Thursday, July 13, 2006

Attack of the Robot Blogs!

What happens to a blog after it dies? The answer appears to be reincarnation, as many decommissioned blogs find themselves hosting a splog (or spam blog), cyberman style, in short order. For examples here on our own blogroll, I call your attention to the gone-but-not-forgotten Trolley Park, which now redirects you to a splog (I'll take the link off the blogroll soon.) And I've noticed some weird posts coming up on Manchester Bloggers aggregator as well, bizarre streams of half-sensical content vaguely related to Bob Dylan or Barbra Streisand that could only be the work of a splog. No, really.

The explanation seems to be that someone is doing a brisk trade in freshly de-activated Blogspot urls to spammers and nefarious Search Engine Optimisers(SEOS). Check out this thread on the user forums. Way more on the phenomenon here at Greynet's Blog. So, if anyone is contemplating a platform shift, don't de-register your blogger account or you may be enabling spammage. And suspect splogs should be flagged as objectionable in the Blogger navbar, after which someone will presumably do something about them.

Sometimes, though, defunct urls are taken by someone who is genuinely setting up a blog, which can make for some amusing mixups. Our own Southern Bird, who flew the coop several months ago, might be suprised to find that her old url hosts a blog that is actually about southern birds. It's now the home of the Southern Wings Bird Club. Happy twitching!

(Wicked cyberman drawing coutesy of Paul Rance's Doctor Who Facts & Figures Page)

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