Self-Linker September 5, 2005 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Detroit Wonk got a shiny new MeFi login yesterday (member since: September 4, 2005) and has spent the time spamming the joint with self-links. This uninsightful worm has managed to shoehorn his SEO campaign into six out of his seven MeFi posts, thus far.
posted by edverb to Etiquette/Policy at 5:02 PM (76 comments total)



Boooooooooo, lock him out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:12 PM on September 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


Agreed. Detroit Wonk's trying to boost some PageRank without the slightest afterthought.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:13 PM on September 5, 2005


No e-mail in his profile, so I left a link to this thread in the comments on his blog.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:23 PM on September 5, 2005


Definately nefarious. I agree with dalek, it's gotta be a page-rank thing. Time-out @ minimum.
posted by mystyk at 5:24 PM on September 5, 2005


Actually, I was just trying to get this story out!
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:25 PM on September 5, 2005


I'm not concerned at all with my "Page Rank" or whatever...I was just excited that I got a story before the AP did!
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:26 PM on September 5, 2005


Metafilter is not the place for you to break your story, DetroitWonk. Read the rules.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:29 PM on September 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


My mistake then. I accept whatever sanctions the group wants to place on me. I am reading the rules now.
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:30 PM on September 5, 2005


Lame self-linking. Time out at least.
posted by OmieWise at 5:31 PM on September 5, 2005


Uh, this would be the part where you say you'll stop abusing the site, Detroit.

*listens to clock ticking*
posted by mediareport at 5:31 PM on September 5, 2005


It's okay to post information in threads, just don't link to your blog like that. That's a no-no, I believe. Better to link directly to the article you discovered.
posted by selfnoise at 5:31 PM on September 5, 2005


Maybe this thought could be a MetaTalk thread all it's own...but how difficult would it be, and/or how desirable that a "rel="nofollow" attribute be appended to hyperlinks posted by users below a certain threshold? Just a thought....say 100 posts or 5 FPPs or one year since first login. Some test of merit or another before hyperlinks are treated with search engine relevance.

(Point being...Google/Yahoo/MSN will ignore the link for PageRank purposes, as a way to combat linkspam/googlebombing, as long as the attribute is appended.)

I don't know if this idea has been discussed here before, but a search for "nofollow" in Google didn't turn up any results on MetaTalk.
posted by edverb at 5:33 PM on September 5, 2005


I am reading the rules now.

That'll do, I guess.
posted by mediareport at 5:34 PM on September 5, 2005


Well, the problem was that I didn't find it in an article. I found it out from my friend who works for Gov. Blanco. If you take a look at my post, I was adding updates to it as I found articles / info / etc.

But...I do see what y'all mean by not linking to my blog. I guess I just didn't want to re-write it. I won't do it again, I will just say what I want to say on the metafilter comment, and if it is the same thing that's written in my blog, then its the same thing that's written in my blog.

Again, please accept my mea culpas, I AM new around here...and new to wide-scale blogging in general.
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:35 PM on September 5, 2005


By the way...what's an "SEO campaign"?
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:37 PM on September 5, 2005


and new to wide-scale blogging in general

Minor suggestion, then, feel free to ignore it: White text on a black background is difficult to read for many folks. Also, the "I scooped the AP!" mentality is very much a holdover from Old Media. So you had a source who gave you info that was going to be widely announced to the world a few minutes later - whoop de do. Do some real analysis that's not being seen elsewhere and *then* you'll have something to crow about.
posted by mediareport at 5:40 PM on September 5, 2005


Also, I hate to burst your bubble, but the WaPo knew about this yesterday.
posted by selfnoise at 5:42 PM on September 5, 2005


Actually, not only do I agree with your comment on the screen color, but I am learning about Blogger templates and html and myself and a friend are in the process of putting together a re-done Blogger template for me. White background and black text.

On the "scoop" comment...yeah, you're right on that as well. I WAS too excited about the whooping and hollering about getting it before the wire, when I really should have been talking about why this was important that JLW was going to be working on disaster recovery.
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:44 PM on September 5, 2005


D-Wonk, I for one accept your apology. However, I'd be more inclined to believe that you were not concerned with your "page rank" or with getting hits if you didn't have Google Ads on your page, and also if you hadn't recently posted this blog entry.

Just sayin...

Usually this kind of thing would cost even a n00b another $5.

But whatever ends up happening with your MeFi account, welcome to the madness.
posted by mds35 at 5:46 PM on September 5, 2005


I have Google Ads on my page, but I don't even think I make money from them. (I've never received a check or anything...I just thought they made the site look more like other blogs ) And, it wasn't until this week that I really even noticed that more people than just my friends and family were looking at the site. (If you take a look at the graphic with that post you can see it being very flat even though I had a lot of posts on the site) And then, I posted some Katrina photos this past week and started to get HUGE numbers of comments per posting...and realized that people were actually reading some of them...so, I put up the post thanking people for reading.
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:54 PM on September 5, 2005


Also, I am adding my e-mail address to my profile.
posted by DetroitWonk at 5:59 PM on September 5, 2005


I say we burn him next week if he doesn't mend his nefarious ways. I'll be damned if I can lay my hands on a decent torch during a holiday weekend, anyway.

I looked at the posts and it strikes me as an innocent misinterpretation of the guidelines, and God knows, it's not like they are all that clear to start with.
posted by cedar at 6:00 PM on September 5, 2005


Shall we commence a rousing chorus of "gabba gabba we accept you..." then?
posted by mds35 at 6:04 PM on September 5, 2005



I have Google Ads on my page, but I don't even think I make money from them. (I've never received a check or anything...I just thought they made the site look more like other blogs )


You're godamn kidding, right? You've got to be.
posted by item at 6:05 PM on September 5, 2005


Nah, I'm really not. I don't really need money for the blog...I mean, its hosted on blogger. Look, I am new to this whole thing, cut me some slack.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:09 PM on September 5, 2005


What exactly IS a wonk. A Wonkette? One from Detroit? I would make a joke about the actual city of Detroit, but I have friends there, all of whom can kick my ass. Again, what is a "wonk"?
posted by snsranch at 6:10 PM on September 5, 2005


Here's the wikipedia entry.

I think it's an annoying word. Unless it refers to the koala version.
posted by selfnoise at 6:15 PM on September 5, 2005


A "Wonk" is someone who is knowledeable about and fascinated by the details of whatever it is they are knowledgeable or fascinated by. I.e., I am knowledgeable and fascinated about Metro Detroit. The site is / will / hopes to be a place that helps people see the positives that are around them in Metro Detroit...because the place is a lot better than the media portrays it to be, and if people can see that then they will "know" that as well.

I think "wonk" was derived from the reversal of the word "know".
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:15 PM on September 5, 2005


DetroitWonk: I ain't buying it. A self-link in every post but one is highly unlikely to be some innocent accident. So there's that.

Apart from the James Lee Witt "scoop", you've linked from MeFi to other articles on your blog as well. So it wasn't just "a story" you were looking to push.

You're not only a GoogleAdSense user, you've recently begun to offer AdBrite paid inclusion as well. Additionally, I've found self-links to your blog in several other comments on the web, all added recently.

You claim to be new to blogging, yet your site links to every blog aggregator around...Technorati, BlogExplosion, BlogShares, Blog Top Sites, BlogHub, etc.

I ain't buying what you're selling here. At all.

I think your posts should be deleted and a timeout issued, at a minimum. If I were Matt I'd ban you in a second, not merely for spamming this site, but for being disingenous about it when called on it.
posted by edverb at 6:16 PM on September 5, 2005


The last part came from the wikipedia entry referenced above.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:16 PM on September 5, 2005


EDVERB - Well, I did agree above that I had no idea that what I was doing was wrong or "spamming" of the site, and at no point did I say that I didn't do it...so please do not refer to me as being "disingenous". I didn't lie about what I did, I just didn't know it was wrong. Note the distinction before you call someone a liar, because I take great offense to that.

As far as the "Adbrite" ads and the links to the other blog-group things came from the guy, Croaker, who is working with me to re-do my site. All of that is new in the past week, and I think is kinda silly looking anyways. Should I not have those?
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:22 PM on September 5, 2005


Wonk was originally a 1960s slang word applied to an excessively studious person from the wiki.

Well that doesn't describe you much, or you would be well aware of the Mefite Code of Honor!

I suggest 50 lashes from the spaghetti-monster-in-the-sky-thing that replaced God a while back.
posted by snsranch at 6:32 PM on September 5, 2005


Just FYI, the AP had the Witt news Saturday. When Blanco announced it. At a press conference.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:33 PM on September 5, 2005


Hey, I never said I knew or was an excessively studious person when it comes to blogging ettiquette...only that I knew Detroit. :)
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:33 PM on September 5, 2005


And to the "Anonymous" poster on my site who left the "Ads" post...you are quite humorous.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:35 PM on September 5, 2005


Note the distinction before you call someone a liar, because I take great offense to that.

You're acting like you came down with the last drop of rain...you're new to blogging, didn't know that self-linking is a big no-no, asking for help designing your site...

So I'm to believe that you didn't read the community guidelines before you proceeded to post six out of seven comments with self-links to different stories on your blog.

One could be excused by ignorance, maybe. Two would be pushing it.

But six? In one day?

Your self-links are only marginally relevant to the discussion which is occuring around it (and calling them "marginally relevant" is being generous.)

I don't know or much care if your familiar with what "SEO" means...you're following their strategy to the letter. You seem to have a strategy for driving traffic to your site (self-linking inbound links in comments, and not just here on MeFi) while you ramp up to sell additional advertising (which is priced per-click based on your traffic.)

And you're posting graphs of how much your site's traffic has increased. That indicates you're aware of the results.

I'm calling it like I see it. And what I see isn't an accident, it's a strategy.
posted by edverb at 6:36 PM on September 5, 2005


I'm not kidding either. May the glorious Pasta-God smite you, at least for a couple of days until you fess up and quit fucking around!
posted by snsranch at 6:37 PM on September 5, 2005


I did ask the question of what an SEO Campaign was. Look up about 20 posts.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:38 PM on September 5, 2005


I did ask what an SEO Campaign was....because i don't know what it means. Look up like 20 posts.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:39 PM on September 5, 2005


One would think that if you were "new to blogging," like you say you are, you would be extra careful to familiarize yourself with the policies in any new community you join. Just saying.
posted by elisabeth r at 6:40 PM on September 5, 2005


elisabeth r - I agree...I am, as we speak / write / whatever...doing just that.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:42 PM on September 5, 2005


As an aside, you're also breaking blogger's TOS by stripping the navbar off the top of the page.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:44 PM on September 5, 2005


So, is it fun to beat this guy up, or something?

Leaving nasty anonymous comments on his blog?

Sigh.
posted by selfnoise at 6:45 PM on September 5, 2005


Is breaking blogger's TOS not allowed here too? I haven't gotten that far into the rules.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:46 PM on September 5, 2005


DetroitWonk is full of sh!t... He knows perfectly well what he's doing. He's posting links to build up traffic to his rinky personal website in order ot make money off of the Google and AdBrite ads he has on the site...

That's clearly not what MetaFilter is for and I would hate to see this become a common thing. It's annoying and scammy.

I would have no problem removing his account here...
posted by chasing at 6:46 PM on September 5, 2005


I thought people had to click on my ads for me to make money off of my site. I just assumed that no one clicks on them. Does my traffic make me money off of ads? This all seems kind of silly to talk about cause I haven't seen one red cent of any ads on my page! :)
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:49 PM on September 5, 2005



Actually, I was just trying to get this story out!


Which one? The "realtime gas prices" you self-linked at some other blog?

The "amazing pictures" of Katrina you self-linked at yet a different blog?

The "scoop" about James Lee Witt you posted identically in two threads here on MeFi?

Or the commentary on the WaPo article about FEMA's preparedness you self-linked earlier?

Maybe you did come down with the last drop of rain. It seems you self-link everywhere you comment, every time you comment.
posted by edverb at 6:50 PM on September 5, 2005


"Astrological Sign: Taurus
Zodiac Year:: Sheep "


Sounds like bullsheep to me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:52 PM on September 5, 2005


edverb- As I said before, I don't deny that. But I also re-state that I didn't know that there was something wrong with it. I think I have now said that three times...but let me say it again...I admit that I did this. However, I didn't know better. Now I do. It won't happen again.
posted by DetroitWonk at 6:54 PM on September 5, 2005


Additionally, I find DetroitWonk's "Gee, shucks, really? I can make money off them ads there? Golly!" fake-stupidity business extremely irritating...
posted by chasing at 6:56 PM on September 5, 2005


Short-term ban? Timeout? I don't dislike this person, but he/she is clearly trying to defend a stance of "I didn't know any better." I'm calling bullshit. There are sneakier, less detectable ways of scamming the blue and DW doesn't have the decency to even be respectful in that manner.
posted by snsranch at 7:02 PM on September 5, 2005


Is breaking blogger's TOS not allowed here too? I haven't gotten that far into the rules.

No, it's not, which is why I mentioned it as an aside. Of course, anybody can flag your blog as violating the TOS by clicking here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:03 PM on September 5, 2005


Crucify him!

Or, you know, consider this his one "get out of jail free" card.

Oh, what the hell. Let's be nice.
posted by ColdChef at 7:09 PM on September 5, 2005


I don't think I have ever said "Gee, shucks, really?" or "Golly!" so I don't think you need to put those in quotes. As for exhibiting "fake-stupidity", I think you guys don't give yourself enough credit for knowing the etiquette around this stuff...do you think it's easy to know what the right thing and wrong thing to do is when you have never done it before?

I mean, using me as an example...on face, it doesn't seem like what I did was the worst thing on earth...but, I am now seeing that judging by the number of responses and the vitriolic nature of said responses that this message here has generated, it must have been pretty severe.

So just please bear in mind that there was no ill-intent in what I did, I was just excited to be part of a new community (not just here on this site, but new community of blogging in general), and I didn't know any better. In fact, I am taking those "Adbrite" ads off of my site as we speak. (I think they look really stupid). As for the Google ones, they have actually provided me with some really interesting links, one of which I even posted on my site because it made sense (so those ones are going to stay).
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:10 PM on September 5, 2005


Monju- Oh, ok. I will add the blogger bar back on the top. That makes sense. I WILL need ads if I don't have a free place to host my site anymore! :)
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:14 PM on September 5, 2005


Tell your buddy some of the AdSense links are invisible on the background, and the others are ugly (high contrast and garish, looks like the neon outside some stripjoint). You should probably match the link colors with what you've got on the others, as cohesiveness is nice to have on a site.

Also, for what it's worth (2¢, or maybe less) I'm not buying the starry-eyed ingénu routine either.
posted by Tuwa at 7:17 PM on September 5, 2005


Monju - Good point. I will add the bar back at the top, because if I don't have a free place to host my site anymore, I will need those ads! :)
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:17 PM on September 5, 2005


Sorry for the double postings (twice now), I keep getting timeouts when I am posting.
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:19 PM on September 5, 2005


DetroitWonk; Is it really that hard to quit rationalizing? Why can't you just move on with something like, "Ok, sorry guys, won't happen again!"?

Personally, I'm waiting for your next "Best of the Web" post.

I'm no Mefi Allstar, you can check my profile, but I can say that if you really want anyone to care, then just prove it. Oh, and quit the yapping..........
So just please bear in mind that there was no ill-intent in what I did, I was just excited to be...............

posted by snsranch at 7:22 PM on September 5, 2005


Also, for what it's worth (2¢, or maybe less) I'm not buying the starry-eyed ingénu routine either.

Why not? We're all clueless beginners sometimes. We've chided him appropriately. Let's give the kid a chance.
posted by jonmc at 7:22 PM on September 5, 2005


Tuwa - I didn't ad the big google bar on the right, my friend did. I did the little one at the top and the one at the bottom. Those ones are black background and look good. I will ask him to change that one, because I don't remember how to do it.

As for proof of not knowing what I am doing, I don't know how the heck I would have three boxes with two different colors if I didn't! :)
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:23 PM on September 5, 2005


But I have been talking about this for two hours now. I really need to get my work done for my b-school classes. This has been fun and informative...but more informative than fun. I guess that I will just wait to see what you guys decide to do.
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:25 PM on September 5, 2005


D-Wonk, here is a good way to familiarize yourself with what flies on MeFi and who is a jerk and whatnot. You're off to a pretty bad start, but if you choose to stay and are allowed to, spend some time reading past MetaTalk threads related to similar offenses. The life you save could be your own.
posted by mds35 at 7:26 PM on September 5, 2005


I'm not going back to your site to double-check because I just don't want to even look at it again, but if I remember correctly you've been running it since late 2004 or so. That's almost a year...

You're definitely not doing the worst thing on earth, but you're acting like a spammer and a link-traffic scam artist -- that's going to piss people off who enjoy the community sites they visit because they are NOT over-run with people trying to game the system for AdSense bucks.

You've probably been using this interweb thing for many years. (Or at least one.) If you couldn't figure out on your own why people might not like this sort of behavior, you're an idiot.

And if you're an idiot, that's ONE BIG REASON people shouldn't be visiting your blog at all (especially not for links to their favorite news stories they saw twenty minutes ago on Fark).
posted by chasing at 7:29 PM on September 5, 2005


Here's something else that comes up when Googling for 'Ray Wert.'

Is our Ray Wert of Bloomfield Hills, MI the same Ray Wert from Bloomfield Hills that was named "Director of Operations and Information Technology" for Michigan's then-governor-elect back in 2003? The same Ray Wert who, at the time, was interested in "alternative forms of marketing, like posts to blogs and newsgroups and net-buzz"?
posted by box at 7:30 PM on September 5, 2005


We're all clueless beginners sometimes. We've chided him appropriately. Let's give the kid a chance.

I'm perfectly willing to give him a chance, but I think he has without a doubt started off on the wrong foot. But enough about that (and enough from me); he's said he's off to read the rules and that's all the more I can expect.

If he sticks around and makes some interesting posts and/or comments, great.
posted by Tuwa at 7:31 PM on September 5, 2005


Wow, good catch box.
posted by geoff. at 7:36 PM on September 5, 2005


Umm...well, while I am waiting for an answer on what an SEO Campaign is...and after spending an additional 20 minutes more than I wanted to reading the stuff from mds35 I came up with some more questions if anyone is interested in helping me to answer:

What is an FPP?

What is "banhammer"?

What is "google-bombing"?
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:37 PM on September 5, 2005


Box - yup that was me. And when I made those posts on those Ann Arbor blogs back in 2003, that was what made me interested in blogs, but I didn't know / understand enough to get involved with them. The most I understood was e-mail and working with getting e-mails to students to ask them to take a survey to get their thoughts and opinions.

It wasn't until I broke up with my fiancee and started dating last November and met a girl with a blog when I found a way to make my own and then got started. If you look at my first couple of posts they are about my now-friend Amy who got me started.

Then I left my job with the Governor last month to go back to school full-time for my MBA, and with extra time on my hands, I started playing with the blog more and started posting more.
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:43 PM on September 5, 2005


And that's my blogging career in a nut-shell! :)
posted by DetroitWonk at 7:44 PM on September 5, 2005


::snort::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:45 PM on September 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


Oh this is getting good.
posted by greasy_skillet at 7:46 PM on September 5, 2005


*Cranes neck to see self on Jumbotron, waves*
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:49 PM on September 5, 2005


I'm with jonmc: if he cuts it out lay off him.

And box, since when is being "tapped" by some politician any real indication of competence or intelligence? Seems to me we had a problem with something like that here in Kentucky not long ago.

Of course if he keeps it up let's subject him to scalar cellular modification.
posted by davy at 7:49 PM on September 5, 2005


DetroitWonk, chill out, please. I'm pulling your posting rights because you have a bit of "blogorrhea" going on (look it up).

Enthusiasm is great, but I think you're overdoing it in both your need to get your blog seen, and your reaction here. Remind me in a week and I'll reinstate your rights.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:51 PM on September 5, 2005


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