Categories
Design Markup Thoughts WWW

Not Only WP 2.2 will be Delayed

You’ve probably read that Matt Mullenweg announced a delay to the WP 2.2 release, which was previously due in 4 days, on your Dashboard already, but it still is worth blogging. As I am creating my new theme—now at a rough estimate of 75% completion after five [half] days of work—I think it would be better to delay the release of AjaLapus.com 4.0 as well.

New features from WP 2.2, including core Widgets support, integrated tagging system[1] and Atom 1.0 standard syndication feeds, would most probably make me revise my theme a lot more since I am planning to use them anyway. And since I still haven’t tried using nightlies, nor do I have time and patience to install AMP again on either my Linux or Windows installations to test and develop on a nightly, it’d probably be best if I would wait the couple of weeks out for the new WordPress to be released.

So far, I have the following completion percentages for the templates of the upcoming theme before I delay working on it:

  • Header, Footer, and Single post templates and styles at 100%
  • Homepage, Quasi-static Pages, and Sidebar templates and styles at about 90%
  • Archives [including Tag, Date, Category and Search pages], 404 page, and Page-specific templates at 0%

And, btw, I’ve already consulted Shari and Lexie about the theme and they seem to like it so far. That was a relief since Shari immediately turned down the first one I’ve made. Well, not that it all depends on them—I really just like positive feedback.

For those who were browsing yesterday late at night and have been [403] Forbidden from viewing any page, that was most probably be me doing some tests. Ugh. I really need a local LAMP/WAMP installation.

And, about the issue of ad serving using Google AdSense, I decided to stick to HTML-compatible XHTML Strict since I’ve encountered a FAQ from Google stating that AdSense code within an <iframe> would lead to PSAs or less targeted ads [probably the same case an <object> tag would produce] even though that method was approved by Google.

So, there you have it—just lame updates. I’m getting busy at school since I’m taking up my Math 321 this summer vacation.[2] I still do hope I’d have more fun before the vacation ends.

Footnotes:

  1. ^ As Dougal Campbell pointed out, it was pushed to 2.3 milestone—I wasn’t reading the wp-hackers list as well.
  2. ^ If you can’t remember, it’s because of this little problem.
Categories
Attacks Opinion Tech Thoughts WWW

On Nofollow, Spam and Plugins

When the search engine giant Google announced that it would implement the rel="nofollow" directive on its crawlers, most people had hopes it would be the end of comment spam, most especially when search competitors Yahoo! and MSN expressed support for the microformat as well.

But, as the years passed even with WordPress immediately supporting the rel="nofollow" attribute since its inception, comment spam attacks on AjaLapus.com increased so suddenly. The most probable cause of the increase is when my homepage’s PageRank increased to 6 last 29th of January rendering it more visible on SERPs. From 50 spams a day to up to 200, the weight of these spammers causes my server precious bandwidth and processing, and me of my time when checking for false positives. These spammers could just be turning a blind eye on rel="nofollow" as spamming costs almost—if not absolutely—nothing to spread.

From the words of Ben Hammersley:

If the playing field is levelled by rel="nofollow", then everyone involved will be forced to try all the harder to get their links out there. The blogosphere will be hit all the harder because of the need to maximise the gains.

Besides, them spammers are not only aiming to be displayed on SERPs, they are trying to be clicked on by human visitors as well. And, even when 99% of the blogs out there use rel="nofollow", the remaining 689,000[1] blogs that doesn’t could be easily found by mere crawling of these spambots on any link they could find. Why bother to scan for the use of rel="nofollow" when you could just post away spam as easily? These spammers affiliate with porn, pill and casino advertisers that earn thousands of dollars of revenue from clicks and visits from real people, consequently receiving commission from them—providing the motivation for more spamming.

But, has this initiative from Google done its job? Many people do not think so. Aside from Ben, other people thought of it as utter failure.

As Dylan Tweney may put it:

Worse, nofollow has another, more pernicious effect, which is that it reduces the value of legitimate comments.

It would also reduce the motivation to comment on blogs thinking that there’s no way we could benefit from reacting on someone else’s blog entry since our links would be regarded as nonexistent. So much for Web 2.0 and Web interaction. I know I have experienced this a lot of times before, though it has somehow dissipated with these realizations.

Jeremy Zawodny has a better angle about this matter:

I’ve seen that first hand. The “psychology of linking” did change in a fairly obvious way after nofollow started.

….

Look. Linking is part of what makes the web work. If you’re actually concerned about every link you make being counted in some global database of site endorsements, you’re probably over-thinking just a bit.

Straight to the point. So what do I do now since WordPress has no way of deactivating the addition of rel="nofollow" on comment URIs except for hacking into the source code? I’ve looked through Andy Beard‘s Ultimate List of DoFollow Plugins and found two different plugins that suits my taste:

I currently use Kimmo’s DoFollow as it was the first one that got me interested. But, I think I need input from you guys: Which of the two do you think would be better to motivate commenters on my blog? The one in which they know their links would eventually be followable [DoFollow], or the other in which they’d have to accomplish a somehow obtrusive number of comments[2] on the whole site before their links would be followable [Link Love]?

If you’re thinking that I may be then vulnerable to spam comments gaining ranking from my site: I wouldn’t worry, since Akismet has done a good[3] job of screening spam for me. I think Dougal Campbell made me realize this.

And, I am planning to add another plugin that automatically closes comments on older entries that most spammers tend to target. I know there exists such plugins, I just can’t find them right know. Do you know any? How long should I make entries commentable? I have been receiving legitimate comments on older entries occasionally—a reason why I still haven’t decided about this kind of plugin yet. Maybe you could help me.

Oh, by the way, there also exists 11 reasons against nofollow from a German site dedicated against the use of rel="nofollow". And, more reasons from Loren Baker, which could be what you really need to understand that nofollow is not the answer.

Notes:

  1. ^ as Technorati currently tracks 68.9 million blogs
  2. ^ 10 comments as default—a somehow large number for a non-frequently updated Web log like this
  3. ^ not great, though—as there has been about 0.1% of false positives that occured
Categories
Opinion Rants WWW

Ituloy Angsulong Spam

I’m sorry, I just have to rant about this.

Don’t get me wrong—I have nothing against Marc Macalua‘s Philippine SEO Contest dubbed Ituloy Angsulong, even though I really do not know the purpose of having a certain key-phrase pointing to your Web site where that phrase isn’t even about what you passionately blog. But the prize money is so good, I have even thought of joining the first contest (Isulong SEOPH), though I was ineligible for they do not accept the participation of those using old domain names.

From my understanding, the goal of the contest is to produce the top ranking page on the SERPs of Google, Yahoo! and MSN search engines with the term Ituloy Angsulong. Sounds easy, right? I thought about ways to win it for no reason at all [since I am not participating]. Then it came to me that with WordPress, one of the most used blogging platforms to date, automatically including rel="nofollow" on comment links, and the fact that I don’t participate in public forums makes it really hard [at least] for me to win it. Another thing is my hatred for spam that I most probably won’t comment with the key-phrase unless it is on topic.

Now, why would someone comment on one of my non-SEO related entries with the term Ituloy Angsulong linking to their contest entry URI? I guess it’s someone who’s so desperate to win. It seems to me that no one else hates spam more than I do. I’m thankful Akismet really knows spam—even if it is made by real people. Aren’t there rules about the contest not to spam anyone? Just a thought. I hope Marc Macalua could answer me with this. Please note that I check my Akismet spam list at least five times a day. Oh, I’m so glad it caught yours! Yes, I’m talking to you, Marhgil Macuha.

If you still can’t figure how Akismet knew what to block then you’re really a dumb ass. It’s spam—not the one I love to eat.

Categories
Markup Me PHP Thoughts

Neophyte

After learning so much HTML and CSS, I felt like I was ready for something more, something dynamic. I became interested in server-side scripting (one is PHP) but was unable to learn it myself because of its natural complexity compared to markup languages. I know its tag starts with <?php and ends with ?> but nothing more except for the obvious if-else statements. I think that is one reason I joined TomWeb for they told me beforehand that I need to learn ASP (another server-side scripting language) from their 35-hour (plus) training.

I’ve been blogging and making websites for so long. I already knew WordPress long before the time came that I was able to use it. I have been using Blogger for those months without WordPress that its very people-friendly interface made everything a snap for me. But like what I have said earlier, I need something more than just HTML. I happened to be a self-proclaimed technophile, now I know I still have much to learn. When I was trying to utilize every feature of WordPress after I had it installed, I bumped in to something familiar and unfamiliar at the same time — PHP.

This new domain I’ve bought is a very good experience for me. It helps me develop my interests and, of course, my knowledge about things going around the Web. It also rekindles my interest in self-studying PHP. Well, I don’t know any more reason why it is a very good experience; I just don’t want to terminate this paragraph so soon. 😆

So, yeah, I am a technophile and a neophyte at the same time. I hope you have no problems figuring that out. I, for one, have none. 🙂

I think this would be a good quotation: Everyone has to begin somewhere, so… begin.

And, by the way, I have finished the primary template for this web log. I just haven’t finished its comments part. And since I so love comments, I will postpone template change until I figured out how its PHP code works so I could put it in the new template. 🙂