Social Software is, by its open nature, “stuff that gets spammed” according to Clay Shirky, who coined the term.

Blogs are no exception. Comment spam, is one of the results of the automated scripts spammers use to target standardized blog software. Entire machine-generated blogs, “Spamblogs” are another.

Why would anyone set up a blog that’s being written by automated scripts?

How does it work?

You start with some keyword sets and variations referring to expensive merchandise: cars, insurances, jewelry… Then you use some search engine APIs** to fetch content being written on this subject, and pump fresh results into the fake blog with regular intervals, using the Blogger API**… and voilà!

By the way, I would suggest to reserve the word “spamblogs” for machine-generated blogs in the strict sense, and indicate fictitious blogs set up by marketeers, as “Character Blogs“, or, when they’re really bad taste *** “Fake Blogs” :-).

Some more on Spamblogs in Action and Hunting Spamblogs now.

* one could argue a search engine like Google is social software too, since its main algorithm tries to produce relevant results for your search term by weighing the votes (hyperlinks) of all participants on the web (webmasters, bloggers…).
** an API is a way to programmatically do things: search engine APIs let you fetch and process search results using your own software, with the Blogger API, that is supported by most blogging software, you can use still other software to post and edit content on blogs
*** see the discussion in the comments of the linked Micropersuasion blog entry on when to call a blog either “fake” or “character”. I would use “fake” for blogs that are desperately trying to look authentic ;-)

One Response to “Spamblogs”

  1. Hans on Experience Says:

    Uitleg wat spamblogs zijn en hoe ze werken

    Gisteren heb ik reeds geschreven over spamblogs. Aangezien mijn postings in een spamblog opdoken. Ik had ze die dag al eerder gezien maar wist niet wat het was, Pascal Vanhecke kwam er ook achter en lichtte me in. Hij deed nog meer. Hij ging op zoek na…