Just a little note to say a public thank you to Outbrain who provide the Ratings widget at the bottom of each post on this blog. I've received truly excellent customer service from them, though they don't charge a penny, so I figured this would be a nice way to repay them in kind.
As I mentioned before, this blog has been suffering a Denial of Kudos attack, even on Christmas Day. When I raised this issue on the Outbrain Feedback site (which they host on the innovative getsatisfaction.com) they responded very quickly and sorted the problem out as far as they could.
But the moment they truly shone was Christmas Day. I'd posted in the morning about the latest crop of spam ratings (I managed to get on the laptop with an excuse to my wife about making sure my brother got his Amazon gift vouchers ;-) ). That evening I checked my mail (I've got Gmail on my phone, so it's easier to do undetected!), and found a response from Kate at Outbrain to say that they'd been through and cleared out the illegitimate ratings, which I know is a time consuming manual job. That was beyond the call of duty, Kate. Thanks!
As an aside, whenever I invoke the name Outbrain in a post, it usually brings a swift response from them via the comments. I assume you Outbrainers aren't subscribed: are you using some kind of universal blogosphere monitor?
P.S. Kate, they've been at it. Another 20 spam ratings yesterday. I'm wondering if they're enjoying the notoriety: I'll try shutting up about them and see if that dries them up.