Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spam Hunters Become a Digg Spammers Best Friend

collactive.pngNew service Collactive comes to the world courtesy of the team behind the failed Israeli outfit Blue Security, best known for running the anti-spam service Blue Frog. Wildly popular at first, the denial of service attacks from BlueFrog (be it a DOS from a moral high ground) rubbed spammers the wrong way and in May last year all hell broke lose, taking down SixApart amongst others. They subsequently gave in and shut the service.

What we didn’t know then was that having lost the battle in the war against spam, they’d actually manufacture arms for the opposing side.

Collactive works as a distribution service for what they call an All Points Bulletin (APB). You add, social bookmarking style a page on Digg or any where else to the APB system, then others are notified of the page. At this point the service differs. Users are directed to Collactive itself as opposed directly to the marked page. The page is presented with a Collactive frame to the left of screen that includes notes on the action required, for example “vote for this”. Traffic for your submitted pages comes from other collactive users plus there is support for emailing friends, a browser extension and a blog widget for displaying your APBs.

There are non-controversial uses for the site, any sort of page can be listed. However the real intent in terms of use is clearly promoted through out the site. The top listed APB when I visited the site was a request to vote on a story at Digg and other social networks were also listed amongst APB’s and social networking site logos were used in promotional material.

Alarm:Clock quotes Digg CEO Jay Adelson who puts it in perspective: “For sure, Digg is always being jacked around by people who are manipulating it, but Collactive is taking it to another level”.

Collactive is funded by Sequoia. Yes, that Sequoia.

Maybe there is something more to the service than spamming Digg? Of course there is aside from a name that sounds like medication; it works for spamming Reddit and Netscape as well!