Posted July 25, 2007 3:43 pm by with 1 comment

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Hard to believe it’s been two months since MyBlogLog first announced their tagging features—and recommended tagging spammers “SchMOes” for Social Media Optimizers. (Why didn’t they just go with “Spammer”?) While it led to a good bit of backlash, they’ve kept the tag.

But is anyone using it? Not really. As of this writing, there were a grand total of 16 MyBlogLog members tagged as SchMOes. And of those 17, 8 of them had tagged themselves. And not in the preemptive way that Robyn Tippins recommended—they’ve proudly kept the tag as part of their identity, instead of hiding it on their profile.

Unfortunately, it seems that instead of helping to label (and thus discourage?) spammers, tagging has only given spammers another way to get links and promote their sites. Looking through some of MyBlogLog’s top communities and their authors, in addition to some relevant tags, I found some tags in categories like these:

  • URLs for other blogs, placed by blog owners
  • The names of other blog communities, placed by their owners
  • Phrases like “what happens if I tag you with something you don’t like?”
  • Messages like, “DON’TBESOLO”
  • The names of other MBL users (or the URLs of their profiles), added by those users.
  • Keywords such as “make money from the Internet” (on TechCrunch… I guess… if you buy the stocks…)

Saddest of all, the MyBlogLog blog community was especially afflicted. Of the 161 tags on their profile, 116 clearly appear to be spam. (Unless, when I wasn’t looking, they started blogging about topics like “movies,” “Iraq war,” “quilter,” “realtor,” “hello” and “whoisgod.”) With 72% of their own tags spammy, I only noticed one of the spam taggers currently labeled as a “SchMOe.”

Maybe those spammers were already labeled as SchMOes, but hid the tag. In which case, really, what is the purpose of the tag at all? You can use it to warn other MBL members, but if MyBlogLog apparently doesn’t remove the spam and the member can remove the tag at will, what good does it do?

Perhaps it’s a good thing that there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to navigate the tagging system, or find the most popular tags.

I wonder if their private spam reporting has gone better.

  • Some of it is spam, but some of it is, as you said, not understanding what ‘tagging’ is. We need to do a better job at explaining that…

    For instance, on my own profile, which gets hit by a number of new users, the tags on my page are often messages to me ‘you hot’ ‘you bitch’ or ‘hi, how are you’. Clearly we need to make it easier to understand.

    As far as the schmoes, we knew it might not catch on, but if you want to tag someone spammer or whatever, that is good too. We have other spam warns/reports and measures and we catch all kinda spam. But, there’s no way we can catch it all.

    I know it feels great to blog about how many horrifying tags we missed, and we’ll certainly see it and as soon as I get back from BlogHer I’ll delete them. However, we’d love for you to let the community owner know so they can delete them immediately.

    Policing a site with more than 200K people isn’t practical. We do our best, but when our users want fast results, they usually delete spam and/or removed connections on their own.