One of my favorite funny graphics from the on-hiatus Creating Passionate Users was this one from the entry Be brave or go home. Because on this entry on my blog a few days ago the part of the blogosphere that makes money from ad-embedded themes has been viciously attacking me personally. Attempted assassinations are never fun, at least for the person on the receiving end, but overall I’m happy for a few reasons:
- Some of the paid links in themes are to the same URLs I see in Akismet, so I know that there is at least some overlap between the people financing these themes and attacking our blogs, and any way we can fight them is good.
- I know that this is something the majority of the WordPress community has voted for.
- I am hopeful we’ll stop seeing threads like this in the support forum. “I installed the ecologici theme found here [link to wordpress.net] I customized it, no problems. I went to add my scripts to the footer and found this code…”
- The attacks sting less when it’s from people who have significant financial interests in seeing sponsored themes continue. They’re just trying to protect their money.
- That they’re making so much noise is an indication we’re doing something meaningful.
- The attacks sting less when they’re from people with questionable personal practices. 
Still, there is a lot of hard work ahead.
 For example one attack post from “Franky” on a blog called Wisdump (didn’t that used to be run by the awesome Paul Scrivens?) I noticed it was loading a little slow, then I saw pingomatic.com in my address bar. I looked at his source and saw he had embedded a 1×1 pixel iframe loading the ping page for Ping-O-Matic on every one of his pages. I must admit this is clever, it utilizes the distributed network of everyone who visits your site to attack Ping-O-Matic and spam the ping servers, and of course IP blocking is useless because it’s coming from the regular folks on your site. But it is also extremely skeevy. (And I believe a little bit of JS on the ping page should fix that right up.)