Michael Jensen shows that it is quite easy to spam MyBlogLog (recently acquired by Yahoo), and he used TechCrunch as the guinea pig for his experiment. We, like many other blogs, display the MyBlogLog widget (right bottom sidebar), which shows recent visitors, along with their photo, to the site.
All he did was create a new account with the advertising he wanted included as the image. He then opened TechCrunch in the Opera browser and set it to autorefresh every minute or so. The result was that the “user” kept coming back to TechCrunch and popping to the top of the widget. Some of the traffic that clicked through to the user page on MyBlogLog made its way back to the destination site.
Given how easy this is to do, it’s certainly worth the effort. Jensen quickly expanded his test to include twenty other blogs. I hadn’t noticed this, but MyBlogLog founder Scott Rafer did, and pinged me about it. He says they’ll be blocking this kind of behavior in the near future.
There’s lots of other spam on MyBlogLog, although most of it is in the messages users can leave for other users on their pages. Not much harm there beyond a messy MyBlogLog site, and I’m sure they’ll be taking measures to limit that over time, too.
By the way, Jensen says he did all this just to point out the flaw in MyBlogLog, not to actually spam sites.
Update: I hadn’t seen this before, but in the comments below Richard MacManus points out that Emre Sokullu made a script to to this as well.