Friday, February 25, 2005


Project Bozzo update

Project Bozzo is in full swing, and Marginal Utility has already evolved from "crawly amphibian" to "slithering reptile," due largely to several well deserved links to his corpus of posts on social security. I'm curious whether TTLB will count it as a unique link if I were to link to some of the same Marginal Utility posts in separate posts on this blog. To conduct that experiment, let me reiterate that Bozzo's views on privatizing social security are worth reading, so check his posts here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Have a nice day, and Bozzo, Bozzo, Bozzo!

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Yes, it is possible to “game the system” when bloggers collude. The suggestion to “exclude multiple cross-links between blogs in determining rank” shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Ecosystem’s goals: by doing that, only static “permalinks” would ever really count towards a blogger’s rank; more dynamic links to specific posts that a blogger received for particularly good work would be ignored from blogs that had already permalinked.

The Ecosystem has existed in one form or another for well over two years. This stunt is nothing new: it has been done before, and it will be done again. In the end, there is no technical solution to guarantee cheating cannot occur: but what is guaranteed is that there are plenty of people watching the Ecosystem who will let me know if they see someone attempting to game the system. In the end, it is the community itself that assures a fair playing field, not my code.

I put a great deal of effort into the Ecosystem, and attempt to provide as accurate a guage of weblog’s popularity as is possible to the entire blogging community. If you bothered to read The Truth Laid Bear, you would know that there are no “Ecosystem(‘s) programmers” – there is just me. You’d also know that I’m getting married in just a few weeks, and not surprisingly, don’t really have time for this right now.

Bottom line: both Marginal Utility and The Columnist Manifesto are now banned from the Ecosystem. If you are willing to apologize for the inconvenience caused to both myself and those who value the Ecosystem as a resource, I’ll consider removing the suspension sometime down the line, probably after my wedding. Let me know your decision.
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