have my email address. And now they are regularly sending me newsletters I didn’t even want in the first place.

A good internet service places a quick unsubscribe/opt out link at the bottom of any message they send out to users. The bad ones, they put a footer message informing that you can opt out of their newsletter by logging in and changing your preferences from their website.

Unsubscribing should be a one click process (or two at the most). I can’t recall what my username and password were anymore (I use different passwords for different sites). So the quick remedy, I report it as spam.

And you know what happens when I report your message (thus, your email address) as spam in Gmail? The system will learn from that and may mark all your other messages to other Gmail users as spam as well.

Twitter Spam Keep Out!

The problem with free services like Twitter is that they’re made available — without limitations — free to spammers as well. Spammers who have products to sell, paid to spam in order to promote a product, or are simply there to annoy the hell out of every legit users.

Marco explains Twitter can put in place a system that either can be aggressive or passive against these spammers and how they respond to spam reports by users. And he suggests, and I do believe, Twitter most likely is taking the latter approach.

We don’t know the algorithm used by Twitter in order to tag an account permanently as spam. But let’s say it’ll take 100 user reports before the team actually takes action. Not all users, SADLY, (and they can even amount to a lot!) are even proactive in reporting those spammers.

The result — the “Report for Spam” function doesn’t seem to exist as we, the active and legitimate users, are always bombarded by spam.

I quote Marco’s conclusion:

In the meantime, I’m never using the “Report Spam” feature again, because it just seems like I’m wasting my time.

In order for the many to enjoy a spam-free service, we all should cooperate in reporting those spammers. And Twitter could do some more intensive work against those useless scumbags.

Tumblr: From Downtimes to Spam Blogs

I have liked Tumblr from the moment I started using the service. The main selling points being able to customize the look of your blog to using using a custom domain names. Both for free (WordPress.com charge you for both). You can put your own ads, whatever pleases you.

I have constantly defended Tumblr versus its closest rival Posterous in the Tumblelogging arena.

But a lot of criticisms about the service have been raised. Up until now, except for Premium themes, Tumblr has no major revenue model, unlike other free but thriving online services. It’s not backed by a major online company, say like Google. So a question can always be raised about its sustainability. That’s on top of the fact that Mashable recently run a story about Tumblr getting a fresh investment.

Yesterday, Tumblr experienced a long downtime. I’m not particular with the actual length of time it was down, but it was real long by online services standard. It must have been at least 12 hours. This further puts a question on the ability of the company to actually keep up with this type of problems.

Another thing, I noticed lately that there has been a lot of spam blogs and spam Tumblr users liking or reblogging my posts. Same question: How would Tumblr Staff keep up with this to avoid or even eliminate spam registrations and blogs. Good thing Tumblr has no built-in commenting system. I can’t imagine further how would they respond.

So if you are a Tumblr user, you aren’t even worried about the future of your Tumblr blog?

Has Akismet Really Been Smart?

I don’t know about you but at least in the last six months I received comments obviously are spam past through Akismet anti-spam filters. Even the akismet stats, I don’t think they’re telling the truth about how many spam they missed –the ones I manually marked as spam. The numbers are just definitely way off the count that I everyday mark as spam.

The missed spam –these are comments that all have to only say, “they liked my website”, “I have the best website”, “they’ve subscribed to my RSS feeds”, and sometimes asking “they can’t understand how to subscribe to my rss feeds”, without adding any single value whatsoever to what my post was about to which they are commenting. They are usually coupled with strange names and url’s or domain names that looked really bogus (e.g. insurance, some medical drugs, etc.).

[adsense]

I love your website.

So do I, now what? Do you want me to visit yours? No way!

I enjoyed your website.

Really? I hope you enjoy more!

Or maybe, the reason these comments go past the Akismet filters is because other people just simply approve them for their own blogs without second thoughts. And Akismet is left confused, don’t know what to do with the same ip address, name, email address, and website url.

Yeah, I’ve seen some comments like these published in other blogs.

Maybe the blogosphere has become too crowded that rendered anti-spam filters like Akismet ineffective.

New Theme

With the employment of this new theme (Tech-o-Crunch), I’m really worried whether my challenge plugin will work fine.

I’m encouraging everyone to do drop me a line in the comments (after answering the math quiz, of course) so I can better test the functionality of the challenge plugin, and whether it is effective in capturing preventing spam comments.

Please, I need your help. My blog is flooded with spams!

A Math Challenge Plugin

Spam comments has always been a problem in the blogosphere. Akismet and Spam Karma 2 are two of the most common spam protection plugins for wordpress blogs. What these plugins do, however, is simply catch spam comments and put them in queue for the administrator’s moderation.

Spam in blogs (also called simply blog spam or comment spam) is a form of spamdexing. It is done by automatically posting random comments, promoting commercial services, to blogs, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly-accessible online discussion boards. Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks submitted by visitors may be a target.

Adding links that point to the spammer’s web site artificially increases the site’s search engine ranking. An increased ranking often results in the spammer’s commercial site being listed ahead of other sites for certain searches, increasing the number of potential visitors and paying customers.

Source: wikipedia

Spam comments are usually done through a program and/or machines. They are normally automatic once they’ve bookmarked your site. Now, although Akismet and Spam Karma 2 catch those spams and prevent them from being posted directly to your comments, they do not prevent them from reaching your comments (worse, they don’t cook them for breakfast! hehe). They help keep spam from being published, but not from reaching your comments.

As a result, you’ll need to check your admin panel regularly and browse through the captured spam comments for any erroneous catch. This is surely irritating, especially if you’re encountering an average of 10 to 20 spams per day (much worse is the case for other more popular sites).

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