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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I’ve been valiantly fighting those dastardly bastards who would attempt to use my PageRank for their own profit. I’m speaking, of course, of the pernicious comment spammers that have been traipsing through my three blogs since I’ve moved to MovableType.

They want you to buy Cialis, play Texas Hold ‘Em poker online, and view pictures of unspeakable acts (from the sounds of some of the subject matter). They concoct absurd comments for the sole purpose of getting a link back to their shady sites. Google indexes my pages and sees glorious links between our two sites and a little bit of my carefully-cultivated PageRank goes their way. This makes them show up higher in the search results and, one presumes, lines their pockets a little more.

My task, then, is to short-circuit this plan and foil their efforts. Unfortunately, they have circumvented all of the automated tools I’ve installed in MovableType. This means that I must manually remove errant comments one by one. Without getting into the nitty-gritty details of MovableType, this couldn’t be more tedious. But it’s a task that must be performed—if only to protect against broken windows.

Frankly, though, I’ve had enough of this crap. I rebuilt my entire site twice yesterday all because of the same guy. I am going to move to WordPress, a MovableType-like blogging system without all of MovableType’s deficiencies. This is part of my overall strategy to move away from ColdFusion and towards PHP. This is not a slam against ColdFusion, because I still think that it’s the fastest-to-develop server-side scripting language, but web hosts that support it are harder to find and generally more expensive. Plus, if I ever did get a dedicated server to host all my sites (as I would eventually prefer), I do not want to have to fork out additional money to buy a ColdFusion license.

The transition away from MovableType and ColdFusion is going to take some time. I am learning PHP, which is thankfully very close to ASP, but I can only work on the site transition an hour a day at most. In the meantime, I have disabled HTML in the comments and changed the comment author byline to just display the author’s name and show the author’s URL in a tooltip. That takes care of any incentive or benefit in spamming my comment sections.

I will delete all comments from the database as soon as they happen, but I’m only going to rebuild perhaps once a week. That means that you may find some offensive and objectionable comments in the interim. I apologize, but it’s the only way for me to integrate defusing this menace into my daily workflow.

If you are a comment spammer (or his bot representative), I wish only the most unspeakable evil on you. You are a blight on the Internet and whatever function you serve is disgusting, ignoble, and repugnant. You can continue to post away, but know that you’re getting zero benefit out of it.