I started using Google Buzz as soon as it launched; and that included following people who followed me, knowing that they could be out-of-the-gate spammers. (Interesting how the bootstrapping of a social network feels different to a mature one.)
I stopped using the Buzz web interface as it’s just so noisy at present, reading activity in Google Reader instead. Right now I have 263 followers, and yes some of them are spammers, though also a lot of real, proper people. I’m unsure how they find me, presumably via items I like in Google Reader.
But one of them caught my eye – a user called Phasuk. I’m used to having a large unread list of items, but he stood out from the rest, having shared 303 items.
And… they are all completely mundane posts about wire drawing machines. All from a mundane blog about wire drawing machines:
Basic principalsThe art or process of wire drawing like the name implies is to draw a wire of a bigger diameter through a hole with smaller diameter hereby reducing the diameter through plastic deformation while the volume remains the same.
“He” (though I assume it’s some kind of automated program) is creating a blog, all about wire drawing machines, creating lots of bland but readable articles, and then using a Google Reader account, sharing them to anyone who’ll follow him on Buzz.
I’m no expert in spamming. But, I’m unclear what the intent of this is.
I can understand if you create a site with lots of copied & pasted content to draw people in & click on your ads. But this is quite well structured (check out the tags on the front page), only has a couple of ads on, and who is interested in this highly obscure subject?
So, thinking a quick google would show more light on the subject.. but it didn’t. Nor did a twitter search – at time of writing , http://search.twitter.com/search?q=wire+drawing+machine has only three items. His twitter account, http://twitter.com/phasuk111, complete with charming picture, is the same sort of thing, but with travel guides.
No-one is talking about him, so these highly boring spam sites are presumably a lot more commonplace than I realised… but paradoxically, he’s not spamming everywhere, so again, what’s the point?
My best guess is once the site gets old enough for Google etc. to ‘trust’ it as a genuine site, used by/shared to genuine people (like, er, me) that’s when it overnight is suddenly full of warez/porn ads/etc.
But I am largely guessing. Maybe it’s some sort of experiment by someone? Maybe (doubt it) it’s not a spammer at all, but juts someone with a very special interest in wire drawing machines?
Either way, as this is a sort-of new blog, I thought I’d make a post, lard it with honeypot references, and see what turns up.
I figure there’s little risk in this, given the generally open nature of social media. Hope I don’t get proved wrong…
EDIT: http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=wire+drawing+machine+vodex – wow, showing up in Google in less than five minutes. Presumably PubHubSubBub real-time foo at work…