WordPressDirect: Spam, Dirty Spam

WordPressDirect creates spam sites Do you have the desire for a blog but not the time, ethics or talent to do so? Try WordPressDirect.

WordPressDirect (it’s a no-follow link, BTW) is a spam blog generator. You pick a theme, plug in a few keywords and let it go to work creating a fake blog for you. It searches YouTube for content to import; it searches Yahoo Answers; it searches other blogs… and it even imports their comments too.

Apparently WordPressDirect now has ten thousand users. Great – like we needed more spam sites.

Here’s how the site describes the process:

“WordPressDirect grabs niche podcast, video and article content plus comments from all over the web and creates a completely unique, high-value website that search engines and visitors absolutely love!”

Reality check: No, visitors won’t love your blog. They’ll hate it, because it’s a spam blog. They’ll think less of you too, because you’re a spammer – you’re stealing other people’s work.

More accurately, as Neville Hobson appropriately put it, WordpressDirect is spam blogging by another name:

“…no need for original content, for your own creativity and opinion, just set this thing up and wait for it to churn out other people’s stuff as you surround “your” content with ads.”

WordPressDirect creates spam sites

WordPressDirect fail I don’t often get worked-up about things on here because, well, I try to stay professional. However, this “service” is just wrong. I’m getting angry just thinking about it. Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about ethics recently.

If you don’t have time to write a blog then don’t. Don’t plagiarize other peoples’ work. Don’t steal the results of their efforts.

You know what grade they give kids who copy other peoples’ work in school? They give them a “fail.”

WordPressDirect gets a “fail” from me. So do the people who create spam sites using it.

Thoughts? Am I wrong to be so mad about this?

On more thing – a tip for the chirpy “Emily from Blinking Dot Software”: it’s “Technorati,” not “Technorata.” Oh, and how about not including drunken pictures of employees and your buddy in another video from your press release?

(Hat tip: Mashable)

  • No, Dave, you are not wrong. In fact, you are completely justified in getting angry about this. It just smacks of the same ‘I want to make millions of pounds doing no work whatsoever’ ethos that has been spawned on the internet over the years. You know the ‘use someone else’s articles to make money’ or ‘resell eBooks that someone else has written’ mentality.

    It infuriates me as well. For people who blog as they should, they can spend hours trying to come up with new content, or a new angle on something they have read, or something interesting to add to a conversation. Running out of ideas is awful, and maintaining momentum is hard work. Sites like this which suggest that you can sit back and let everyone else do the hard work while you reap the rewards ought to be banned.

    Rant away. Hopefully more bloggers can pick up on this and stop this kind of spam in its tracks.

  • That’s dirty. What a useless tool. Perfect for those kind of companies that just want to be part of social media, but don’t get the concept of it.

    There used to be a site that harvested my posts (on blog.ukoonto.com) and just put them in their blog with many other toy related blog posts. It was complete non sense, because the blog had no personality and it was completely uninteresting.

    I think the word Spam at that point is even still to clean, there has to be something dirtier than that.

  • I don’t think you are wrong to be worked up over this. I agree with you fully!

    The sad thing is that it will likely sell a lot of ads and even start turning up in search results. 🙁

  • Dave – I think this is another case of not seeing the forest for the trees. It’s the same thinking that lead to the financial crisis.

    Finance world: all that matters are short-term profits, at any cost.

    Digital world: all that matters are links to our website, at any cost.

    Thankfully, “best and the brightest” in the digital space seem to understand that there are long-term consequences to short-sighted actions.

  • Pingback: This is Just Legitimising Spam, Laziness and Apathy | TigerTwoTiger()

  • waferboard

    Isn’t it kind of like the novel-generating machines from Orwell’s 1984? Or, how different is this from people rewriting other people rewritings of stuff they read? I agree, in terms of unique information or a unique voice that’s gathering (or editing) information machine-generated content seems like cheating. But they could be interesting in the same way Turing tests are interesting.

  • The funny thing is that there are millions of online wannabies that would try it out and think of it as a legit way of running a business online. Just to say there are always idiots always have been and always will be so just ignore them and outsmart them which isn’t hard to do.

    Erik
    http://www.freefor15.com

  • Thanks for posting this. Spam produced by feed scrapers is definitely one of the big challenges Technorati faces. If you or your readers know of text, link or markup characteristics to identify splogs produced by this or other scraperware packages, please send me specifics at ikallentechnorati.com — keeping spam out of the index is something we take seriously.
    -Ian
    Technorati

  • Cheers for recognize the rather obvious moral questions.
    But those who need it explained, well … heh … they a) won’t be reading this blog and b) wouldn’t follow the logic if they did.

    Point is that the lack of what abhidharma terms “discriminative wisdom” is foundational. Not just to blogging and things Webbish … it’s foundational to democracy and civil society.

    Folk who can be sucked in by smap cannot be credible voters. And yes, they will be sucked in by SPAM blogs … if not this generation, then the next one. (p1rates recognize innovation a lot more readily than conventional channels.)

    Credibility … when folk can’t be bothered responding to posts then it all fails.
    I gave up blogging after almost a decade … “nice” people are “too busy”.

    cheers
    –bentrem

    p.s. the text beside the subscribe checkbox? it’s black on black

  • Hi Dave, I relate to the frustration you describe in as much as I know how much emotional investment it takes to write a blog – even if it’s just a little wonderwall with no other purpose than to purge your feelings or write (hopefully) insightful/amusing commentary that might entertain the few friends who read it. That also said, I kind of have to agree with Ben Tremblay. What he says isn’t defeatist it’s reality and it just means that we have to perhaps lobby at the advocacy level to get these services terminated. I knew a smarmy guy at college who had someone else write his final dissertation – he made no secret of this to his classroom colleagues. We all thought it stank but while we all toiled away at our disserations giving up boozy nights at the Student Union etc…he was taking it easy while someone else (for whatever reason) produced the prize winning dissertation – and it did win a prize and there was nothing we could do about it. I imagine he’s one of the bankers currently contemplating the meaning of life…but I’ll bet he lives in a nice house. It’s shady and we are right to complain.

  • Andrew

    This comment may not contribute much but a point worth considering.

    The SPAM photo used in this post…

    Is it an original work by Dave?
    Does he own it or has be paid for the rights to use it on this blog?
    Does he credit the Hormel company for using it? No.

    Just like the 50 million other blogs out there all doing the same thing, “borrowing” content from other sources to benefit their cause.

    You only have to look at services like Yahoo Pipes which pitches…

    “Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.”

    Now if Yahoo is doing it then maybe we need to rethink.