Spammiest Blog Domains

Of the blog domains out there from which over 100 blogs have been submitted to Blogwise, comes out top of the spam list. 15.35% of blogs on have been rejected as spam, compared to 5% on Blogspot (which is usually cited as a fairly spammy domain).

It’s an interesting stat – but one where I’ve been very keen to emphasise how the results should be treated. It’s not a recommendation for or against any particular domain, nor are the stats used to effectively prejudice against blogs that come from ‘spammy’ host.

Akismet spam filtering

Oops – Akismet, Matt & Co’s spam filtering system has a 100% false positive rate at the moment. That is, a legitimate trackback has been marked as spam. Okay, so it’s a sample rate of one so far, and I know it can do a lot better than that 🙂 but it’s a good reminder to check the Akismet queue regularly.

Speaking of trackbacks, I can’t stand the way they’re being integrated with comments. Nothing destroys my concentration more when reading comment discussions than the irritating snippets of text from trackbacks – you only get a brief chunk of commentary, and need to go off to a third party site to read the correspondence. As soon as I find time/a plugin they’re going in a separate list.

Search Optimisations

I’m still hacking away at the Blogwise search, trying to improve things. My latest move seems to have cut cached requests by up to a half (and sliced 0.5/0.6 seconds off the uncached search results). As ever, Grabperf shows the details.

The latest speed increase is because I’ve rewritten the aggregator as a HTTP server of its own (previously it was run from mini_httpd). DBI and all the other modules are loaded in the server itself, so individual requests can be delivered immediately.

In fact, the aggregator is clocking in at about 0.09 seconds for cached results – the 0.5+ seconds you see on Grabperf reflect other bits, such as page rendering & transmission, DNS lookups and TCP connection (Grabperf’s servers are in the States).
At some point, if anybody is interested, I’ll write up how I’m doing this in detail.

Sussex Dinner

Went to the Sussex Geek Dinner in Uckfield last night. A great evening, in a nice pub, meeting a group of interesting people. Had a good chat with Simon who organises these events every few months.

I definitely prefer the smaller dinners – the one in London last month was okay as an experience but there were too many people there (well over a hundred). That might be fine for the popular bloggers or the experienced networkers, but it’s daunting and too noisy for the newcomers.

In comparison, the Ireland dinner (about 30) was big enough, and the Uckfield dinner was great. Both times I met loads of people; plenty of contacts and had some good chats.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next one though – great fun (and if this trackback works as I’m hoping it will, Simon will get this – so cheers Simon!)

Question about WordPress

Should I be using the categories as tags? Or should I be limiting the number I create and trying to stick to a rigid list (as I imagine categories usually behave)? Is there a way to switch to tags in WordPress?

WordPress 2.0

I may try switching to WordPress 2.0 some time later this week – expect wonkiness. I’ve already written most of the import script, so the transition should be fairly painless, but the new design (I’m not bothering right away to template) will be a bit of a shock.

Update – if you can read this the upgrade worked and the DNS switched has gone through. Excellent, now I just need to categorise everything.

Google Maps

Yet another little niggling bug with one of Google’s services (I’m not complaining though, they sent me a Happy New Year card 🙂

Google Misleading directions

In the directions from work to the Sussex Geek Dinner I’m going to tonight, Google recommended I turn left at the Stockbridge Roundabout. I’m sure it meant ‘right’ or ‘third exit’, since left is a tad misleading.

Us darn Brits with our crazy roundabouts though – it’s not hard to see how the software got confused!