You probably know about latest blogosphere scandal, how WordPress tried to raise funds with cloaked links to site selling pharmacy and viagrish stuff, these sites paying a fee for Page Ranking gain and search engines exposure.
Scandal ? Or nothing to pay attention about ? My opinion.
What I think
What is bothering bloggers here ?
- Seeing an open source project like WordPress implicated with common spam keywords ?
- having contributed to WP's high Page Ranking, and consequently to the pills sites' PR ?
- not being told about those hidden links ?
- finding out that an open source and free project can try to raise a bit of money ?
And so what ?
- It's his own site, he can make what he wants with it, as well as you can link WordPress.org from your blog if you want to, no ones forces you to do so
- Yes, I said his site, not the community's site : we, the community, are using it, he is paying for it.
- Hidden links there are harmless, unobstructive, and don't distract you from what you are looking for
- Matt could have used dozens of other ways to make money : he can know thousands of weblogs URLS thanks to pingomatic, thousands of email addresses from his comments or forum, not even speaking of selling WordPress now that it is popular
So, the only thing the community can be angry about is not being told about something that is not our business. What a scandal.
Matt does have one problem now : between Google and him, about being indexed or banned. But again, this is not our business and, frankly, I don't think we really care.
What I do
I'm a bit revolted by the angry mob writing all over the internet that WordPress is spamming and that Matt is a spammer. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was not that smart, but even, this is nothing compared to what Matt does to the WordPress community and open source.
I was to mail him my support, but I'm afraid he'll have hundreds of mail and comments to read, showing support or telling disappointment.
My — symbolic — action will thus be the following : I'm posting this support message on my blog, tagged with iLoveMatt. If you are a WordPress user, and think that, mistake or not, Matt is doing much more good than harm to the blogging community :
- <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/ilovematt" rel="tag">iLoveMatt</a>
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