Blog Software Firms Spread Their Wings

Acquia was started up by Dries Buytaert, the lead developer of the Drupal CMS, in late 2007. At the time I remarked on the similarities between Acquia and Automattic.

Now that Dries has announced Mollom, there’s a new and significant similarity. Mollom, like Automattic’s Akismet, is a spam-fighting web service. Duncan at TechCrunch reports that Akismet is the current market leader.

Here are a couple of ways in which Mollom is following the leader. In each case, the server code is closed-source, even though it comes from a firm notable for its foundations in open source. In each case, the spam-fighting service can be invoked by any client using the API: Mollom isn’t just for Drupal, any more than Akismet is just for WordPress. One of the main differences is that Mollom uses captcha, albeit only when it’s unsure whether it’s just bitten on spam or ham.

Meanwhile, Six Apart has made an acquisition that expands its range beyond blogging, albeit into a closely related domain. Mike Arrington posted a guest the acquired firm contest on Friday. It now has almost 400 comments: that guy really knows how to get his audience going.

It turns out that Six Apart acquired Apperceptive. Here’s how Rafat Ali described the deal.

SixApart, the blogging software firm with products like MovableType, Typepad and Vox, is now moving up the value chain into offering advertising and consulting services, and has bought New York City-based social media creative agency, Apperceptive. The financial details were not disclosed.

In case you, like me, were wondering what “social media creative agency” means, it seems to be how they say “ad network” on the mean streets of New York.

Twitter Airlines

Russell Beatie asserts that everyone else seem to be missing a core – and maybe the most important – feature of Twitter: No spam or trolls. Thanks to engtech for the link. Russell is right that this feature is remarkable, given that Twitter has a million users.

However, Twitter also seems to be the web service of a million outages. So Russell’s post reminded me of the Onion article from 2000 about bad service deterring terrorists from using airlines.

His flight from O’Hare to LaGuardia delayed more than six hours, Hamas militant and would-be suicide bomber Nidal Hanani vowed never again to fly United Airlines.

If you think that jokes about terrorists and airlines aren’t funny, I have too responses. One: shut up Rudy. Two: if we can’t laugh, the terrorists, trolls, and spammers have won.

Defensio Against Comment Spam

logoDefensio is a spam comment blocker. Defensio boasts a few features lacking in Akismet, most notably the ability to sort your blog’s blocked comments by “spamminess”, according to Mark Hendrickson at TechCrunch. That got me interested enough to try the Defensio plugin at my WordPress test blog, but then realized that WordPlay doesn’t get enough spam comment to provide a test of Defensio.

Mark refered to “a few features lacking in Akismet,” and goes on to imply Defensio’s “open API that makes the blocker available for use with non-blogging applications” is one of them. But that feature is present in Akismet, and clearly described in the FAQ: The Akismet API can be adapted for almost any application with submitted content, including forums, wikis, and contact forms.