Fl*pp*sm *s Th* K*y
In Charles C. Mann's article in the current (September) issue of Wired he covers the pheonomena of Splogs, bogus blogs that feed off legitimate sites to acquire "click-through" revenue. Any one that surfs blogs has run into these bizarre-appearing pages, when your own site shows up it can be disconcerting. FITK has appeared on a fake Lindsay Lohan site, there have also been numerous sleazier ones; all using the Flippism name or a phrase from one of the postings here- stuck in in with a bunch of unrelated link words. Google must have done some housecleaning; its search on "Flippism Is The Key" came up free of these vermin. Yahoo was less successful, such sites as Free Scat Porn From Brazil and Stuttering John Dali Lama were some of the least offensive titles. MSN had Pre-Teen Boobs and Koola, a French-language site.
So, what's a poor Blogger to do? I could use asterisks instead of vowels. Th*t w**ld st*p th* pr*bl*m, b*t m*k* f*r * pr*tt* d*mb bl*g. I imagine that an "exclusive" real-blog network could be set up, but that would pretty well chill any new input and make for an insular mind-set. I can see the day when the end of the free ride for bloggers might come, thus making it unprofitable for Splogs to exist. How much would you pay? I know that many of you already pay $2-$5 monthly to maintain your sites. If Blogger charged even $10 a year to its 2 million+ active accounts it could use that money to police the net even more than it already does. A computer algorithm could certainly be devised to read all blogs and forward only the suspicious ones to reviewers (and would that be a mind-numbing job!)
Actually, I've already used the "asterisk option". Since the "Church" of Sc*ent*l*gy loves to sue people, I wouldn't dream of writing about T*m Cr*ise's baby's upbringing in any other way.