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Friday, May 13, 2005

Syndic8 Responds

Jeff Barr of Syndic8 has a long response on the Syndic8 search engine spam issue (in exchange for some money, their homepage linked to pages which lured searchers to Google AdSense). It looks like their site is back to a PageRank 8 – it had none, a while ago – and the links to the sub-domains in questions have been removed.

While Jeff in his post admits he made an error, he also complains about the many bloggers posting about the issue instead of say emailing him privately:

“In this link-happy world, I have found that people are more interesting in talking about you than talking to you. In the past, I thought that a private conversation was the first step toward resolution in a situation like this. That’s not true anymore.”

Someone in the comments agrees:

“As a blogger, you’re not required to get a response before you post – immediacy is the watchword. As a journalist, though, no editor would have let your item be printed without an attempt to get a response from the other guy, regardless of his status or situation.”

When I posted this, I included Jeff’s response. He said “I don’t have any hidden links, I am not doing anything tricky. From my point of view I am able to fund the operation of my site based on the fact that its home page has a good pagerank.” Bearing this in mind, does it look like he would have reacted to one or a few emails in any other way? No*. Sometimes, it needs a blogosphere to convince certain people. As a positive side-effect, others get a chance to learn when they see the discussion evolving (this wouldn’t happen in 1 on 1 conversations).

*If you take the Wordpress fiasco as related example, the answer is “no” as well; Andy Baio privately contacted Matt Mullenweg about the search engine spam, and Matt responded in similar fashion: “If it can help bootstrap something nice for the community, I’m willing to let it run for a little while.” In other words, the goals justify the means.

[Via Dave Winer.]


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