There are two things that define blogging as a social networking activity.
One is the ability to comment on posts – which is why the likes of Oliver Kamm and Mad Mel Phillips are not bloggers – the other is the ability to refer to posts (and even comments) on other blogs using hyperlinks, pingbacks and trackbacks.
The equation is a simply one – comments = social, hyperlinks, etc = networking.
The script in question, as should be obvious from the screenshots on Tim’s site – and I’ve also verified for myself that the script in question is present on both sites – seeks to prevent either site from linking directly to articles or comments at either Iain Dale’s Diary or Staine’s ‘Order-Order.com’ by redirecting anyone following links from Bloggerhead or The UK Today to their respective homepages. This amounts to a completely half-arsed attempt to prevent both those site from linking directly to evidence that supports many of their recent criticisms of both Dale and Staines, not least in relation to the appalling abuse visited on John Hirst, about which Dale is, at best, tardy to act in curbing his sockpuppets and anonymongrels, while Staines has actively been joining in with the abusive comments.
And, as one can see clearly, there no question as to this being a deliberate act – the script in question is written specifically to target the two sites.
What’s most staggering about this development is not just that they’ve done it at all, but that the pair of them appear dumb enough to think both that they could pull this off without anyone noticing or calling them on it and that their script kiddie trick, once uncovered, would not easily be bypassed in a matter of seconds.
So, in order to restore normal service – if you are a Firefox user (and if you aren’t, why not?) then all you need to do is follow this link to the Mozilla add-ons section where you will find a rather nifty tool called the web developer toolbar.
This add on, which you should install, provides you with a new toolbar containing lots of extremely useful function, especially if you happen to be designing or testing a website or blog template.
And there you have it – not just embarrassing but an embarrassing failure as well.