17 July 2007

Making the world safe from myspace and boo-hoo bamboo

Although I don't update my web page as often as I used to (and even then it was hit or miss), I do maintain and run the log files on a regular basis. As I've written before it isn't a huge surprise to find that most hits are from people smart enough to use a search engine when looking for San Diego knitting groups and yarn shops.

Shadow/illusion knitting, short rows, knitting with wire and the ever popular polygons are also not uncommon. Other search engine requests that result in a hit are a bit more puzzling, sometimes even a tad alarming if, that is, I was one to be easily alarmed.

Graphics files are especially entertaining. By checking out the referral link I've found that they've been avatars on foreign to me forums, the subject of discussion on others, blogged about near and far. Sometimes the context is eye opening and sometimes baffling.

I don't always follow the referral link and some links are harder to connect to. It's been awhile but it seems to me that either livejournal or typepad can be a don't even other exercise as even the cache has long cleared and moved on. That's a bit annoying but since the links are few and far between it isn't a big deal.

Couple of things, I know that if I put an image out on the web I don't much control over who and how it gets used. I'm not one of those people who thinks that bots and other crawlers that index the web are somehow a threat. I could protect the images from the bots if I wanted to but good search engine results on the web rely on the bots checking for good links and updated info. Good bot results means more hits means more presence. Filtering the bot hits from the human web contact from my logs has just become part of the routine

I also can't control or even track how many times an image has been hijacked (copied) from my site. But I can track the links and what some folks consider the resulting bandwidth banditry.

Enter myspace. It started on the 5th, a simple log entry with a date, time, IP etc. to this image in the menagerie section of my web page.

No big thing right? Hey, 11 entries on the 5th of July, it'll pass. Didn't pass and while my web page was in standard sleepy time mode with its major reason for existence (other than to show case some of my older work) is to promote San Diego knitting events, groups and shops.

By the 12th or so the myspace hits were seriously elbowing out legit bots or not traffic.

Time to follow the link but that's where things got tricky. I tried cutting and pasting the source of the link -- but and entry that began with http://profile.myspace.com/index%fuseaction= and ended elsewhere either got no where at all or told me that the profile was private and I had to become a friend to view it.

Hmm, I'm following a link to my web page, my graphics file, and just trying to find out who is nibbling at my bandwidth and I have to become their friend to find out? I don't think so.

Then I tried to do a little myspace searching to see if their terms of service/use policy had any don't steal bandwidth warning/suggestion like blogger does. Could not find anything in the FAQs so I guess no one asks.

I intended to ask Jen, well actually Tina of the Whistlestop crowd about the whole crack the myspace mystery on Sunday but somehow it was all about the knitting.

Speaking of the Whistlestop knitting event, I was really looking forward to talking with fine gauge breast cancer 3 day walking baseball and symphony loving knitter about helping her fund raising out with offering the pattern for sale for a donation. But
I had the bamboo with me and the water bottle cosy with me so guess who wasn't clicking it at the bar?


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