Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Bookmark Spam?

I’ve written before about, and how I find it extremely helpful in marking useful information I’ve found on the Internet. (Now we just need a way to keep those pages we’ve bookmarked because they were useful or helpful from suddenly disappearing and making our bookmarks invalid.) In the last few weeks, though, I’ve noticed something odd: bookmarks are being added to my Inbox (the “links for you” section, where other users can save a bookmark for you that they think might interest you) that don’t appear to be related in any way to links that I normally bookmark. Am I missing something, or is this the start of bookmark spam?

I’m pretty boring when it comes to links, actually. Unlike some other users whose RSS feed of links I watch, my “linkstream” is pretty much focused around specific technology areas (virtualization, VMware, Active Directory, UNIX/Linux, Macintosh) and Christian topics. That’s generally it. So when other users start adding links to my Inbox for topics outside those general areas, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me. I can certainly see the value of the Inbox; after all, everyone’s view of the World Wide Web is different, and someone else might be able to find information that I can’t find (or vice versa). So I could see someone putting a link in my Inbox that had to do with Active Directory, UNIX/Linux integration, VMware, or a Christian topic (like an up and coming new Christian music artist or something). Links that don’t really have anything to do with links that I normally track are just like e-mail messages hawking wares designed to augment portions of my anatomy…they are not useful, helpful, or otherwise valuable to me. That makes them spam.

Is this just me creating a problem where one doesn’t exist, or are others also seeing the same trends? And what steps are ones taking, if any, to protect against this? (Admittedly, it is an extremely low-volume and lower-impact problem right now. I seem to recall saying the same about e-mail spam years ago.)

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