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December 14, 2008


Daniel Tunkelang

On one hand, I'd like to think that spam is a plague that unites the major web search and social media players in a desire to exterminate it. On the other hand, I wonder if spam filtering is an area where someone might hope to claim competitive advantage.

I'd love to see efforts like Spamhaus that at least set a baseline level of quality. I would think that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, et cetera would be happy to support such an organization, and that there would actually be cost savings from the concentration of effort and expertise in one place. And there would still be opportunity to improve on top of that baseline.


Whenever calls to share web spam information have been raised, the response has been, "Sure, you go first." I've shared splog data from Technorati with others at times in the past, without a real reciprocation though, sharing doesn't work for us. It does amount to guarding competitive advantage, coverage is key. A neutral third party with criteria for characterizing a spam classification would be welcome but it would need to be underwritten by and have a substantive participation commitment from at least one of the big three. They have crawl support and quality assurance staffs bigger than our whole company, there's only so much we can do.

Andy from Workshopshed

If you reported your competitors as being spam then you could claim competitive advantage but that would be immoral, perhaps I should patent the idea?

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