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Monday, October 17, 2005

Ericast 33 - "Off to EduCAUSE!"

Jetting off to Orlando in the morning for the EduCAUSE conference, from which I hope to phone in some updates, so I didn't put much together tonight.

Thanks to Garrick and the PodcastMN.whatever crew for a fun get-together, and to Brandon for some excellent comments phoned in to the Ericast Listener Feedback line at the ever-popular 206-339-ERIC (206-339-3742) phone number!

I also spend some time in this episode venting about something incredibly annoying that's happening over at my blog. Four -- count 'em, FOUR -- times, someone from has posted nearly identical junk comments:

Hello there, how are things there? I design web pages in Reno Nevada. I like what you did here. I can help you anytime if you ever get stuck doing updates or if you want to learn to make money with this blog. The only thing I ask in return is post a few links on this site from me. It's about Reno Homes For Sale. I also have the best link to Reno Land For Sale updated every day. By the way, Reno Nevada real estate prices are still making millionaires everyday! Check out Reno Nevada Luxury Homes For Sale. Take care, if you need my web design company it's Reno SEO

Note that, in reality, the comments just happen to have no fewer than four links to the same site!

I was sure that I'd turned on comment-SPAM filtering (the thing that makes you type in the goofy bent-out-of-shape word before you can post), but I just checked and it looks like I didn't on that blog. Yet, my comment links are buried in dynamic Javascript text (to clean up the appearance of the blog), so it should have been hard to just auto-post comments there... but maybe SPAM programs can see past that?

As an aside, appears to mask its domain through GoDaddy, so you can't do a WHOIS lookup on it to find out who owns it. But there are two contact names listed on the page. Amazingly, doesn't turn up in Google. But turns up Zane Durant's name on this mole-related press release and on this advertisement for RenoSEO. So I think when I get back in town I'm going to have to give him a call and do an interview for the Ericast. Whaddya think?

(For those of you who don't catch the significance... search engines rate sites in part by how many links they have leading into them. So, because of this... "gentleman"... my blog has now provided eight links into this Reno property site, which in a computer's eyes must mean it's really wonderful and popular site, so Google and Yahoo! should rate it more highly, right? Wrong!)

Now, when Blogger e-mails me an alert about a comment, it doesn't give me the title or the date that the post was commented on. (At least not by default; I wonder if there's a tweak to the template for that...) But I have an excellent memory, and I remembered that I once jokingly posted about Reno when someone there was searching in vain for Kari Byron posts.

Go ahead and check out the text there; I removed the links, but posted the text so you could see it in all its SPAMmy glory.

Basically, Zane is off doing Blogger searches for "Reno", and then dumping in real estate ads into any post that comes up. Brilliant! It's almost admirably evil!

Man, I haven't felt this worked up since I got my first piece of e-mail SPAM years and years ago!

Anyway, enjoy the podcast, and listen this week for updates from EduCAUSE...


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