Creating a Solid Foundation

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-10-07 Print this article Print

for Web 2.0"> A rebuilt and a host of other infrastructure improvements now being worked on by the companies in this space are essential to PubSubs entry into the next step in the blogospheres evolution, wherein PubSubs recently announced Structured Blogging format will make it easier to publish and find information on the Web. Structured Blogging lets users add different styles and tags to each type of blog entry that they post. These styles and tags ensure that movie and book reviews dont look like plain text but instead show up as calendar or journal entries, and that each content type can rely on XML to be quickly recognized and processed by automated search services and other applications.
At any rate, the consensus is that VeriSign is the perfect pick for the job of rebuilding the foundations on which such a new blogosphere will grow. "VeriSign, at heart, is sort of a Web infrastructure company," said Marc Strohlein, vice president and lead analyst for Outsell Inc.
"I think theyve clearly … looked at blogs and RSS and said, Its valuable and important technology, but out of the box, it isnt terribly scalable," Strohlein said. "They sense theres a business opportunity in making it more secure, more robust and more industrial-strength, so it can be used in broader ways than it has." VeriSigns strategy makes sense because it owns all the PKI and domain addressing technology already, Strohlein said. "Theyre right in the thick of that." The fact that has been creaking under the load wasnt news to Winer. In December 2004 he posted a plea for help in rewriting the code for "With Typepad, MSN Spaces and Blogger and a gazillion other blogs pinging, the server, which is written in scripts, has met its match," Winer said. "Its needed a rewrite in C for some time, now it really needs a rewrite." VeriSign knows its stuff, but how exactly will it stem the rising tide of splog? Graves told that the company plans a three-pronged approach: through contextual analysis, authentication and heuristics that can trace splog to the tools commonly used to spawn it. He pointed to Google Inc.s as being a good example of search and textual analysis tools that quickly filter splog. "If you go to Blogger.coms front page and view a random blog, if you click through that random blog, you generally get very good quality blogs," he said. "Theyre all readable, done by humans, made for human consumption. "On the back side, we see pings from, and an enormous number are splogger pings," Graves said. "Google obviously has a filtering mechanism in its own perimeter. They use search and textual analysis tools, quickly and fairly accurately, Id say. Youd likely find two or three out of 50 that are spam blogs." VeriSign is working on similar analysis tools. One tactic is to look at the content of a post: Whats the subject matter? Does it seem to have been lifted as a block of text from a post? Is it attempting to get readers to click on a form of solicitation? Most blogs do have links—how do splog links differ? Next Page: VeriSigns anti-spam plans.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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