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Someone pinged me on IM today and pointed out that it was very likely someone had used a hack similar to one I pointed out to Yancy a few months back that could allow someone to "game the system" as it were and rack up endless link count numbers on Planet Lotus. It's not a difficult hack to accomplish and fairly tricky to defend against (though not impossible).
I don't really know if the post in question is actually being manipulated that way. I'm told it has more link hit numbers than there are daily visitors to the site though. I also have no idea if the blog site owner is behind it. I somewhat doubt it.
At the very least, the numbers mean that someone posted a link to the blog story on a busy site using the Planet Lotus link rather than a direct link to the blog story. Even that much is clearly a manipulation of the system. There is a way to be much more manipulative than that. I know, I showed Yancy a proof of concept months ago. It doesn't require a rocket scientist to figure out either, so doing it doesn't prove you've got any kind of skill. If someone is going to the trouble of doing that kind of thing (which I'm not going to detail) they're a real loser.
Planet Lotus has been a great boon to the Domino blogging community. For readers, it has brought together a really great way to see across the breadth of the community in a glance. You see things you otherwise wouldn't have seen by just subscribing to one blog or another. For writers, it has added a little competitiveness to the game that can drive us to write more of the kinds of things other people want to read.
Some bloggers will claim it doesn't change what or how they write. It may even be true for some. I know it has had an influence on my writing. I try to keep it a positive influence and I still write only what I want to write, but it definitely makes me think a bit more about what others might find of value.
I have no idea really if what's going on today is anomalous or part of a purposeful attempt to game the system. It doesn't really matter. My message to anyone who thinks that gaming the system is funny or shows how clever you are is simple. It's a loser play. It isn't original, it is trackable with a bit of research, and ultimately your own reputation will suffer for it, and worst of all it ruins some aspects of an otherwise fantastic resource.
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