Mybloglog is evil – no seriously, it must be!

Seems like mybloglog has had a bad week. I read today over at Andy’s that mybloglog banned a guy named shoemoney for reasons relative to general not very niceiness, at least that must have been their perception. Mr shoe posted a few mblID’s. These can be obtained from user avatars uploaded by mbl users. I use them myself in my mbl tracking script. A reason for banning? No of course not. I think you have to look a little more closely to perhaps begin to understand why.

The reasons behind Mr shoes ban seem to have their roots in him posting various exploits that can be applied and used to basically, fuck with how mbl works. I don’t think this is a bad thing generally, in fact its good to have people point out flaws; especially when they can be patched with relative ease. Constructive criticism is always good.Its a delicate balance though, if someone took it upon themselves to attack and criticise with regularity, posting things that made me look dumb or stupid then my gut might be inclined to say hey do me a favour blokey, just piss off out of it if you don’t like what I am doing. That would of course ( as appears to be panning out to be the case) , be a mistake as I’d open myself to all kinds of attacks from followers, detractors and cronies.

John Andrews nails it with his comment at Andy Beals.

wow… it’s amazing to see so many users adopting our service so fast. We are really excited to see the validation that the MBL platform is capable of so much more, and also how amazingly innovative the blogging community is. We’ll have to fix some of the loop holes of course, and we’ve got great people working on keeping things moving forward, but keep the feedback coming and let us know what we’re doing right and what you need from us…

People like Matt Cutts have been using similar approaches for years, we all know where it got those guys too.

MBL’s crime it appears is that they didn’t code things perfectly and that enabled people to do things like, surf as other people using a cookie exploit, or add co-authors without consent or add other sites to peoples accounts, again without their consent.

Ok, so yes, not the best things in the world to have had happen, it undermines faith and trust in whatever else could be ‘leaking out’ but come on lets face it, its not exactly the end of the world, or a reason to be filed under heinous crimesville but it’ll gain one a little attention if you come out and support a position one way or the other.

My personal take is one of so what who really really cares, who died even? I’ll still use mybloglog I think its a bit of harmless fun and a good way of getting new eyeballs on to what you do and say. Its a cracking little site that created a lot of interest and buzz in a segement that is continually evolving and growing. So it has a few holes that tech head nerds will point at and say OMG, how bad is that..yeah – so – and.

Some might wonder why MBL is such a focus, why are these evil seo types so interested? Well, SEO’s types tend to be the ones who push and poke and prod, its the nature of getting up where you need to be that drives it. SE algos are that little harder to get at these days,the requirement to gain traction and influence within their algo parameters dictates that people will look at the most cost and time efficient ways of increasing their scores. Like it or not, MBL offers a means of gaining attention. Attention = links, links = better scores, better scores = more money blah blah blah. Digg, reddit, delicious, wikipedia, dmoz all had or still have even, similar issues. Its the downsided price of success on the net.

Thankfully for MBL at least, most users are just happy to stick the thing on the their blog and leave it at that. They love the stat functionality, love the little people icons, love the little community and ‘blog love’ thing in general. I think its cool too, which is why I’ll continue to use it until something better comes along.
Overall, a storm in a teacup methinks. Could have been handled better, on all sides.

Update:Mybloglog reinstated Shoemoney

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7 thoughts on “Mybloglog is evil – no seriously, it must be!

  1. Joe Whyte

    The people from mybloglog said this in regards to jeremy’s ban:

    “To be clear — we did not ban shoemoney for posting about exploits. Although we would certainly have appreciated that he email us first, it’s his decision where he would like to publish them. We banned him for publishing other people’s data on the site and urging readers to spoof them. On what planet is that not a bannable offense?”

    I completely agree with you and I think that discovering these hacks and publishing them on his blog was to big of an opportunity to turn down. It gave him some great attention and now that he is banned it is going to cause even more buzz, more links and more traffic and exposure for him. I wonder if this was the idea all along ;-)

  2. Andy Beard

    Shoe didn’t discover it, it was published on a French blog a month ago.

    I used to go through hell from my development team, because I was the middleman between them and the publishers. The publisher was always asking for small tweaks, sometimes bigger ones.
    When you are trying to work to a development schedule, adding tweaks to code in a rush often leads to bugs that would otherwise not have happened, and can put a huge strain on the development timeline.

    Every bug can be fixed quickly, but if it is generally not publicised you can stick to your normal release schedule.

    The developers of WordPress for instance keep mum about security problems found, and thus they are less exploited by script kiddies.

    I know Eric must be working hellish long hours, because he read my MBL post well after midnight in the US.

    Outing bugs and attacking MBL has been turned into linkbait. It might even be worthwhile paying hackers to find bugs so you can release details of exploits for links.

    You would never have someone posting a list of other people’s Adsense publisher numbers, or writing posts on how those could be used or abused… at least not in public.

  3. Joe Whyte

    Exactly my point. This is a huge sensation now. With blogs we have to keep coming up with “link bait”, “title bait” and “content bait” to keep our traffic up and our visitors coming back and this is a great way to bring attention to your blog. Eric banning him only makes this thing more controversial and that is exactly what you need to get the traffic.

    After I heard this I had to do a quick post on “How to get banned from mybloglog”. Gotta hit it while the fires hot right ;-)

    Nice job Robb and its nice meeting you Andy.

  4. robwatts Post author

    I think its clear to all that our community loves a little controversy!

    Joe I think you are spot on too, we seem to inhabit a bit of a sensationalist sphere. It is necessary to craft controversial titles, content, links even, else we wither on the vine and gain no new readers.

    Most of us are starting from a pretty low starting point. We don’t have the benefit of being say an innovator or a well known guru, or whatever other thing it is thats projected us into the stratosphere. We rely on slowly growing our readerships by pandering to at times, the lowest common denominators…

    Sheeet, is that the time, im late I gotta run!

  5. Robyn McMaster

    With you fellas tending the code underneath, I’m just happy to have these gizmos up and running well. Glad all is well and that mybloglog didn’t go down the tubes because I just love seeing the photos. Seems to make blogging more human.

    And, by the way, Rob, love the hat. What was the occasion???

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