Starting with 2005 a lot of comment spam* hit the blogosphere and KAYWA weblogs got also their lot. That’s why we are in favor of what Google proposed to fight comment spam.
Then I read this morning Bernhard’s «The Day The Linkjuice Died»
Google, like most other search engines, uses the collective intelligence of the web in determining what is important and what is isn’t. This was beautifully democratic, as many forms of participation on the web allowed everyone to express an opinion, that was not only visible to the direct reader but also counted towards a statistical total. Every vote counted. From now on, you need to have a blog to make your voice count, and your opinion only counts if expressed on that very blog, not somewhere else. Not even the collective wisdom of the mighty Wikipedia editors counts anymore, as their links‘ weight as votes has been removed, too.
My gut take on this yesterday was „We’re making a decision without thinking through the implications.“ My second gut take was „We can’t possibly imagine all the implications.“ So my third gut take is „Don’t do it if we can’t imagine what consequences it might have.“
In other words, here is one of the unintended consequences I worried about already becoming apparent: No Follow will discourage people from doing what I’ll call „fully web-expressed writing“ on other people’s blogs – where they write in that rather post-modern way of linking as they write, which is what we all do in this bloggy world we live in. A deft web writer is like a spider pulling strands to support his or her central thesis – it’s an emerging form of communication, and from what I can tell, it’s going to be very important long term to our culture.
Their differing point of view is important to consider. I think right now I am still in favor of this anti-spam measure, but I’ll think again…