When good-robo-blogs go bad

I’ve played with the idea of a “robo-blog” before.  Basically it is a WordPress blog with a plugin that searches for content, truncates it, and includes it as a very short link/post.  It can be useful as long as it isn’t overused.  The moment people think they’re reading a bunch of posts collated by a computer (Computers???  Blech!) they’ll tune out.

Just as important as avoiding the overuse of this kind of auto-content/robo-blog system is that you set up the filters to be really really narrow so not just anything makes it onto your blog.

What happens if you set up your robo-blog with too wide a filter or to post too often?  We’ll, let’s take a look:

  • “Florence Printing Co., 233 SC 567, 573, 106 SE2d 258, 261 (1958)). Thus, contrary to State Farm’s assertion, the policy reasons supporting an award of …”
  • “525 F.3d at 65. A mere summary description of a cross-reference, as in paragraph 11, is a different matter and cannot alter the unambiguous language that
  • “App.3d 642, an employee of the Office of State Printing called in sick and then was seen two hours later playing cards in a cardroom. …”

What’s up with this “3d” stuff”?  Well, it looks like Botmill’s robo-blog settings are set a little too loose.  Yes, content is king, but better to have one highly relevant post a week than five off-topic posts a day.  The “3d” in the above teasers has to do with legal case citations to California and Federal cases – cases that happen to be in the third (3d) district.  Anyhow, I point this out because I found it amusing – not because I’m poking fun at Botmill.  Their robo-blog has found some neat stuff I didn’t see in the RepRap Feed – so thanks guys.

Although, wouldn’t it be great to live in the 3-D district of California?

5 Responses to “When good-robo-blogs go bad”

  1. Spacexula says:

    Yea, I had them in the RepRap feed till the junk became too much (17% of all posts where their stuff). I removed them. I try to keep the RepRap feed as all original content. I thought the Botmill blog would be about…. well Botmill.

  2. BotMill says:

    Hi Guys,

    We apologize for the large amounts of blog posts recently. MakerBlock had it correct, we tried to install a rss aggregator that would post the blog posts as drafts, allowing us to examine posts before they go live. It did not do that, instead it posted everything. We’ll be cleaning it up shortly.

    Sorry about that.


  3. MakerBlock says:

    No worries! I thought it was hilarious that the aggregator was picking up totally irrelevant posts! One of the bonuses was that it was picking up some very wacky posts that are not in the RepRap feed, but are related to RepRap.

  4. […] When good-robo-blogs go bad […]

  5. […] you had a robo-blog.  That’s fine.  Nothing wrong with that.  In fact, I’m appreciative for some of […]