I just installed a very sweet script called WPOISON and disguised it as a guestbook. In reality it’s a black hole for robots that come through looking for spammable e-mail addresses. You can look at it over here… don’t worry, it won’t fry your machine or anything. All it does is generate a random list of bogus e-mail addresses. It also adds a list of fake links that look different, but really just lead back to the same page all over again, with a different randomized list of addresses / links. Go to the WPOISON homepage to find out more. It took all of two seconds to install, and if I can choke up just one of them bots, I’ll be so happy.
In a little bit I’m going to make another change to my website… I’m no longer going to be displaying e-mail addresses in comments. Right now they’re being munged so theoretically no robot can read them, but at the same time they’re viewable and clickable to a human surfer. The problem is, I think spambots are getting smarter every day, and I no longer trust the protection that this munging may bring. And how am I supposed to know which humans are prone to spamming and which ones aren’t? I don’t display my own address except as a .gif image, so why would I let other people run around with any less protection? And, who on earth would want to send a legitimate e-mail to someone else that left a comment? If they really want to, they can ask me for the address, and I’ll see if I can dig it up for ‘em. That’s the way I know I should go, so I’m going to implement it, soon as the fireworks show’s over. :-)