Spolgs: Just How Many Are There ?

Interesting post on mashable.com re: splogs ( spam blogs ) and how big a percentage they are of the overall blogosphere. The discussion stems from a speech our Matt Mullenweg recently gave where he mentioned that on WordPress.com we have zapped around 800K splogs so far and as of March 4th, 2008 we are hosting 2,556,082 legit blogs.

[ Ma.tt: Percentage of Splogs ]

Skype Spam

I really like Skype. In fact, I think it has the best IM client on top of the killer VoIP calling features. So I guess it’s not surprising that spam is invading IM/VoIP. We see lots of web spam being thrown against blogs, wikis, and social networks — and thankfully services like Akismet are effectively zapping it.

So what about IM/VoIP Spam ? I’ve been getting 3-4 mostly Not Safe For Work (NSFW) Skype IM requests per week, with a few casino offers as well, and it seems to be increasing in frequency. Here is a typical looking one I got only a few minutes ago:
skype spam

It’s not unmanageable right now – you just click “block” and it closes that current spam request. And in fact, I went ahead and changed all my privacy setting in Skype to only allow communication from authorized contacts — so that should help (update: even with all the privacy settings turned on I got another spam IM 😦 ). But it does add an extra layer and potentially makes it harder for people to reach me.

Jim Higdon over at VoIP News suggested the same approach to combat this spam and predicts more problems in the future:

No End in Sight

Given that Skype spam appears to be a widespread trend, there isn’t much any one person can do to stop it, other than blocking the offending user. But that defense is akin to swatting mosquitoes in a swamp: You’ll run out of swat before the swamp runs out of mosquitoes.

You could try using one of these 10 alternatives to Skype. But, if you’d rather stick it out, you might be forced to batten down your Skype hatches and only allow messages from people you know. Go to Preferences > Privacy and set “allow instant messages from” to “only people whom I have authorized to start.” You won’t get any pleasant Skype surprises anymore, but maybe you won’t get any unpleasant surprises either.

And of course, like its complete lack of real-time customer service, Skype has no “report this user” function. So, you Skypers are on your own.

Google Apps email flags Google alerts (sent to gmail) as Spam

I’m playing around with google apps, and one great feature is the ability to import in existing gmail accounts – all email messages and even labels.

One thing I assumed was that no messages from my gmail spam folder would be imported – and that turned out to be true. But after the gmail import I noticed a bunch of message in the new google apps account’s spam folder. On closer inspection they were all legit messages including google alerts sent to my gmail account. A bit convoluted, but if this is still making sense to you, it looks like google apps email hasn’t white-listed google messages.

Odd, no ? See screenshot below showing google alerts for a stock I follow, MVIS:

google apps flags alerts as spam