Spam! Some of it sounds so sincere.

I’ve been poking about in my spam bucket. It’s amazing what’s in there and it’s probably best I keep well away. When I was learning how to put a blog together, I read a lot about different aspects of blogging, and one of the things I found was a warning to newbies about pulling comments out of the spam bucket.

Some of those sound so sincere, and newbies (being newbies) feel lonely and isolated when they’re sitting there in the early days with a low view count and no comments. So they want comments. The spam filter seems to be eating them all, so they look inside and… well, often they pull them out, desperate for anything.

*

Beware! They might sound like they want nothing more than to be best pals with you, but spam always has a link in and what they are really after is your readership and/or your customers. People follow links.

Sometimes spam is very obviously spam, but other times, honestly – apart from that link – you just can’t tell. I decided before I even started that I would not fall into that trap and that I would trust my spam filter. And I do. In fact, I trust it so much, I don’t look in there.

So, why did I look in there this time? Greg is starting up his own blog. It’s early days as yet, and I’d give a link to that, but I can’t as it hasn’t come up on Google (there’s a lot of Greg Everards out there and none of them is the one with me! So it won’t help to go looking). When it comes up, I’ll give you the link to his site because it really is going to be one of those intriguing brilliant places (full of steam engines and old technology and some fascinating oddities from the olden days). 😀 Anyway, we sat together at the controls of my blog so he could see some of the how of it all, and he spotted the spam queue and wanted to know what was in there.

I found especially interesting one that was vaguely derogatory. It was a “you’ve gone off the boil” type, wanting to insinuate to my readers that I’d perhaps lost it but their blog hasn’t and “come on over, folks”.

Greg, being innocent in the dark side of blogs (ooh, now THAT conjures up an interesting concept), wondered if there might be something this guy was seeing that I wasn’t aware of. Greg cares. So, I pulled up the stats for that day (and the one before it in case of time differences) and we could see that no one had accessed the page the comment was posted to on that day. That meant it was coming in from outside my blog (this can get a bit confusing for non-bloggers – think of it like a preview page that can be responded to without actually going inside). He had also sent his comment to a post that was an old one. Why? Why not one of the fresh posts?

Next, we checked out what I had been doing just prior to the 31st July, the day of that comment. On that day (and before that comment), I had posted Why a Series is Brilliant – Reading and Writing ‘em. On the 29th there was Aaaargh – At least it’s out, and on the 28th The King’s Sacrifice had been released, with all the lead ups that went before that. Hardly off the boil.

The page this guy tried to post to on the 31st July, before he was grabbed by my spam filter, was one I had written and posted on the 4th of April – way back. I’ve posted a heck of a lot of things since then. A legitimate reader would have seen that. So, there he was, reaching in from outside my blog to post a small put-down of my talent on a post a full four months old. Without a doubt, he was a spammer.

Point is, I saw and could show that this comment/assessment was faulty. Greg learned something about spam, and so did I. I learned to carry on trusting the spam filter and to keep out of the spam bucket!

Now, if I’d had a real slump in posting, if my heart wasn’t in it or if I had nothing to say and I hadn’t been flat-chat (busy) meeting a deadline, I might have taken that to heart. I might have felt I was failing, I probably would have included him as a legit commenter. How many bloggers do just that?

Think about that, folks. It doesn’t matter if a person is heaping upon you words of admiration, or undermining you with gentle put-downs, if it’s false it’s manipulation. Manipulators always want something. That goes for the outside world, too.

Now, before I leave the subject of spam and spam filters, if any of you have written and your comment hasn’t shown up, kick out the links you’ve put in and try again. Everybody is welcome here, but I don’t go digging through the spam bin trying to find who or what might be legit.

Cheers to all, 🙂

Allyson

12 thoughts on “Spam! Some of it sounds so sincere.

  1. Yuna

    Hi Allyson,
    what a analysis about spam. absolutely true, it sounds so sincere. but i never approve those seem so sincere comments (my spam filter already caught 735 spams comment).

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Hi, Yuna! 🙂

      Yeah, mine is around that count, too. I can well understand how people can think them legitimate comments and pull them out and keep them. That’s probably why spammers keep doing it. I am glad the spam filter is there, it would be really tough trying to figure it all out.

      🙂

      Reply
        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          Selamat Malam, Yuna – 😀 (First time I’ve used Good Evening, I think).

          I agree. I don’t bother looking at it, so the filter saves a lot of trouble.

          Semangat selalu [Cheers, always]

        2. Yuna

          Selamat Pagi Allyson,

          hehehhe, looks like you enjoy using it 😀

          Same here, they think we didn’t know if they weren’t sincere, the compliment 😀

          Semangat Pagi
          (i mix Semangat and Selamat Pagi, kekekeke)

        3. A.D. Everard Post author

          I confess, I would be lost without the spam filter. It would also be annoying to have to manually pull out all the rubbish.

          😀

          And yes, then Semangat Siang back to you!

        4. Yuna

          Oh, same here, whenever i found a comment on spam, i delete it, especially the one without ID 😀 😀 (so mean).

        5. A.D. Everard Post author

          You are right to do that. You have to, otherwise it would get overwhelming – we probably wouldn’t find the real comments for all the spam! LOL.

          😀

  2. Uzoma

    Hello Allyson,

    I’ve a mixed feeling about the spam depository here on WP. Some of the comments in my spam depository carry funny links to websites outside WP while the others are comments from fellow bloggers on WP. The former, I quickly delete. The latter, I approve. Strangely enough, too, a few of my comments, at one point or the other point, have been marked as spam–thanks to the bloggers who notified me about this. I’ve drawn the attention of WP to this and I believe they are working so hard on it. In all, I respect your decision about spam. Sometimes, it’s best to ignore that folder for all the junk it can carry.

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Hi Uzoma,

      I do see your point, and I agree, it’s probably inevitable that legitimate comments end up there. That’s why I put the last paragraph in to let anyone who has tried and failed to get a comment on my site know to try again. I don’t personally delete comments and no one (as yet) is banned, which is also important for everyone to know.

      After that peek into my spam bin, I also knew it could be pretty hard to decide for myself. Some with links do survive the spam filter and end up in moderation, so I know it doesn’t just pull out those with links.

      Best way I can see around it, for me, is to put up a reminder every so many months, letting everyone in on the fact I don’t check my spam bin! 🙂

      Cheers, mate. Have a great day. 😀

      Reply

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