The script that Gary pointed me at has been working for only a short time, but it’s already demonstrated a couple of things:
– that the spammers truly are relentless
– that I am misleading people.
When I compile the stats for the 3 newsgroups, 2 in particular carry a lot of links. If someone in rec.arts.bodyart posts a link, that link ends up on my site, along comes Google, indexes it and then people searching for stuff end up here, and because they were after what was at the end of the link and not me, they get a 404. That costs me no bandwidth, but it costs them time – and you can’t pay that back can you ? To that end, I’ve gone through my directories and used the “robots.txt” to tell the bots to stay out. It’ll take a while for the impact to get through, but it will.
The newserver seems to kill spam off well enough so linking to them isn’t an issue (just in case someone thinks it was).
The other clutter that struck me today was all these new tags that people are using – technorati tags, del.icio.us, flickr and there are probably more. Now I don’t browse Technorati or flickr but I enjoy a good scroll around del.icio.us, and it’s good diversion fodder and hell, it’s even educational at times., but with these tags doesn’t their usefulness get diluted to homeopathic levels ? (I saw a blog this week with the words “We got Slashdotted!” on it .. some poking around determined that the blog owner had posted a topic there. A crap topic at that. A crap topic that didn’t even point at their site !) It’s that sort of user who will bombard sites with their tags and anything else they can do to appear l33t, connected, ‘hooked up’ and whatever other junkisms they use.
It’s not the fault of the tag creators, it’s not the fact that anyone can use them (what ? keep them just for the geeks ??), it’s just the way it is.
Even now it’s hard to find information sometimes on the net, and that’s with experience .. what the hell is it going to be like in 5 – 10 years ?
I see posts in the WP forums asking about Google, getting their page indexed, becoming visible. At first I just looked askance at these requests, but I’m getting close to a response along the lines of “And your contribution to the sum of human knowledge will be what exactly that you so crave for Google to return you on the front page ?” and part of this drive is that the people who say this are the ones to which it has not occurred that searching could be a clue… and that Google may well have the answers !
I’m going to read Ruby.