Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Beware the attack of the Zombie Auto-Blogs!

The next time you hear someone quote statistics about the millions of blogs, please tell them that their stats include hundreds, thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of bogus, computer-generated zombie auto-blogs spouting gibberish, like this one: Vasectomy Reversal.
Click that link and you'll see all the worst characteristics of these zombies: meaningless (or rote-copied) text, a mindless author profile, multiple entries with closely-spaced date/times, and - obviously - no human being trying to communicate anything to you.

Clearly, Something Strange is going on, and whatever it is, it's polluting the blogosphere.

I've found many examples not quite as wasted at that first link, but just as zombie-like, for example, Car Accident, which seems to use text copied at random from elsewhere in a series of disjointed entries, such as "Mouse Over to learn more Bankcard model displayed on this site is by far your best option. If you have only one qualified rate". (That quote may have been lifted from this page at www.leoquinn.com.)
Now this next zombie, sugar-eyes, has a clear purpose. The title of every one of its stream-of-copied-consciousness entries links to an ad page at a web-site, mm-information.co.uk.
Radial-eskimo-fish-x, with its stupefying entries about Discount Inkjet Printer Ink Cartridge, China Eastern Airline, Adult Erotic Book, Used Police Car For Sale (etc.), similarly has entry titles that link to mmj-electronics. If you think for a moment that this blog has an author who’s trying to talk to you, try to read text like this: "...ely Free Sample Stuff Completely Free Sample Stuff links and resources. Freebieholics - UK Free Stuff ... here. Channels Home Free Stuff Competitions Ecards Shopping Games Forums Members Sub-Menu Tell-a- Friend Bookmark Us Contact Us T&C's / Privacy What we do.... Freebieholics shows you ... Free Magazines Have free sample issues of top quality magazines sent right to your door! Many of these offers also give you a subscription at a discount below news stand prices, or gifts for subscribing. ... Free stuff sample for baby Free stuff sample for baby herbal nutrition. Home ....." (And this text junk could have been cribbed from many web pages.)

Trampoline seems to be a coherent sample of the genre. Every item title links to an ad page at www.trampolined.co.uk; the item titles cover everything you might want to know about trampolines, and the text always matches the entry title. But with dozens of short textbook entries per day, computer generation is clearly at work.
Homeimprovementhowto is similar, except that in this blog each entry has NO TEXT. Again, the entry titles point to ad pages at another web site. Cardonations works the same way.

Contentmanagement is more primitive - entries without text, and entry titles that are broken links (or at least, were broken when I checked them). Perhaps some child failed to finish debugging his or her PERL Script this time.

These blogs all have a very primitive look, as if a basic blogger template is being used with no individualization. Perhaps they are intended to show up in web searches and boost the ranking of the sites they point to.

Anyway, Beware the attack of the Zombie Auto-Blogs! They're Here! They're Everywhere! Why are they permitted to exist, anyway?
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