Trackback spam out of control

My friend Charles Pizzo sent me a text message to let me know he was trying to trackback from his blog to mine, but it wasn’t working. Some research with the folks at Expression Engine revealed that it has to do with the randomization feature, which they desribe this way:

A random code number will be added to the end of each Trackback URL displayed on your site. This code will be stored in the database. When a Trackback is received the code must match in order to be accepted. This feature works similar to the Captcha feature in the comment preferences. It’s purpose is to prevent “throttling”. Only one trackback per code number will be…

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BW’s new editor determined to break down walls

While Neville was away at the at-sea Communication Directors Conference, I proceeded with the “For Immediate Release” podcast with our first-even guest host, Sam Whitmore, who runs Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey and writes the media column for One of the topics Sam raised was the wall that exists in most business publications between the print and online staffs. The print staff—where advertising revenues currently come from—get the budgets. The online staffs are kept isolated from the print team, often to the detriment of both efforts. But aren’t they one publication with an online and a print presence? Why wouldn’t these… Read More »

Paris Hilton has nothing on this guy

One funny viral video can establish a reputation. I had never heard of Accolo, an executive seach firm. But word seems to be spreading pretty quickly about a short video they’ve produced and made available from their site. “What’s Hot” is a parody of the Paris Hilton/Carl’s Jr. television commercial that has generated so much controversy. It’s pretty much the same commercial, but it isn’t exactly Paris rubbing against the car and biting into the burger. I won’t give it away, but it’s a hoot. At the end of the video, Accolo makes its point: You’ve got problems if you don’t recruit the right person for the job. I expect this video is… Read More »

Another plain-English guide to RSS

I got an e-mail from Alexandra Samuel, who let me know she had been engaged in introducing RSS to a lot of PR types. (Are we a “type?”) I understand the challenge. I just finished a two-day “Writing for the Wired World” workshop that included an introduction to RSS, and it took a lot longer than I expected as these communicators tried to wrap their minds around the concept.

Alexandra said she realized she needed “a simple, engaging introduction to RSS.” So she wrote one. And I like it. If you’re maintaining any kind of list of sites or posts that take a stab at explaining RSS to the uninitiated, you could do worse than adding… Read More »

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #41: June 13, 2005

Content summary: Listeners’ comments (on the linear nature of podcasts, RBLs, organizing thoughts about podcasts); guidelines for employee blogging; the Communication Directors Forum; communication measurement; what if the novelty of blogging wears off?; blogging and engagement; sans-serif or serif fonts?; rebuilding trust; blogs for tourism; the Ragan Corporate Communicators Conference; IABC International Conference; Global PR Blog Week 2.0.

Show notes for June 13, 2005

download mp3 podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 65-minute conversation recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Security specialist predicts RSS spyware

The lack of spam and spyware associated with RSS is one of its big selling points, but according to a software security expert, at least one of the advantages could be short-lived. Robert Steinnon, director of threat research at anti-spyware company Webroot, said spyware could soon be delivered through RSS feeds.

Steinnon’s remarks at last week’s IT Security Summit were reported in a TechWeb article. (Thanks to SAP’s Michael Redford for the pointer.) Speaking about his concern that RSS will be exploited to distribute adware and spyware, Steinnon said,

Already we’re seeing marketers look to RSS. A recent list by marketing types on why…

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