Referrer and Comment Spam

In reviewing traffic to this set of blogs, I got tired of seeing referrer spam. I looked up what to do about it and found you can use the .htaccess file. So I started the project of gathering up referrers from across all the hosting and domains I deal with, then filtering that down to a list that included one each and did not include real referrers. Tedious! Need to get back to it.

Meanwhile, some older sites on which I have not yet updated WordPress have started getting pounded with comment spam. Since it needs to be approved, that just means a ton of e-mail, but that’s annoying enough. Now those updates are on my agenda, as I am pretty sure they helped in the past. If only because it makes upgrading Akismet possible. On the other hand, maybe Akismet is being overwhelmed. Which makes me want to see what else can be done.

I actually tested Ghost as an alternative to WordPress. There were two issues. One was the learning curve. The other was that I couldn’t blog remotely with BlogDesk, as is my habit.


Time to Update WordPress

I came over here to update the blogroll and noticed a funny thing:

Someone was able to hack WordPress in a way that gave them access to the blogroll. No idea when it happened, but the links all redirected through this WordPress blog using a trailing structure in the form of:


At the end of the URL to which I linked. Not sure offhand what the ?q is and how it differs from the ?s format used to return search results. It did the job, anyway, redirecting to an entirely different location. I suspect the blog in question was also victimized and had no active role.

The lesson? This is probably why there have been security-related updates to WordPress that I should have installed periodically. I’m pretty sure none of the WP blogs in our “empire” are fully updated except the newest one. Oops.

The other lesson? If I posted here regularly as I really do plan to, I would notice these things promptly, limiting any benefit accruing from the linkage.

Now multiple WordPress updates are on my list of things that must be done sooner rather than later.

Blogging Spaces

This is a good report on and review of Microsoft’s new MSN Spaces blogging feature for the masses.

I can actually see there being a market, especially at a price of free, for an even easier to use blogging tool than anything else yet on the market. I also don’t see how Microsoft could have stayed out of the particular market if they are serious about internet services directly in competition with the likes of Google, whose decision to buy Blogger makes increasingly more sense. Whither Yahoo in all of this? It will be interesting to see what, if anything, they do.