It is interesting how your perception of new technology can vastly depend on how you have interacted with them, and how the developers have responded.
Unfortunately in the case of the recently launched niche tracking startup, “rank” has multiple definitions, including one items position related to another based upon a particular rating, or a rather offensive smell.
At its core, my first impression of SocialRank niche websites was that it was little more than a WordPress splog scraping my content based upon keywords used and giving some kind of relevant or irrelevant ranking based upon some internal algorithm.
It is still my content appearing on a 3rd party site, in the same way as one of the millions of kubrik themed sites that just grab keyword based feeds from Technorati.
As I have said in the past, I license my content as GPL, so am quite happy for people to repurpose it, and hopefully if they provide a link a little traffic finds it’s way back to my site.
There is however one thing I absolutely detest
Don’t Use Pingback / Trackback When Syndicating / Splogging My Content
If you site contains no original content, if you are not entering the “blogging conversation”, I don’t want you to spam the hell out of me with trackbacks and pingbacks.
I sent an email to SocialRank to switch off the pinging, the pinging continued with my email box full of ping notifications. All I received in response to my email was an invite to their beta.
Would you join the beta of a company effectively hiting you with trackback/pingback spam?
I don’t see them anymore, I have told Spam Karma to blacklist them just like any of the other splogs.
On the other hand I read today an interview Ben did with SocialRank.
This seems similar to the Quechup debacle at the beginning of last month where an over enthusiastic viral referral system effectively destroyed the social network before it gained any traction. The first page of results in Google only mention negative things about Quechup – I assume they rebranded.
I think the problem comes with people so used to how Facebook and LinkedIn have implemented these in my opinion quite dangerous address book sharing features, they assume every site works the same way, even if the other site actually had a similar but different feature well before LinkedIn and Facebook. The iDate press release mentions having this feature since 2005.
With SocialRank it is different. They are the ones filling my email box with pingback after pingback proclaiming that they scraped my content.
I don’t regard them as a stinking splog, they are still linking back to the original source with a followable link, but currently they are more annoying than Quechup invites just 1 month ago.