[Later: I’ve turned MyBlogLog back on after being convinced I can do what I rant about not being able to do in this post. Also: See comments for how a product manager for a blogger-centric product should engage bloggers when he/she sees some crazed bloggger (in this instance, me) ranting about a perceived glitch in their product.]
I have been a fan of MyBlogLog since I first learned of it. I enjoy seeing those friendly faces and clever avatars of people who visit this site.
However, any third-party service that has content I display on this blog (sometimes called a “badge” or “bling” or “widget”) is merely a guest on this page. Here’s the deal. I’ll display your badge if it has some value I perceive as helpful or entertaining to me and this blog’s readers. In return, don’t harm me. If you do, you’ll learn I have a short fuse when your servers go down and my site becomes unavaialable — or, worse, when you allow something to happen that conflicts with what I want this blog to be about.
The first time I saw MyBlogLog, I realized it would soon be a magnet for spammers — for those who want to set up accounts and surf through blogs in order to draw a few clicks to their site. Indeed, I refused to add the service to this blog until they had an easy way for me to “X” out someone (to disable their avatar from appearing here or on my MyBlogLog page) who was obviously just using MyBlogLog to promote some slimy service. The individuals who then owned MyBlogLog listened to me and other early-users and quickly added such a feature. (Those original guys are no longer with the service that is now owned by Yahoo!, although they left the company with millions of extremely cool parting prizes.)
Clicking on the “X” has always worked for me, and so, I’ve continued to display the avatars available via the MyBlogLog code. That changed a few minutes ago when I noticed a an avatar appearing on my blog that was obviously intended to draw clicks to an adult site. No problem, I thought, I’ll click the “X” and they’ll be gone.
But no. Despite the confirmation process — a second, “Are you sure you want to get rid of this person?” click — the spammer’s avatar still appeared in what I call my “reader roll.”
Short fuse set. Bang. Mybloglog is outta here.
So, until I’m convinced MyBlogLog has the “X” thing fixed, I won’t be displaying your friendly faces and clever avatars.
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