In the last three or four days, the blog-bots have found me. Believe it or not, I have had over 500 spam trackbacks in the last couple of days. For those that don't know, these trackbacks are coming from automated blog generators that interlink each other and send spam trackbacks all over the place. The blog generators use random text generators combined with marketing pitches and random news stories taken from RSS feeds. They are yet another evolution in the attempt of bottom-feeding marketers to take advantage of the search engine impact of a blog without the effort of, you know, actually writing a blog.
I have turned trackbacks off for a while on new posts, and I have modified my setup so I have to manually approve comments and trackbacks. I will only be filtering for spam -- so far, I have not had any problems with my commenters getting too far out of line, even when they disagree with me. You will therefore see a small delay before your comments appear, but please do not stop commenting! I will be sad if trackbacks become a thing of the past due to this spamming, since they are right at the heart of the blog model, helping readers link not only to the sources a blogger is using but to the bloggers who are commenting on that post in turn.