Saturday, August 13, 2005

Harsh Comments and Black Holes

Harsh comments and black holes

go together like...a soup and sandwich?

Here's why it's a good idea to "Copy" your blog comments prior to attempting to post them.

A funny thing happened on the way to
the Business Week comment box...

I was at the Business Week Blogspotting blog, reading some posts there. They have written a post about me in the past (see my sidebar quote from Heather Green, which links right to the post about me), and I have posted comments there, with no problem.

Today, there was a problem.

I was reading a post by Stephen Baker entitled "Let's hear it for Irrelevant Blogs".

He said we business bloggers ought to read "irrelevant" blogs, blogs that are not immediately related to our field. We may get some good ideas by doing this. I agree and practice this blogological principle.

Someone posted a comment saying that calling a blog irrelevant was "a little harsh". The commenter said, "I like to think my blog is relevant, at least to my audience." The commenter thought Baker was saying "meaningless", or "worthless" blogs.

So I wrote a comment, copied it in my browser, then tried to publish it. Blogspotting wisely uses comment moderation with delayed posting to cut down on comment spam and abusive, filthy language, psycho comments.

But instead of the usual moderation message, I received a message about:

Distributed Sender Blackhole List.

The message spoke of spam email and said my IP was blocked.

I'm not being "paranoid" or hysterical here, I'm just wondering what happened. I actually think it was some glitch, a mistake, maybe I should not have typed my Yahoo email address in the email entry box. I don't know what the problem is.

Here is the comment I tried to post.


Stephen: a very good idea, to read irrelevant blogs to stimulate your own creativity.

There's the legend that many innovators have invented a great new product in a field totally different from their main expertise, because they thought "outside the box" of the traditions of that expertise.

You cannot "think outside the box" if you remain within it. Listen to a type of music you never listen to. Read a type of novel you never normally read. Go see a movie of the type you never are interested in seeing. Eat at a restaurant that serves ethnic food you have never tried. Etc.

Seth Godin made an astonishing remark when he said we should let a person of unrelated expertise look at and critique our blogs.

Let a farmer, architect, chemist, baker, waitress, mountain climber, soldier, doctor, etc. read your blog and make suggestions on improving it.

BTW, calling a blog "irrelevant" is not "harsh".

You're not saying it's "universally irrelevant", or has no relevance to anyone anywhere.

The type of gum you chew is "irrelevant" to how you drive your car. Is that a "harsh" statement?

A farming blog is indeed irrelevant, not immediately and consistently vital and related to, say, a astro-physics blog.

But the astro-physics blogger might learn something from the farming blog, and vice versa.

Good, "relevant" post!


I read some personal or art blogs for stimulation.


Moral of the story:

...if you write comments that you think may form the basis of a blog post sometime, and if you spent a bit of time crafting the comment, be sure to Copy it in your browser Edit function before trying to publish it.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

P.S. I tried posting a comment again with my Gmail address instead. Same thing happened.

Here's the text of the message:


DSBL: Listing Data
If you're not sure why you were referred to this webpage, please read this page first.


State: Listed
Listed in unconfirmed ( yes
Listed in singlehop ( yes
Listed in multihop ( no
Record last changed: 2004/Aug/08 00:57:37 UTC
Reverse DNS identifies server as:


2004/Aug/08 00:50:58 UTC Listed in Unconfirmed (view message)
2004/Aug/08 00:50:58 UTC Listed in Singlehop (view message)

Messages from this host

2004/Aug/08 00:50:58 UTC (view message) http
2004/Aug/08 00:52:01 UTC (view message) http
2004/Aug/08 00:57:37 UTC (view message) http

Support emails about this host

Initiate removal for this listing

Other DNS Based blackhole lists
Check your status in other DNS Based blackhole lists



I will attempt to email Stephen Baker and Heather Green at Business Week Blogspotting and see if they have any explanation.

The last comment I successfully posted at Blogspotting was in defense of Google and Blogger. A post claimed that Google/Blogger were responsible somehow for multitudes of spam or "link farm" blogs created by spambot programs to drive traffic to target sites. I did say that this was like blaming Alexander Graham Bell for telemarketing abuses.

Was that "harsh" of me, to defend Google/Blogger so "aggressively"?

I don't know what's going on here, perhaps an unfortunate mistake on the part of some new comment spam blocker program.

But forgive me if I am starting to wonder if the blogosphere is turning wimpy, and blogs are rejecting any contrary opinions or disagreements.

What do you think about this?



Heather Green said...

Hello Steven,

Just got back from vacation, where I wasn't online and saw your comment. The automated response you got when you tried to post a comment is really really odd. It is a technical glitch and we'll look into it. But we don't reject comments that disagree with us.

steven edward streight said...

Heather: thanks for taking the time to respond to my question.

I've had similar problems at some other sites, so I try not to freak out and make wild accusations.

But I've also been banned from a few sites, for either unexpressed or what I think are silly reasons, like not agreeing with a web designer's political opinion.

I've had another comment just not appear on Blogspotting, a comment I submitted on Blogger blogs not appearing in search engine results.

I simply said "This assumes that search engines drive high quality traffic to blogs, and that search engines are free from bias."

This comment never appeared.

Not that it was brilliant, or controversial, but it was not posted for some reason.

Anonymous said...

So, I know that comment is there now. That must have been because of the delay I have sometimes in going in to approve them. We both try to do it really often, but meetings, interviews, you know how it is. And just so you know, we have never even discussed the issue of banning.

Heather Green said...

Sorry Steven, I hit the wrong button, that was meant to be me, Heather Green. Fun with technology.....

steven edward streight said...

Heather: you are spreading good word of mouth PR by coming to my stupid little lowly blog, from Business Week Blogspotting, to clarify a policy of your employer.

Why should Business Week, in the person of Heather Green, care about an obscure, inconsequential blogger's trouble posting a comment?

I really appreciate your taking time from your busy schedule to do that.

You know I would not have launched any anti-BW campaign, I would have just been disappointed, if you did delete comments that dissented or opposed your opinions.

You have restored my confidence and satisfaction with Business Week and with Blogspotting.

Thank you.

Humbly yours,

Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate