Google Blogoscoped

Sunday, January 9, 2005

The Connect 4 Blog Games

Ladies and gentlemen, start your blog engines: the Connect 4 Blog Games have started! To play this game of Connect 4, all you need to do is find another blog author willing to play with you. Then for every move, include a small piece of text in your blog. Like this one:

In game 4, move 3, I choose slot 5.

Untouched Spam Leads to More Spam

“As an experiment, I left two typical comment spams in one of my entries (now deleted) only long enough to be archived by Google. I was curious what would happen. In less than 24 hours since the original comment spam arrived the entry was spammed, nay, bombarded with 356 brand new spam comments.

The spammer found my entry via Google searching for one of the couple dozen URLs spammed in the comment body.”
– Kasia Trapszo, Spam breeds more spam, January 08, 2005 [Via Waxy.]

It’s a social thing too: whatever bad style shown in a comment not deleted quickly will lead to more of the same. That’s because people always look for signs of what’s been said and done before to see what they can or should do.

Think of a group of people waiting at a red light – when the first one crosses the street, more will suddenly follow, even though the light is still red. It’s called the “broken window phenomenon:” once the first window is broken and not taken care of, the house, and soon the whole neighborhood, deteriorates through accelerated vandalism.

This means an aggressive post will lead to counter-aggression, and the thread turns to a rant. A single person asking for a Gmail invite leads to dozens more asking for the same (I know from the Google Blogoscoped forum). Check these FutureFeature comments for another live example.
So when I think about deleting a post in the forum, I stopped asking myself: “Does this single post hurt the forum?” Instead I ask: “Do I want more of these type of posts?"


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