JAMES JOYNER looks at gaming the TTLB ecosystem. This takes me back to the halcyon days of MP3.com, when people had all sorts of logrolling schemes to boost their chart positions. In the comments, Steve Verdon predicts more efforts to outwit N.Z. Bear’s system. As the ecologist Thomas Ray said, “Every successful system accumulates parasites.” So I guess the blogosphere ecosystem is a success!
UPDATE: N.Z. Bear emails:
The hue and cry James thoughtfully responded to in his post isn’t a reaction to a new revelation that people are figuring out how to game the Ecosystem. It’s a reaction to the fact that I’m figuring out ways how to stop them. There will always be new approaches people will try to artificially inflate their rank in any system such as mine, but believe it or not, I’m actually quite optimistic about staying, if not one step ahead, then at least not far behind those who would try to rig the system in their favor.
But I need help: the blogosphere is a community, and the more the community as a whole shuns stunts such as “open trackback parties” that exist for no reason other than to exchange link counts, the less I’ll have to worry about figuring out the latest algorithmic way to filter such exploits out. I can handle the obvious out-for-profit spam blogs — it’s the “real” bloggers who like to skirt the grey areas that I need the community’s help to dissuade from bad behaviour.
ANOTHER UPDATE: LaShawn Barber has thoughts, too.