Blogspotting nonsense

Friday, April 29, 2005

If you use Bell Sympatico for your DSL service and you want to post a comment on BusinessWeek’s new (faux?) blog, beware that it may not work. I read their post “Case study of a marketing blog: Nokia’s 7700” and wanted to post the following comment:

In what way is this a “slick marketing effort”, and how is it not a blog? It appears to be (as stated in the first posting) an unofficial blog about the Nokia 7710 by a bunch of people who own the device and want to share their experiences. One of the contributors is Loic Le Meur, who organized the recently LesBlogs conference in Paris, so I doubt that he’s a shill for Nokia.

Unfortunately, when I tried to do so, I was redirected to the DSBL.org Blackhole List site, telling me that my message was refused because my ISP allows open relay. Huh? What does that have to do with anything? I can understand that this redirection would occur if I were sending email, but I wasn’t, I was posting a comment. It had nothing to do with the email address that I used on the comment, it was detecting my IP address and blocking me on the basis of Bell Sympatico being naughty. DSBL’s online “help” for the problem made me want to scream:

We’re sorry. If you bothered coming to this page, you are probably an innocent mail user who’s mail has bounced back with a message telling you to come to this site. [Not true; I was posting a comment, not sending an email.] We’ll try to explain what’s happened. [Could you be more patronizing?]

You sent mail to a destination address. [Nope.] The person who runs the mail server at that address has chosen to refuse email from dangerously misconfigured, insecure, or abuseable servers based on a list that we publish. [Okay, I disagree with Bell Sympatico‘s marketing strategy, but “dangerously misconfigured”? Seems unlikely.] They most likely did this because blocking mail that originates from servers in our list can significantly reduce the amount of UCE (unsolicited commercial email), or spam, that users of their mail server receive.

Please understand: we’re not implying that you send spam. [Thanks, dude] The message that you received simply means that the administrator of your server either doesn’t know, or has chosen to run an open relay or open proxy.

I’m sure that there’s some logical reason why this occurred, but it still pissed me off. So, not only do I disagree with Blogspotter’s content, I have a big problem with their technology.

[UPDATE] They’ve also blocked my trackback ping from this posting to theirs. And yesterday, posted a justification for why they censor comments (and presumably, trackbacks).

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