Dave Winer’s problem and solution

Dave Winer
Dave Winer seems to be very excited about something but he can’t say yet what it is:

Last night I got an email from someone I’ve been wanting to hear from for a long time. There’s a problem on the Internet, a big one, that only one entity can solve. The email outlined the solution and asked what I thought of it, and asked me not to say what it is publicly. I can live with that. I just want to mark this moment. A milestone. Real cooperation. I immediately implemented the feature on one of my sites. The same message was sent to a bunch of other people by the same person. I hope they did the same. When this is announced users everywhere will smile
(from archive.scripting.com)

and a day later:

Watch this space for an interesting announcement.
(from www.bloggercon.org)

First I thought it would be related to RSS. Maybe RSS and Atom are merging into 1 standard (but then what does he mean with ‘implemented the feature on one of my sites’?) or Blogger (Google) will now support RSS as well as Atom feeds (which would basically mean Atom dies)?

But speculation in the blogosphere tends to go in the direction of Google taking into account the rel="nofollow" attribute of a link, so bloggers can make a distinction between links that Google should follow (and transfer Pagerank to) or not. A promising solution for comment spam.
(via poorbuthappy.com / gorissen.info / phaedo.cx)

Comment spam is a problem I almost never encounter. Most of my sites are created with Blogger, and they use a redirector script for outgoing links in comments:
http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com.
(cf help.blogger.com)
Neither WordPress nor SixApart (Movable Type) mention in their comment-spam combat guide. If every blog software used this trick, it would make the comment-spamming tactic less attractive!

2 thoughts on “Dave Winer’s problem and solution”

  1. In the meantime, moveableType does support the rel=”nofollow” extension with a plugin: http://www.movabletype.org/news/2005/01/movable_type_nofollow_p.shtml. A redirection script as used by blogger – and by movableType for that matter – proves not very efficient in the fight against spam: at least it doesn’t stop daily spams at my weblog.
    BTW: I’ve met Winer a couple of years ago and like him or hate him (I’m with the first group), he’s a genius.

  2. Just like the rel=nofollow tag does not solve comment spam, but only takes away the spammer’s incentive, so does redirecting instead of linking make it useless to spam. Because of the way Blogger uses link redirection, they have no problems with comment spam, because spammers didn’t bother making automated scripts that work for Blogger. You can’t get any Google juice out of it anyway.

    And as for Dave Winer being a genius, I think you’re right. The man has extraordinary vision, and the skills to get things moving. I’d love to chat with him some day.

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