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When Things Get Personal On Blogs

Posted by on Jun 19, 2010

This is a rant post, and I’m naming names. I’m going to try to be fair, but if I’m not, part of me doesn’t care, but the other part almost apologizes up front; almost, that is.

black-man-rant

There is a post on a blog called Growmap that’s ranting against Akismet. Okay, Akismet might not be perfect, but I’ve been a major supporter of the program for almost 4 years, and I’m not going against them now. The writer, Gail, has done some testing and supposedly she has seen that some comments end up being killed by Akismet. Not moved to the spam folder, but killed overall.

Or so she says; one never really knows if a post was accidentally deleted by someone when they emptied their spam folder or if a post was deemed as being spam by the reviewer. I know many bloggers who say they never check their spam filter; that’s not good, but it’s their blog so life is what it is. I will say that in reading other posts of Gail’s that she tends to be very thorough, as much as one can be.

Anyway, she and a few other people have gone on a crusade against Akismet, even though Gail states that she doesn’t hate it. Okay, that’s fine. I put a comment on her post saying I support Akismet and was a major fan. It wasn’t all that long a comment, and it wasn’t the first (update 6/2015; she updated the post & removed all those previous comments, including mine).

However, the response I got was way out of proportion to my original comment, and other people were skipped; to me, that was intentional and personal, and I didn’t like it one bit. And me being me, well, I don’t demure from certain things, so I commented back, trying to temper my language (I don’t curse, but I can be kind of mean spirited at times when pushed), and I think my response was okay.

Next thing I know, I receive responses on this blog from two of her supporters, one writing from a place called Linda Christas, which is supposed to be an online training organization of some sort (no, I’m not linking to them). They’re supporting Gail, which is fine, but they wrote these long comments on a post of mine that has nothing to do with the subject matter I wrote about.

In my mind, that’s spam, and I don’t appreciate it, and I went to Gail’s blog and said as much. There’s a point at which things cross the line and get truly personal, and I don’t take that kind of mess kindly, especially when the people saying stuff are trying to hide, in their own way, who they are.

One of the people, a woman named Leone, wrote with the email address of this Linda Christas. There’s this woman who either really works there or is a scam of some sort who calls herself Dr. Ann. This person has posted comments on my blog and other blogs.

At first the comments seem to match up to the content. Then they go off topic and start this rant against Akismet. It seems Linda Christas is on a crusade against Akismet, and they’re trying hard to pull other people into the process.

If you think I’m the only one who sees this and is calling it out, check out this post on TechPatio titled Comment Spam, She’s Back: Dr. Ann Voisin From Linda Christas College. And if you want to see his first post on this person and this college, which was only days earlier, check this one out as well, titled Akismet Blocking Your Blog? No Way, Just a SPAM Trick!.

Of course my respect for this college is gone, especially since I just saw a post on their site, unordinarily long, ranting against Akismet, and frankly it parrots the same type of tripe I’ve seen coming from a few other places. At least Gail did a study of some sort, which I applaud her for (see, I’m trying to be fair here).

Gail also called me out on her blog asking if she’d ever written anything that I considered as spam on this blog and I had to tell her yes, the last time she visited, which was June 2009. So, this could color her idea in some way of what spam just might be. Her last response to me, before I got mad because of the other people who came from her blog to post their “threats” about not visiting this blog again, was not in attack mode, and I appreciate that as well.

I need to say this. I have gone on attack mode on other people’s blogs, so I’m not totally innocent here. However, if I do that, I do it for one of two reasons.

One, you don’t get to go after any of my friends without a confrontation from me; that’s what loyalty is all about, and if my friends don’t breach the rules of proper decorum in another place, I’ve got their back.

Two, you don’t get to get away with racist or misogynist or any other type of hateful speech and think I’m going to let it go. Too many people decide to turn the other way and let that kind of thing go by, and that’s why we end up with some of the problems we have in this world.

Sure, I don’t expect the majority to always step in to help fight these things because it’s not in their interest; they have nothing to gain by speaking out for those who they indirectly believe are less than themselves, even if they don’t express it. So, if anyone goes to Gail’s blog and reads my initial post and thinks I attacked her in any way, please explain to me how I did it.

So, I have no respect for Linda Christas and the type of people it seems to put out; yes, that’s an attack. If people representing them believe they can come into my house and spit on my rug, it’s not happening.

I left the other comment on my previous post, even though it had nothing to do with the topic; believe me, that won’t happen again, and if someone wants to cry censorship, tough. I pay for this space, and there are comment rules; don’t follow them, don’t expect anything extra-special coming your way on my part because you feel you have the right. That mess won’t be tolerated.

If it happens on this post, it might be tolerated, since I’m in attack mode, so to speak. But we’ll see. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue using Akismet, and I don’t care who likes it or doesn’t like it. People who use Disqus or Intense Debate know I don’t like those things, and yet they continue using it. Because it’s their right to use it, just as it’s my right to use Akismet. We can debate the merits of it; no problem. But when it goes further, when it gets personal… I’ll stop there.
 

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57 Comments »

Just busting your balls here, Mitch…

But for someone who supports that spam-catching service so much, I’d think you’d actually get its name right.

It’s akismet. Not askimet.
.-= Jordan Cooper´s last blog ..The Worst Product Launch Idea Ever =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 4:56 PM
Mitch:

You know, Jordan, I’m black; we see something one way, it’s that way. lol I’ve been writing Askimet for all these years; freaky! I can pronounce Askimet; not sure I can pronounce it the other way properly. But I’m going to change the spelling anyway; guess I don’t have to know how to say it to back it up.

June 19th, 2010 | 5:02 PM

Very well written post, Mitch, and good arguments, I agree completely.

As you can see in the comments on the two posts you link to, on my site (thanks, btw), those people just doesn’t seem to give up until Akismet has been stopped, or whatever they’re trying to do.

I’m not 100% sure it’s a “spam trick”, any more, but I don’t have a clue what they’re doing either.

So far, this is what I wonder most about:

* Dr Ann and “her people/students” seems to love posting the same comment on lots of blogs, warning about Akismet.

* They also love posting on “do follow” blogs with a link back to their toy website, selling LEGO or something like that.

* They can get somewhat personal every now and then, though not “ugly” per se, but still weird.

* And what kind of college doesn’t have a phone number? I can’t find any on their website.

* And then there’s this huge bunch of research (direct link to a comment): http://techpatio.com/2010/blogging/akismet-blocking-blog-spam-trick#comment-10383

I decided to close comments on my two posts because I don’t want the Linda Christas people coming back again, I don’t care about what their mission is. They seem to think that it’s their right to get backlinks from blog commenting or whatever, I don’t know for sure and I don’t care – but I guess they’re going to attack me for thinking out loud 🙂

Finally, I just have to say this (and sorry to Gail, if you think this is offensive, I don’t mean it that way) – but the whole deal about “censorship” is totally blown outta this world, if you ask me. It’s a COMMENT SPAM FILTER – there’s no need to cry censorship, freedom of speech and what not. There is no such thing as a 100% bulletproof spam filter, there *will* be false positives from time to time and if a blog owner (or e-mail recipient, since this also applies to e-mail spam filters) cannot live with the risk of having a legit message caught up in spam every now and then, well then he will simply have to disable the spamfilter and instead manually go through the hundreds of spam messages every day.

And to end this too long comment, I just find it funny how my comments are no longer visible on the Growmap post about “akismet deleting comments”. I wrote at least a few comments that also received a reply (both from this Otto guy from the college and Gail herself) – but now I can’t see them anymore. I don’t know if it’s a technical issue, but they’re not showing in either Firefox or Safari on my Mac. I guess it’s my turn to cry censorship?
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..I got an iPad !! =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 5:08 PM

One more thing I just thought about, after having re-read some of the comments from the college-people… How much business, exactly, do these people see from COMMENTING on blogs? I just don’t get it. If I want to do business with a blog owner – the last thing I would do is to comment on a blog post of his. I would contact the owner using a contact form or another direct message, not a public comment. I have never received anything business related myself in a comment – all offers are coming in through my contact form or instant messaging. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m just saying I don’t know who (if they are serious about their business) would do it in public comments?

And why is it that they must threaten Akismet with statements such as “And, Akismet must either change its policies or be eliminated.”

Mitch, sorry I keep going like this, but I’m just reading through some of the comments regarding you on the Growmap post, I noticed this part:

“I cannot participate on your site [imjustshargin] because Akismet will trash my comment if I use my url. So a proper relationship with you becomes impossible.”

I’m just wondering, why not participate *without* the url? Again, this sounds to me like they believe it’s their right to get a backlink from commenting.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..I got an iPad !! =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 5:22 PM

I think Klaus hit’s the nail on the head right there at the end …

People who complain about Akismet are generally Not commenting for the purpose of conversation … they’re comment marketers; primarily interested in getting a link.

I’m probably even more harsh then some when it comes to these folks. If someone leaves a comment on my blog that links to an obviously commercial site (especially ones that aren’t even blogs), the comment better add some value to MY BLOG, otherwise I don’t feel the least bit guilty about marking it as spam.

One other thought … “Freedom of Speech” only applies to the public domain. Commenting on a private blog is not an inherent “right”.

Basically, I’d say I’m in agreement with you Mitch. I have no problem with Akismet … mainly because I don’t spam other people’s blogs.
.-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Ultimate Frisbee For A Fun PT Day =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 6:19 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for your comment, Todd. I think all we as bloggers really want is for someone to visit our blogs and comment on what we’ve said, whether they agree or not. Don’t try selling me anything; you can add a link to information if you think it’s pertinent to the post, but otherwise don’t try to slip anything new in there, or rant about something off-topic. And certainly don’t come in thinking that you’re going to push around the writer, although I have seen some blog folks intimidated by that tactic. You and I don’t seem to be the ones ready to back down. And that’s a good thing.

June 19th, 2010 | 7:14 PM
John Sullivan:

@Todd I like your style young man and agree 🙂
I’m friends with both of you and I can only add as the most peaceful LOVING blogger on the Planet 🙂 Peace my children LOL 🙂
This is a great post in that you got to stay exactly what you thought with class and as a Gentleman sadly everyone is struggling in this BAD economy so plugins come and go friends come and go but we must keep the eye on the big picture we are all family whether we like it or not or like the person or or or their style or not 🙂 Shoot there’s bloggers in this post that don’t like me but I know they LUV me 😛 Yeah right
But Mitch you keep it real and I respect that I also know Gail works very hard and is good people and has been there for me many times for NOTHING so I’m glad all this is now DEAD so we can FOCUS 🙂 Happy Father’s Day everyone
.-= John Sullivan´s last blog ..Best Blogging Tip EVER =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 3:23 PM
Mitch:

Hi John,

I’m trying to keep my cool, but some of these folks coming from Gail’s blog are being ridiculous. It’s the same message over and over, only they keep changing the name of who’s sending it, as well as the email address. I’m moving them to spam, and Akismet is learning it pretty quickly, so I hope they’ll eventually stop showing up in the comment stream.

June 20th, 2010 | 3:49 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for your response, Klaus, and no problem with the links because I want people to see what you’ve had to say on this subject. Man, if you haven’t just told some truths! I got my first response from an Akismet hater and they posted it on my article on a friend who recently passed away; I sent it to spam. I then went to Yahoo and wrote the person directly; turns out the email is false. Of course it is; these people, whomever they are, don’t care about the truth, and to them it’s just some kind of game.

You closed comments on those two blogs; I’m not closing any comments on anything for that reason. They don’t get to come up in my space and think they’re going to get away with anything. As it is, I said that I would decide if I was going to allow any of those comments to stay on this particular post or not. If the comment comes without a url, or with a Yahoo email account, I’m deleting it as if it never existed. No, I’m sending it to Akismet and letting it be registered as the spam that it is.

What you’ve said in this response and in your other response are both valid as well. I actually have found some phone numbers, one in Baltimore, the other California. I also checked out some of the board of advisors, and the people seem to be sort of whom the website claims they are, but when you research them the only place where there’s anything linking them to this “school’ is on the Linda Christas site. I mean, you read through their bios and it’s never mentioned anywhere; that’s suspect as well. If they were legit, they’d get some link love if they even put the link to the school in their post, but they’re not even smart enough to try that; another reason it seems these folks are fakers.

As to Gail’s blog, that particular post says it has at least 170 comments, so there’s a page one and a page two; did you look on both pages for your post?

June 19th, 2010 | 7:12 PM
Klaus @ TechPatio:

Thanks for the tip regarding a second page with comments – i found my comments now too 🙂
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..I got an iPad !! =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 7:34 PM
Mitch:

No problem; might as well be upset with someone for the right reasons rather than the wrong ones. lol

June 19th, 2010 | 7:46 PM
Althea Garner:

Oh, my! I had to read your Blog real quick, just to make sure MINE wasn’t the name you were naming!!!!! LOL!
🙂
A

June 19th, 2010 | 8:16 PM
Mitch:

Althea, you’d never be on my bad list. 🙂

June 19th, 2010 | 8:28 PM

I agree with you 100% Mitch. As you know I have several blogs and this Ann person started commenting on the dofollow ones. Then I noticed other persons using the same IP address. I didn’t bother me until she started her crusade against Akismet and copy and pasted the same comment on those blogs, comments that had nothing to do with the post at all. I did the only reasonable thing and deleted them.

I don’t remember if at any stage when they kept reappearing if I spammed any but if I did it’s her own fault. If she had any brains, and you would think someone in her position would have at least a little, she would have used a different tack, like a contact form or something.

As far as I’m concerned Gail is going over the top and has been sucked in by this Ann person. I’m not having any of it, I like Akismet and that’s it.

I’ve read your comments on her blog and I reckon they’re all fine.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Taking Off Your Clothes For The Greater Good =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 8:21 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for the support, Sire. I think Klaus is probably correct in questioning whether or not there really is a Dr Ann or not. I certainly couldn’t find anyone with that name referenced on the website. You know, some of the responses are like spambots that come after us on Twitter when we write about certain topics. The email addresses seem to be fake in some circumstances. If that’s the best that lot can do then this is a war (yeah, I went there) that will be easily won.

June 19th, 2010 | 8:30 PM

Hey Mitch, when you’re right you’re right.

Gail has got herself a hot post there and I can see she is doing the best she can to keep it on the right track,or at least the track she believes to be right, but some people are running away with it.

I noticed one lady who had a go at you and I told her she didn’t know what she was talking about. I was nice about it.

Gail beat me to it though and in her strange fashion was the first to jump to your defense.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..In Life And In Blogging Observation Is Important =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 8:48 PM
Mitch:

True, and I think in this post I was pretty fair. Yes, on her post I kind of blamed her for sending people here, but you know, there are times when people incite others to bad behavior, and when it happens one has to accept responsibility for it, even if intentional. That’s one of the problems with taking firm positions on serious issues; sometimes people react badly and go after the person or company you’re writing about in improper ways. It can be a powerful tool, so we have to be careful when we use our forums in discussing certain things.

June 19th, 2010 | 9:06 PM

Mitch, you sure get into some strange situations. I didn’t even know there were akismet haters until I read this post. I think you handled it correctly, though. No one has a right to a free link on your blog. That is a a privilege!
.-= DeAnna Troupe´s last blog ..Why You Should Be Polite To Everyone (even salespeople) =-.

June 19th, 2010 | 9:57 PM
Mitch:

DeAnna, I never knew until yesterday that there were people who had anything against Akismet either. Well, that’s not quite true, since I’d seen the post by one of the aforementioned people, but I thought that was just an anomaly. And you’re right, I do tend to find my way into situations I wasn’t expecting. Then again, some of that makes life worth living, right? 🙂 Thanks for the rest.

June 19th, 2010 | 10:31 PM

lol .. Mitch, I’m right there with you buddy … apparently because of my comment on GrowMap, the owner will be recommending to all her friends that they not visit my blog … which is actually fine by me, if I had know that’s all I had to do to discourage the “comment marketers” I’d have opined on that blog about this subject a long time ago 🙂
.-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Poker Bankroll Management – A Regular Guy’s Perspective =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 1:32 AM
Mitch:

That’s a bunch of garbage as well. That’s like saying “I don’t want any of my other friends playing with you.” Adults get to make their own decisions, period; that kind of stuff went out in elementary school. I can’t believe she said that to you; how irrational.

Dude, you know I’ve got your back. If it takes the rest of us to encourage the blogging community that you’re a good guy, you know I’ve got your back. Maybe you shouldn’t have been out of the country fighting for her right to be like that; maybe the rest of her fans will see that she’s beating up a war veteran and that will diminish her in the eyes of everyone else.

Yeah, that kind of thing steams me up, as you can tell.

June 20th, 2010 | 1:41 AM

It’s all good Mitch … lol, she actually sent a tweet asking if there was a hashtag that would help alert people to avoid my blog. I retweeted it to my (admittedly much smaller) list.

To be perfectly honest, if anybody would avoid coming to my blog because I don’t like comment spam, then she’s probably doing me a favor anyway. 😉
.-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Ultimate Frisbee For A Fun PT Day =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 1:50 AM
Mitch:

LOL! Asking for help in telling people to avoid you. What the heck is that?

June 20th, 2010 | 2:00 AM

LOL … exactly … I’m just a small fry, she’s the one with a “reputation” that she apparently values. For the moment I’m willing to have a little fun with this. However, if she really wants to start a “war”, I too have a few influential blogging friends, with decent sized lists … this could get fun. 🙂
.-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Ultimate Frisbee For A Fun PT Day =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 2:08 AM
Mitch:

The community is ready if it gets ugly; it’s a shame it even had to be considered.

June 20th, 2010 | 2:26 AM

We’re all small fry in a sense Todd, and if you add as altogether we would make for a pretty strong team.

Talk about taking things to seriously. I even read on that post where someone wanted to black ban posts using Aksimet, or was it to start a group, like dofollow, of bloggers that don’t use it. Good luck to them, they will either have to deal with the spam themselves or use cpatchas which I’m not overly fond of.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Important Link Love That You Should All Read =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 8:02 AM
Mitch:

Heck, they were going after Todd himself; that’s really ridiculous. I don’t understand where things have changed with some of these folks, but it’s an ugly side that I personally think needs to be shut down.

June 20th, 2010 | 11:40 AM
John Sullivan:

That’s totally wrong
Even bloggers who ripped me off I don’t publicly say don’t visit their blog or don’t tweet them because their a loser etc I just watch Karma take effect.
So if my friends went around saying Blogcatalog sucks only because I think that I would ask then to STOP 🙂
and do it myself LOL
I hope everyone BLACKLIST me and my blog my personal blog is actually just for cool people and my blogging friends anyway which isn’t much 🙂 LOL
.-= John Sullivan´s last blog ..Best Blogging Tip EVER =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 3:28 PM
Mitch:

John, I think that riled me even more than the folks who are coming here from that blog posting their stupid messages to posts that have nothing to do with that topic. And some of them are trying to get to Todd by writing me, and that ain’t happening either. That’s what I mean, personal responsibility has to step up to the plate and acknowledge when things have gone over the line and need to be reeled back in. Course, once the genie has been let out of the bottle it’s hard to put it back in, and I figure it will all end in a day or two, but if there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I’m not one to back down; I get even, and I get even hard to make sure it’s over and done. No one gets a second chance at me; that’s one reason I have never bought a gun. lol

June 20th, 2010 | 3:52 PM

I was wondering what those people were complaining about when they were saying you wasn’t letting their comment through and now I understand why. I’m actually surprised at some of the comments Gail let through. I would have deleted a lot of them. Free speech is one thing but I won’t allow BS or people abusing others on my blog.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Save The Akismet, Long Live The Akismet =-.

June 21st, 2010 | 3:10 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Sire. In my opinion Gail started this mess, but then, in her way, she tried to end it. I hope it stays ended, but of course long term we might have to deal with the issue over and over.

June 21st, 2010 | 11:56 AM
Sue T.:

Personally, I detest spam, I detest things where people think they’re slick and use “MY” space (maybe I’m off pont or going off in another direction a bit) that I’ve put time and effort into and slap their garbage up there. All my comments are put into a spam folder and I get a notification from any post put on my blog to review. Fortunately I don’t have to worry about haters or spammers, although the first time I was pretty angry at the audacity of these people (!) … it’s just discarded. Remember my network Mitch? People used to slide their ads and whatnot in there all the time in their tag lines. I would write each one directly and ask them not to do that. Course the “do not advertise” in huge black bold letters should have told them that … Anyway, back to my writing 🙂

June 20th, 2010 | 6:27 AM
Mitch:

Sue, spam is definitely a personal issue, and if people write posts that seems like spam, it can be troublesome as well. Sure, I know that if I want to share a link with someone that even if I’m on topic there’s a possibility that post ends up in a spam filter. I don’t have any problem with that, but my hope is that people will look through their spam filters for messages that might be legit.

June 20th, 2010 | 11:39 AM

Geesh Mitch, I haven’t been out to blogs in forever (I haven’t even posted on my personal blog in months) and now I find that you and Sire have been getting in trouble.

This morning I see a tweet from Sire about Todd being blacklist by Gail and went to see who he was and why she was after him.

As for your comments on Gails blogs…I saw nothing wrong with them. I did think that the comments made back to you were out of line.

You are right that this blog is your house and how you protect your property is your decision. No one should think they can bully you into doing things that will convenience them.

As for that school…those people left comments on a few of our b2evo blogs saying that our Asikimt was blocking their comments.
Ok, that was definitely bull because those blogs do not even run that as a spam filter. b2evo has their own blacklist and I can add or subtract any words, domains…that I want. Their site was not even on the blacklist so, that means they didn’t even try to post a link.

After going to Todds then here then to the other blog, I kind of had the giggles.

To scream censorship and then start bashing and blacklisting what other people think is just LOL worthy. And the fact that I had been blaming every President since Jimmy Carter for the economy being bad, just to find out that it has been Asikmet all along. In fact I bet it had something to do with the BP oil gusher also. (Sorry, had to get in my daily dose of sarcasm.)

June 20th, 2010 | 11:58 AM
Mitch:

That’s great stuff, Sheryl! You’re right, the irony is classic, and the methods are definitely elementary. But Sire and I didn’t start trouble; we just kind of landed in the middle of it, and brought Todd along with us. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. lol

June 20th, 2010 | 12:09 PM

hey Mitch,

I gets even better …

Some “Stetson” dude left a not so thinly veiled threat of violence aimed at me in the growmap comments section. Get this, not only did Gail allow the comment to be posted, but she even when back and edited it to change the name he used from “Ted” to “Todd” … I’ve updated my blog post to add this information.
.-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Gail Gardner from Growmap.com Tries to BlackList Me =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 3:25 PM
Mitch:

I notice, and the same message keeps trying to post itself to my blog from multiple names. I’m engaging Gail on Twitter right now, and she says she’s not to blame for any of this, and I’m saying she is to blame. That “Stetson” guy’s email is fake; it bounced back when I wrote “him” from one of my alternate email addresses. I’ve told Gail she needs to fix this; maybe some extra pressure on Twitter is needed. I hate going this route, but when people start mess like this in person they need to be more responsible for how they engage others, especially when playing to folks who obviously don’t know any better.

June 20th, 2010 | 3:38 PM

Hey Mitch,

Thanks buddy … don’t take too much time on this though. I have to run across to the BBQ … but it should be “interesting” what else transpires with this situation.

lol, happy father’s day huh? 🙂
.-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Justin and I Search For Mountain Lion on Fort Hood =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 3:41 PM
Mitch:

I’ll try not to take too much time; Gail did put a disclaimer on her blog asking people to stop writing us, along with, it seems, other people they’ve decided to go after. Maybe too little too late, but it’s a step in the right direction.

June 20th, 2010 | 3:53 PM

Mitch, you and I have had some great debates, but we always kept it respectable, and I give you kudos for being a stand up dude when debating with people in comments.

I had my own run in with Gail when I removed do-follow from my blog.

You and Sire are pretty much the only do-follow blogs I even have any respect for anymore (not that there aren’t others, I just may not know about them), and Gail really gives a bad rap to using do-follow by forcing this ridiculous notion that if you don’t allow people to comment leaving links with keywords, then you just don’t support small business.

I don’t care how many followers she has, or how many readers, most likely I don’t want any of them on my blog anyway…
.-= Keith´s last blog ..Fathers In Blogging 2010 =-.

June 20th, 2010 | 4:08 PM
Mitch:

Good point, Keith. There are things I see on other blogs that I don’t like. I’d certainly never chastise anyone openly for using those things, though I might say I’m not visiting certain blogs that have or do certain things. There are rules to debate that say responses should somehow be kept in relation to each other unless one is giving “historical” information in trying to explain something. All I’ve ever said is that I will treat people how I want to be treated, and if they respond in kind, we’re good, even if we disagree.

Sure, I support the dofollow concept, but I don’t go around looking for blogs that have it or not; that’s not close to important. I comment on other blogs because I’m truly interested in sharing my thought, and I hope the author appreciates it, even if I disagree. I’m glad you’ve stopped by and understand my point; I really worked hard in trying to be fair on this post, but man, I was angry while writing it. 🙂

June 20th, 2010 | 4:25 PM

I have had those negative comments about Akismet on my blog previously from University. I have also had issues with ppl abusing DoFollow, I will spam any comment which blatantly is a promotion/ad comment and is in my pending but wasn’t caught by Akismet yet.

I had never heard of Akismet spamming or wiping out “posts”, how can a post be deleted just from spam comment? I didn’t think the plug-in could affect the “post” in the database.
.-= Justin Germino´s last blog ..Upgraded to WordPress 3 =-.

June 21st, 2010 | 12:05 PM
Mitch:

I’ve been wondering that one myself, Justin. I have no proof that posts are automatically deleted, and the original post I read indicated as such, but unless confirmed by the original blogger, who might not really know, how could one really tell, other than seeing their comment not appear on someone’s page?

Still, overall it’s a right for us all to decide what we do or don’t like for our blogs, and others have the right to either visit or not visit. But to try to bully someone into accepting their position, and being inappropriate with where those posts go… nope, no one gets that right. Thanks for your opinion.

June 21st, 2010 | 12:29 PM

It’s not the posts that are deleted. It’s the comments (before entering spam/pending – so they claim). But when it happens, it’s usually when the commenter gets a blank (white) page first, so I bet it’s a bug somewhere, maybe wordpress, maybe akismet, maybe php, maybe apache, maybe mysql… whatever it is, it seems that often (or every time?) that when a blank page occurs after submitting a comment = the comment never enters the system.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..It’s iOS 4.0 Day – Are You Ready? [iPhone/iPod Touch] =-.

June 21st, 2010 | 12:34 PM
Mitch:

It could be a bug; I’ve had that happen to blogs I’ve visited here and there, but it’s never occurred to me to blame Akismet, just to think it was a bug in the system.

June 21st, 2010 | 12:40 PM

I’ve had the white page before but I’ve always thought it was a bug because when I used the back button and reentered the comment it came up with ‘duplicate comment’. I would then reload the page form scratch and there’s my comment, so Akismet was innocent as far as I was concerned.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Save The Akismet, Long Live The Akismet =-.

June 21st, 2010 | 7:37 PM
Althea Garner:

Sounds a little like what happened to me on Ryze! In the final analysis I was quite prepared to give up a good group just to get away from the ravings of a lunatic who wouldn’t leave me alone!

June 21st, 2010 | 12:33 PM
Mitch:

Althea, you know I’m not the one. There was no way any of those people were going to get away with that mess. And I was ready, and still am ready, to try to take down that online education site, if it’s legitimate at all, for promoting the mess in the first place. At this point, that stuff seems to have stopped, but I was loaded for bear!

June 21st, 2010 | 12:39 PM

Hi Mitch. I’ll make this short. I have already seen the Akismet “quest” all over the place and quite frankly did not give it that much of interest. The one thing that I do agree though is that “everyone” has the right to use or not whatever they desire. That’s the freedom of choice. That said, I agree with you 100%.
.-= DiTesco´s last blog ..WordPress Thelonious Version 3.0 Released =-.

June 21st, 2010 | 1:57 PM
Mitch:

Thanks DiTesco. I must have been late to the Akismet discussion, because until Friday, I hadn’t known it was a big deal. But freedom of choice is the main thing I’m concerned about.

June 21st, 2010 | 3:08 PM
Holly Jahangiri:

I had no idea it was “a big deal” either. I use it, have no problems with it, and appreciate the fact that it catches MOST of the spam that hits my blog – and learns from me when it doesn’t.

I don’t like bullies, and it sounds like you’ve had a little gang of them lately. I don’t know the players, but I’ve read enough to think that’s not a bad thing.
.-= Holly Jahangiri´s last blog ..The Literary Death Match Marches On =-.

June 25th, 2010 | 2:12 PM
Mitch:

Yeah, Todd and myself were inundated with them for awhile until they finally realized their messages were being sent directly into the spam filter. Hurts those email addresses more than it hurt me to keep sending them there, and Akismet learned them pretty quickly. I don’t do well with bullies either.

June 25th, 2010 | 3:15 PM
Mike:

Mitch, you have the right to rant and name names. There are tons of people out there that spam the hard work of others. They know it is not right, however they continue to do it over and over. I have no problem with Akismet…I just think that it can do more to stop spammers!
.-= Mike´s last blog ..PPC Conversion Tracking – Free Adwords Report =-.

June 23rd, 2010 | 12:53 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Mike. It was an interesting battle on Saturday, and I’m just glad all that stupid stuff finally ended. And I’ve written about spam enough around here to get my point across in just how much I hate it.

June 23rd, 2010 | 1:35 AM

Howdy Mitch. I’ve visited the site in question, and as an experiment disabled Aksimet. Since I don’t get a lot of comments, the end result was pretty much nothing but a lot of spam getting through.

I’ve since enabled it because its just not worth the hassle to be honest and I have yet to see a single comment of mine not appear somewhere or anyone mention to me that theirs were deleted.

The biggest problem with this issue is that no one can stop others from abusing the system. The malicious and spiteful will report others, the program will flag folks, and the problem rolls on.

Like with all free services, there is going to be a certain amount of compromise somewhere. Aksimet does a pretty good job, and to be fair if they are going to allow their algorithms to include user generated input when determing what to flag, then there needs to be some easy and fast process for remediation available as well since their actions could impact so many people negatively.

That said, I think that is as far as the real issue goes. I see no tangible evidence that Aksimet deletes comments from blogs by itself. I see a lot of claims and insistence and the screen captures provided by GM imo only served to show that a business type url was blocked from posting, not automatically deleted.

I had a similar problem with Microsoft. Their IE phishing filter was flagging part of a site I administer as a possible phishing attempt and warned visitors against participating. Since the site is a merchant, you can imagine my anger.

After 4 attemtps I finally got through to someone on the phone and got it straightend out. In the end it turns out someone complained, maliciously and voila, we were flagged.

HOWEVER, after contacting the company, we were unflagged and put onto something of a “safe list” for want of a better term and have no problems now.

I think alot of this Aksimet problem is related to overreacting, and dramatizations. Really, in one post by GM in the screen captures I read an insinuation that if bloggers let Aksimet continue deleting comments our economies are going to coallapse.

C’mon now, just a wee bit dramatic dont you think?

Remember one of the most commonly suggested methods for creating traffic and comments- Incite controversy.

Given the facts in evidence, ignoring the sensationalism, and allowing some doubt for the usual bugs and just plain design paramters involved with freeware like Aksmiet, I just don’t see a whole lot to get excited about.
.-= Paul NovaK´s last blog ..Advertising and Promotion- Monetizing your Blog pt2 =-.

June 30th, 2010 | 11:02 AM
Mitch:

Good stuff Paul, long, rambling or not! lol I agree with you wholeheartedly; if people are evil and doing things to hurt someone on purpose, there’s little you can do about it until you discover it. Even then it might be hard to do something about it other than ostracizing that person. I tend to believe that Akismet is a wonderful tool; once I added it, I’ve never looked back, and I’ve been happy with the performance.

And if others needed to take that personally… well, you see where I went! 🙂

June 30th, 2010 | 11:43 AM

Pardon the atrocious typos and rambling. Still on my first cup of coffee;)
.-= Paul NovaK´s last blog ..Advertising and Promotion- Monetizing your Blog pt2 =-.

June 30th, 2010 | 11:08 AM