Hey commenters: FU
The latest blogospheric craze is the "nofollow" tag. This is added to the HTML of links left in comments on blogs. The hoped-for use is to make leaving spam comments unprofitable: google and other search engines will not use links so marked to compute a site's PageRank. The upsides, downsides, and the possible futility of this new feature are discussed here.
The Lonewacko Blog's opinion of this feature can best be understood by referring to the following graphic:
This new feature throws the (perhaps unwanted) babe out with the bathwater. It's a good thing that comment spammers will be somewhat hurt by this. However, at the same time legitimate commenters will be hurt.
If you run a blog about, say, weasels you probably want to be at the top of the list of weasel blogs. And, you probably don't want someone to be able to leave comments about their weasel blog at your blog, thereby moving them up in the search results and giving searchers a choice between weasel blogs.
And, as noted at the thread above, some people might sell PageRank: pay me money and I'll remove the "nofollow" from your link.
However, if those or similar cases don't apply, any use of the "nofollow" tag is just a big wet Fuck You to those who bother to leave comments at your blog. So, unless comment spam gets way out of hand, I probably won't be using this wonderful new way to say Up Yours.
UPDATE: The preceding sentiments will not, of course, preclude me from changing some of the links herein to use "nofollow", such as those to KoolAidCentral.
However, let's consider a somewhat contrived example and see if we can discover some of the downsides.
Let's say a Big Blogger lies about something. Several other bloggers join in with the lie. However, a true truthseeker goes to each of those blogs and posts comments including a link to "the truth about weasel bloggers." A perfectly legitimate use of a link, even if it would be looked down upon by some of those bloggers. Unless other bloggers start linking to the same thing using non-"nofollow" links, the truth about weasel bloggers might be a bit hard to find using google.
I hereby coin the word "malletous" (and its synonym "hammerish") to denote hamfisted things like "nofollow" to which little apparent thought has been applied by either the designers or those using them.