Drama, drama, drama. Sometimes you are amazed at the internet and its ability to bring the word together and coalesce the sum of humanities accomplishments into a single information source. Other times you start to wonder if the internet is filled with pre-pubescent children running around whacking each other over the head with inflatable hammers. Yet again, we have another of the latter. This time the wounded parties are theme designers who sell links to websites, embed them into their themes, and distributed freely across the internet–sometimes, according to Matt, these links are even sold to the same people who spam blogs. Like many of you have heard, these “sponsored” themes are now banned from several central theme distribution sources; thus, minimizing the ability of these themes to spread which, as a result, will keep them from making money for their authors.
Well words have started flying, on one side you have the people losing money and on the other side nearly everyone else. Obviously, those making money are not happy about this cut in their profits, and everyone else–including theme authors who don’t sell links–are rather happy or neutral about it. I’m not going to get into this argument because, as a plugin creator, I’m biased, but really this issue demonstrates the fundamental flaw in the internet: people who want to make money fast are always clashing with those who don’t. Now I’m not talking about legitimate businesses, but the spammers, and spyware types who are constantly doing whatever they can to make a few bucks.
This isn’t the first time these sorts of language wars have started up: back in the days of popups some people weren’t very happy with the advent of popup blockers which cut into their profits, every time Google updates its code the SEO blackhats complain about the loss of benefit from their tricks, and countless other examples of profiters losing a source of their income and complaining.
So what is the point of this post? While I applaud the decision to “blacklist” these themes, when the drama dies down those theme authors are going to be trying to figure out how to make an easy buck again, and I doubt it will be an improvement. So while we won’t have to worry about that specific type of profiteering, we may, over time, find we just traded email spam for comment spam. Why must history always repeat itself?