Tag Archives: akismet

Automattic Account Management

Automattic, the fine folk behind the WordPress blogging engine, wordpress.com and Akismet have started merging accounts between wordpress.com and Gravatar.

Toward the start of 2006, I signed up for an account with wordpress.com and for obvious reasons, I’ve never needed to use it. Not that long afterward, I used the API key that was provided with my wordpress.com to fight spam using Akismet.

Today I signed into Gravatar, a web service acquired by Automattic late in 2007 to check some settings and was presented with some information about upcoming changes to my existing account. Not having used my wordpress.com account actively, I had to go sifting through signup emails from two years ago; not unsurprisingly, my account still had the randomly generated password!

Within two minutes of finding my wordpress.com account information, I’d followed the prompts and merged/associated it with my existing Gravatar account. The way in which this is being handled is great, it’s a passive change that happens when you next sign in and if you do have an existing wordpress.com account – you can associate them together.

The best thing is now I have one less login to worry about and I can see all of my information for all Automattic assets in one place!

Matt Mullenweg Changes Domain

Blogging master and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg has changed domain.

Matt has been blogging for the last seven years under http://photomatt.net, which was an appropriate domain at the the time. Early on in the piece, Matt would post photos regularly and any photos of him often included his own camera.

Since leaving CNet and founding Automattic, Matt has been fiercely committed to developing the blogging platform WordPress and its associated products Ping-o-matic, Akismet and recently Gravatar.

How times have changed for Matt, after taking the initial gamble of starting Automattic – the company has just closed a USD$29.5 million dollar series B funding. The new round of funding is going to allow the team to not worry about money for salaries for the next few years and really focus on enhancing their current product line and building out new ones.

With the change, the new internet home of Matt Mullenweg is announced http://ma.tt

Akismet Losing Its Mojo?

I have long praised the free spam fighting service Akismet but yesterday a horribly obvious spam comment wasn’t filtered which is very unusual. I’ll include the comment here so people can see what I’m referring to:

Name: Armond
Site: http://groups.google.com/group/otekal/web/free-bestiality-sex-stories
Message: free bestiality sex stories…
accessories distributed at most major retailers for such

Automattic have never disclosed with any specificity how the internals of Akismet work as a service, however it is more than reasonable to assume that Bayesian filtering is in their spam fighting tool belt. For those that aren’t aware, Bayesian filtering works by learning or being told what messages are spam and then analyses each word with those spam versus non spam messages. If a given message contains words contained in spam emails above a threshold, the message is considered spam.

Given that it is a learning based system, so to speak, I find it hard to believe that the words beastiality, sex in the URL and within the body of the comment aren’t throwing up great big red flags. I’m going to put this slip up down to one of two things:

  1. I was one of the first people to receive and register that particular spam signature
  2. When the comment was submitted, the Akismet service wasn’t able to be contacted

I’m heavily leaning towards the latter, for no other reason than there are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs on the internet – the likelihood I was one of the first for that particular spam signature is highly unlikely.

Long live Akismet!