Thursday, February 14, 2008
comments and spam in MySpaceMusic
MySpaceMusic is the networking community you need to be on if you're a musician, song writer, rock photographer, record label, net label, or any business serving the music industry.
You begin your community building by Friending other bands you like. Be sure to include local bands and venues. In Peoria, for example, it's smart to Friend the Peoria Pizza Works, The Meeting Place, Peoria Shows, and LiveMusicPeoria.
Friend all your favorite groups and musicians. Why? Because, if they accept your Friend Request, you are allowed "in". That means: you can post comments on their page and they can do so on yours. In other words, you suddenly have an effective way to communicate with them.
When you post a comment, say something nice and specific. Not just "Love your music, been a fan for years." That's too vague and generic. Say instead "Love your Rip It Off CD." or "I bought your first 3 albums as a teen back in the 1980s. Saw you in concert in Chicago, and it was me and my wife's first date."
Imagine the band reading your comment, and saying "Wow. That's cool." Maybe they'll quote your comment to their friends and record label executives. If you recently read a quote by them in Rolling Stone, comment on that. Think of some way to stand out and get noticed by the band.
If you get a lot of spam comments, you may want to use moderation with delayed posting. That means each comment has to be approved by you before it gets posted. If you don't have a big spam problem, you can just manually delete any spam that sneaks in.
If the band posted an image in your comment area, you can return the favor and put some cool art image in their comment area. The most welcome images are ones that are non-promotional, just abstract or weird. Images announcing new mp3s or CDs for sale or shows? These are generally not appreciated. You may even be scolded with "Use your own page for self-promotions, not my page."
When you get a Friend Request on MySpaceMusic, be very careful.
Spammers abound, and you don't want comment spammers loading your comment area with their links and images. Spam comments may link to malicious sites that will put spyware, viruses, Trojans or other malware on your computer and network.
Always click on the band or person's name and visit their page, before clicking Accept. Take a look around. After a while, you'll get a sense of what's a real band and what's a fake, meaning a page set up for spamming, that pretends to be a fan or a band.
There is one particular spammer on MySpaceMusic who uses a different name, but the page is always the same. You'll see a girl with a laptop, and the caption reads something like "Click link below to view my private sexy photos. They may be too hot for some to handle."
Microwave Windows is another spammer on MySpaceMusic.
When you visit some band sites on MySpaceMusic, you'll notice a lot of spam comments, full of links to stuff being sold, or big images containing hype for products, like ringtones or visitor trackers, often with Tom's face on it, in a pitiful attempt to look legitimate.
Pay attention to these spammers, what kind of fake avatars they use, what their names are. Often the avatar will be a guy playing a guitar, to simulate being a musician.
If a band has a lot of spam in their comments, it's probably because it's a fan site that's not monitored, or the band fails to check their page regularly, or the band members don't understand what comment spam is and how to avoid and delete it.
Remember: spam is not just annoying, it can also be very dangerous. Spam links may go to malicious sites that attach damaging code to your computer.
For example, there is malicious code that turns your computer into a "zombie" in a "botnet".
SANS Botnet whitepaper
It's called a zombie because it's doing things as if in a trance, without you being aware of it. Botnet means a network of robotic computers, all obeying the spam master.
In other words, your computer becomes transformed into a subservient machine that launches spam and virus attacks on other people.
Here's a botnet definition from SearchSecurity.
A botnet (also known as a zombie army) is a number of Internet computers that, although their owners are unaware of it, have been set up to forward transmissions (including spam or viruses) to other computers on the Internet.
Any such computer is referred to as a zombie - in effect, a computer "robot" or "bot" that serves the wishes of some master spam or virus originator. Most computers compromised in this way are home-based. According to a report from Russian-based Kaspersky Labs, botnets -- not spam, viruses, or worms -- currently pose the biggest threat to the Internet. A report from Symantec came to a similar conclusion.
Computers that are coopted to serve in a zombie army are often those whose owners fail to provide effective firewalls and other safeguards. An increasing number of home users have high speed connections for computers that may be inadequately protected.
A zombie or bot is often created through an Internet port that has been left open and through which a small Trojan horse program can be left for future activation. At a certain time, the zombie army "controller" can unleash the effects of the army by sending a single command, possibly from an Internet Relay Channel (IRC) site.
The computers that form a botnet can be programmed to redirect transmissions to a specific computer, such as a Web site that can be closed down by having to handle too much traffic - a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack - or, in the case of spam distribution, to many computers.
The motivation for a zombie master who creates a DDoS attack may be to cripple a competitor. The motivation for a zombie master sending spam is in the money to be made. Both of them rely on unprotected computers that can be turned into zombies.
Keep these principles in mind, and you should have a very productive time interacting, promoting, and sharing with others on MySpaceMusic.
The Str8 Sounds