Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Really Good Comment Spam Article

There have been lots of posts here about comment spam and fighting it. Although this article is mostly for Wordpress blogs, the underlying information is still very valuable. Find out more at:

This Post was written by Owen from Tomatilla!

Cooking Courses in N.Y.C.

Good morning, everyone!

A buddy of mine is looking to expand his culinary skills this spring and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for cooking classes/schools in Manhattan. I imagine he's looking for just the best general cooking course out there.

The Institute of Culinary Education vs. The French Culinary Institute?

Does the New School have courses as well?

Any guidance anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!

Mona of Mona's Apple

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

report shows slowing ad clicks

Google stock falls after report shows slowing ad clicks. Although this news report is primarily about googles own search engine ads, i am wondering whether there will be a a knock on effect for bloggers' ad revenues from google adsense?

This Post was written by sam from BLOGNAME

Monday, February 25, 2008

Reporting Content Theft

So, if anyone is stealing your is what Blogger says to do...sorry if this has been covered before!

Watch out Collection of Cooking Recipes, here I come!



It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply
with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which can be found
at the U.S. Copyright Office website: )
and other applicable intellectual property laws, which may include
removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of
infringing activity.

To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written
communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the
items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be
liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and
attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when
you in fact do not. Indeed, in a recent case (please see for more
information), a company that sent an infringement notification seeking
removal of online materials that were protected by the fair use doctrine
was ordered to pay such costs and attorneys fees. The company agreed to
pay over $100,000. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether material
available online infringes your copyright, we suggest that you first
contact an attorney.

To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following
format (including section numbers):

1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has
been infringed upon. This must include identification of specific posts,
as opposed to entire sites. Posts must be referenced by either the dates
in which they appear or the permalink of the post. For example,

2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing upon the copyrighted
work listed in item #1 above.

INFRINGING MATERIAL. The permalink for a post is usually found by clicking
on the timestamp of the post.

3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Blogger to contact
you (email address is preferred).

4. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that use
of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing
web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the

5. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury,
that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the
copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an
exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

6. Sign the paper.

7. Send the written communication to the following address:

Google, Inc.
Attn: Blogger Legal Support, DMCA complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
Mountain View, CA 94043

OR Fax to:

(650) 618-2680, Attn: Blogger Legal Support, DMCA complaints

The Blogger Team

Sunday, February 24, 2008

TV Show audition

I thought I would post this here...I know you all can cook, but then again...

Single and can’t cook a meal for one? Frustrated because you don’t know how to pack a nutritious lunchbox for your kids?

Forgo paying for culinary school and learn the basics in two weeks with Bobby Flay’s “Real Food Cooking School.”

Impress us with your wit and your lack of food knowledge… Bobby Flay is ready to school you as only an Iron Chef can! You’ll learn the basics of grilling, sautéing, knife skills, how to make simple, nutritious meals from real foods…and so much more!

If you’re feisty and eager to step up your cooking skills: make us a 3-minute VHS tape or DVD telling us your worst cooking story, the most horrible meal you ever cooked, and why you should be a part of Bobby Flay’s “Real Food Cooking School.”

Worried? Don’t be – you’ll be having too much fun! Remember…have a family member, best friend or spouse make an appearance on your tape – a little testimonial, “Oh my god, she regularly burns the bottom of the sauce pan!” goes a long way.

All applicants should live in the United States, be over the age of 18, and be available April 15-30th for filming in New York City.

Please mail tapes by March 22nd to:
ATT: Real Food Cooking School
110 Leroy Street
New York, NY 10014

Must truly be a horrible cook and have the storys to prove it
Salary:2 Week free culinary training

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Smarter" Spammers Using http in Comment Name

I've noticed recently a large amount of spam coming from "smarter" spammers - they've now taken to doing two things:

- Using a URL as the Commenter's name ( and re-inserting it into the website field)
- Leaving an "innocent" comment like "Great site." with no URLs so the spam isn't triggered

This type of comment was getting published directly onto my blog (Wordpress) since I do not have moderation on all comments. I have routed their efforts by turning on moderation anytime "http" is in the comment content, name, etc. This of course also will moderate a real comment with a link in it, but it's a temporary solution.

Hopefully Akismet will smarten up soon, but I imagine other blogs will have this same problem?

This Post was written by Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Change your default text to defeat spammers

I've noticed lately (mostly since my sockpuppeting incident) that I've been getting more "light spam". These are comments that seem to be on topic and non-promotional, but the links they leave are pure spam sites (poker, kitchen equipment, payday loans).

These are not robots, these are real people.

Here's what they do:

They come from IP address in Australia, Romania and the Czech Republic.

They google a common word like "payday" or "organic" plus "remember my personal information" which most of us have on our comment forms on our blogs.

Some other phrases are associated with CAPTCHA forms "enter the text in the box below" or whatever it says automatically as well as "follow up comments."

So, just take this as a warning to change this default text to something a little more personalized, perhaps unique.

This Post was written by Cybele from Candy Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adapting vs. Butchering

Much has been discussed about copyright issues with respect to posting recipes, but I have a question that comes at it from a slightly different angle that I've not seen addressed here.

Quite a few of the recipes on my blog are adapted from books or other sources. I do cite the original source, and paraphrase the instructions in my own words. Ingredient substitutions are generally what I consider to be minor (e.g., instant yeast instead of fresh). Sometimes I explicitly state what departures I have made from the original, but more often than not I don't, as I feel this would be cumbersome to read and detract from the post.

It has occurred to me that the creator of the original might view my "adaptation" as a thorough butchering of the recipe, and be offended to have his or her name associated with it. Since I believe the paraphrasing puts me on solid ground as far as copyright infringement goes, maybe I should avoid crediting the original sources altogether. But this just feels wrong.

Note that this is a purely hypothetical concern, because I'm sure none of these people pays any attention whatsoever to what I put on my blog. Even so, I'd be curious to hear thoughts. Do I need to find a different reason to lie awake at night?

This Post was written by Susan from Wild Yeast.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I have been hacked and not sure what to do now

As if working full time, commuting, and having 3 kids were not hard enough on the whole blogging habit, I have been hacked now.

These pathetic fools have hacked my blog - and my main reaction is .. how can I fix this in the 15 minutes I really do not have before I rush off to work.


I need a wordpress fiend who can give me some strategies for diagnosing what they mod'd

I know a lot about wordpress but I do not want to nuke this theme and install, I reaaaalllly do not. All I have right now is FTP access.

This Post was written by Nika from Nikas Culinaria

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Google Alert Service

I wanted to highlight something I learned from the comments of a recent post about stats in case any of you didn't catch the great tip from SusanV. She suggested signing up for "Google Alerts". So I did. I created a google alert, putting my own blog's url in the Search terms box. Now, whenever someone links to my blog I get an email to let me know. Much less bother than checking on technorati. Thought it might interest a few others, so sharing the info.

This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sockpuppets in Comments

I've noticed a few instances lately in the comments section on my blog where someone recommends a webstore or product. While that comment completely on it's own doesn't raise any flags, sometimes I stumble on a nearly identical comment on someone else's blog.

Basically, there are businesses out there that look to build "buzz" or at least name recognition by pretending to be a reader of your blog and participate in discussions. They don't announce their affiliation and are referred to as Sockpuppets. (A famous instance of Sockpuppeting include John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods using the alias "Rahodeb" in forums to talk about Whole Foods and pump the company and in many cases defend Mackey against criticisms.)

Sometimes these Sockpuppets are being operated by larger companies in an organized effort, but usually they're just awkward companies with a poor understanding of ethics and how things work with blogs, forums and the internet.

How to spot a sockpuppet:
  • Are they commenting in a relevant way about the post? Or does it seem like a canned statement that could apply to anyone's post?
  • How did they get to your blog? Are they commenting on a new post? (Some sockpuppets chose fresh content, others will be using a search that will give them posts that are a couple of days/weeks/years old.)
  • If they've specified a location in their post, does it match their IP address?
  • Does their email address match their "name"
  • Does their email address include the domain name of the company they're promoting?
  • Are they leaving the same or similar comment on other blogs?
  • Do they return to your blog over and over again?
  • Are you able to challenge them and any statements or are they long gone?
  • Do they use a real email address or input fake info?
  • Do you get comments from the same IP address with similar content but with different "names" associated with them? Often the second will "agree" with the first.
  • Try inputting their username and the name of the product/service they're mentioning and see if anything comes up.
There's no precise way to say for sure, but when in doubt, I say challenge these interlopers who want to destroy our communications. It's your website, so it's up to you if you want to turn it into a platform for this new form of marketing spam, but I think we all have a responsiblity as hosts of these sites to do at least a cursory job at keeping these people in check.

So, if no one minds, if I notice some of these folks lurking around on my blog and yours, I might send you a note. (I have a short list of them right now, I don't want to name any names here.)

This Post was written by Cybele from Candy Blog

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Website Designer?

Replace this line of text with the main body of your post

This Post was written by MYNAME from BLOGNAME

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Feed Woes

I was having an email conversation with the lovely Alanna this morning (you'll be glad to know she reminded me to correct a link on the side bar and re-add the calendar, and at the same time I also re-added the FAQ links as suggested a couple of weeks ago by Elise, which is all the house keeping for today)

Anyway, back to the FEED issue. Alanna made some comment about my feed being title only these days. And I was surprised. I am a big proponent of full feeds myself. She sent me a screen grab of my blog in her Bloglines and sure enough they were title only = not what I intended at all! In blogger my settings are all set to FULL. I went to feedburner and it was FULL there too. In google reader it is also FULL. Does anyone have any idea why my blog might not be showing up full in Bloglines? Do you read my blog in a feed reader - if so please let me know what it looks like to you and which reader you use. Thank you.

And whilst we are on the subject, please can someone explain this setting in blogger to me:

Post Feed Redirect URL
If you have burned your post feed with FeedBurner, or used another service to process your feed, enter the full feed URL here. Blogger will redirect all post feed traffic to this address.

thanks for all/any help

This Post was written by sam from Becks & Posh