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What are these bots up to??

Posted: 14 Oct 2009, 22:06
by Bill Atkinson
This is just simple curiousity and desire for learning more about this technology that I take so much for granted. Every time that I login it seems that there is at least one bot from Yahoo or Google or MSN or from wherever right there with me. What are they doing? Do the search companies actually "register" their bots as members of the forum? Do you think that somewhere in their little electronic databanks that once they build up enough human emotions and trials that they can suddenly start posting about their faith crisis over being restricted to only computer existence? :lol:

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 15 Oct 2009, 11:06
by MadamCurie
I've also wondered the same thing, Bill. What are those "bots" and what are they doing?

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 15 Oct 2009, 11:08
by Heber13
I am trying to convert the bots and include them in our ward missionary numbers this year to meet our goals! :lol:

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 15 Oct 2009, 22:51
by swimordie
Heber13 wrote:I am trying to convert the bots and include them in our ward missionary numbers this year to meet our goals!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks, Heber, I needed that!!!

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 16 Oct 2009, 12:53
by Euhemerus
Bots are small, lightweight programs that go out and scan various websites for information. This is part of how Google, Yahoo, etc. build their enormous database of sites.

phpBB, the forum engine we use here, has a specific group dedicated to these bots. This allows the posts and information on the forum to easily be read an aggregated by the search engines. Incidentally, you can prevent these bots from scanning a website by including a special text file in the directory of the web root. But we don't do that here.

Oh, and they also have little red eyes, four legs, sharp teeth, and try to steal all your personal information as you type it in!! :D

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 16 Oct 2009, 14:37
by Heber13
Euhemerus wrote:Oh, and they also have little red eyes, four legs, sharp teeth, and try to steal all your personal information as you type it in!! :D
Nice!
Its good to have you posting with us, Euhemerus!

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 18 Oct 2009, 06:44
by Bill Atkinson
Thanks Euhemerus I sort of thought that was how they worked but I hadn't realized just how "active" they were.

By the way Heber I am just a bit miffed that you thought of getting them onto your ward mission list before me :lol: but I warn you they will be trouble in Sunday School look who they hang out with :o

On a more serious note all of us should be aware of just how easy it is to search out our posts. We tend to think that the web is a big huge place but I went in with a search like this: "Bill Atkinson" "stages of faith" and my StayLDS posts were right there at the top of the returned search results. Even more revealing is a search that goes "Bill Atkinson" and then down in the advanced search box where you can put a specific web site : "Staylds.com" and up comes a link to virtually all of my posts.

This does not concern me at all, I came on the site intending to be completely open and therefore I used my name and I guess at worst if my Stake President wanted to find out what I was up to he could (you note that I say Stake President, that is because my Bishop is not that computer savy and would be unlikely to make such a search but my Stake President is really with it and a cool wonderful person ). So just be warned Big Brother is not watching you but the little bots sure are.

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 21 Oct 2009, 10:00
by Brian Johnston
I am good friends with a lady that specializes in internet marketing and has long ties with the search engine folks. Apparently, they place a very high value on information harvested from blogs and forums. It is perceived as more natural information because it is published on the web generally by enthusiasts or people who are passionate about a subject, as opposed to less natural and manipulated marketing information from businesses.

She said that Google, for example, crawls through and digests all major blogging sites, social network sites and forums multiple times per day. The data ranks high in what they call their "organic" search results, which is not the pay-per-click advertising results you often see at the top of a search return.

Re: What are these bots up to??

Posted: 21 Oct 2009, 18:14
by Bill Atkinson
Thanks Valoel that is quite interesting. It is nice to know that we might be a source of "quality" information.