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Trying to find useful things to do with emerging technologies in open education

More Link Pollution – This Time from WordPress.com

A month or two ago, I posted on the topic of Google/Feedburner Link Pollution, observing how URIs contained in RSS feed link elements run through Feedburner end up with Google Analytics tracking codes appended to them.

Well, it seems as if WordPress.com occasionally does a little bit of rewriting of links you might have carefully placed in your blog posts if you are using the free plan, dynamically rewriting those links and sending clicks through go2.wordpress.com.

A reply to the WordPress forum post “Link redirection through go2.wordpress.com” states:

[R]edirection is related to the ads that sometimes are placed on WordPress.com blogs … [P]urchasing the No Ads Upgrade will stop the redirection.

Now I know that ads are sometimes presented on my blog to unsigned in visitors, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been told that links may also get rewritten? One of the dangers of using a free hosted service, of course.

As to why do I use a free service? I don’t want the hassle of backups, updates, and doing sys admin things if the site ever gets hacked. And In return, I pay nothing, live with certain constraints (e.g. restrictions on layout, embedding, inability to run Google Analytics, etc.) and visitors who aren’t WordPress users may occasionally suffer from ad displays.

But things are getting so that I now need to regularly spend time looking for ways in which the “free” services I use are polluting my content.

So do I pay to upgrade to paid for services on WordPress.com, host a blog myself, or use a more enlightened (but more expensive) commercial provider such as Squarespace?

(Stephen – no need to say “I told you so”…;-)

Written by Tony Hirst

January 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Posted in Admin...

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6 Responses

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  1. DIY, if you want to truly be master of your own domain.


    January 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm

  2. by their pricing, my shared hosting setup would cost nearly $200, just for WordPress hosting. I pay something like $9/month. And get email, databases, can run other stuff, etc…

    D'Arcy Norman

    January 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

  3. […] 28, 2010 by ebilodeau I came across this worrisome post this morning describing how blogs on WordPress.com sometimes have their links rewritten for advertising purposes. From what I understand, the links still go to their intended destination, but the action is […]

  4. I’ve been happy with Google’s Blogger.com since it allows me to choose to make the blogs ad-free, and I can also download the content of the blog to my own desktop just as a safety/backup issue. I used to run b2evo in my own hosting space, but the spam and security issues were overwhelming for me. For my own blogging needs, Blogger.com has been a good solution.

    The thing I personally like most about Blogger.com is that it is javascript friendly – it’s easy to put javascripts in the sidebar widgets, and to include javascripts in the posts as well. WordPress.com does not allow any javascripts in the free hosted service, which means teachers cannot use the widgets I create and distribute using javascript, alas – here are the widgets I share, with an easy “add to Blogger.com” buttom, as well as the javascript to cut and paste in other javascript-friendly environments (like PBWorks.com for educators, which I like a lot):

    Laura Gibbs

    January 28, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    • I used blogger for my Arcadia Mashups blog, and also tried it for some uncourse experiments on a visualisation related blog (Visual Gadgets). One issue I have with Blogger is that it isn’t as felxible as WordPress in the feeds’n’trackback stakes…

      Tony Hirst

      January 31, 2010 at 1:12 pm

  5. […] see also Google/Feedburner Link Pollution, More Link Pollution – This Time from WordPress.com. Link rewriters are, of course, to be find in lots of other places […]

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