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Hating Spam

Posted by on Nov 13, 2008

I’m starting to feel like a success with this blog. It’s not the subscribers, although I want to thank all of you. It’s not the money that’s rolling in (said tongue in cheek). It’s not how I’m moving up on Technorati or Alexa.

Spam ... it's what's for dinner!
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It’s the spam count. I’ve always felt that the amount of spam one receives is directly related to how much activity and prominence your blog must be gaining. I’m not sure if that’s totally true or not, but I can honestly say that I’ve never had more spam than I’m having lately. And it’s a great test of the Akismet plugin, which has been fantastic.

True, it wasn’t all that good on the Russian spam, but I don’t think that any of the spam filters could have caught that stuff initially. And yesterday, myself and a lot of people throughout the blogosphere started receiving some interesting spam that was making it through. However, what I did was start flagging it as spam, rather than just deleting it, and within a couple of hours Akismet had figured it out and no more of those messages got through to my posts. I’m very impressed by that, I must say.

Now, someone needs to explain some of this spam to me. I actually understand the advertisement spam; those folks are hoping that we’ll stupidly buy their spam program, which actually sends your messages and therefore recreates the spam we’re all trying to hide from. I weirdly understand the spam that comes through with multiple links to pharmaceuticals, porn, etc, because those folks also are hoping that enough of their ads will stay on some of those blogs that are defunct, to help them with perceived link juice; suckers.

But the one line Russian spam, along with the one line “I am happily agree with your post; I will come again” posts, or the posts without any real words,… do people really believe all that nonsensical stuff really gets them links on the back end, or that anyone will possibly click on their ads?

I found it really ironic in the wake of yesterday’s new about the shutdown of an internet hosting site known for sending out tons of spam, and how we should have seen it decrease, when exactly the opposite happened. And, it seems there’s really a big economic impact of spam, and not the way we usually think of it. Bruce Schneier wrote in his blog about the economics of spam, where a study was done that determined that, based on volume, even at 0.00001% a spammer could be making at least between $7,500 and $9,000 a day, because it seems there’s always someone who clicks on, then buys, one of these products; wow!

Well, I refuse to be pushed around by any amount of spam that comes this way. Akismet has been my blogging hero for a long time, and I’ll trust it to continue working on my behalf. For those of you who still don’t see spam as being as big an issue as it is (yeah, like there’s anyone out there who doesn’t get it), here’s a little video for your enjoyment:

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Congratulations! What a way to measure the blog’s popularity!

Cute video too!

rummuser´s last blog post..Being Informal? Or Is It Rudeness?

November 14th, 2008 | 3:20 AM

Thanks Rummuser. I’m one of those guys who can find positives in almost anything.

November 14th, 2008 | 9:07 AM

hi Mitch,
I agree that it’s best to have a positive attitude, and see the increase in spam as a sign of your blog’s popularity and success. With my new blog I get very little spam at this point, so I guess I should be hoping for more?
I have been dealing with email spam for years though, and I don’t know what I’d do without programs like SpamAssassin. Only problem is, occasionally my friend’s email or business emails end up in the spam folder. It’s a never ending battle.
A pox on all spammers!
~ Steve (aka the trade show guru)

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Joy of Fatherhood

November 14th, 2008 | 12:03 PM

I use Mailwasher for my email, which lets me filter my mail while it’s still on the server without always having to log in. The rare bad email pops in when one shows up at the same time that I’m downloading, but otherwise it works great.

Of course, now I’m wondering if today is a slow visit day, since I’ve had no spam thus far. lol

November 14th, 2008 | 3:12 PM

hi Mitch,
I think it also helps when dealing with spam comments to have a sense of humor. When I started my new blog, I received a comment (my first comment ever) within 4 hours of publishing my very first post. The comment said something like:
“I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I really like it. Keep up the good work.”
The obviously bogus comment aside, I have no idea how they found my blog so fast. One of the mysteries of the internet I suppose. In any event, they haven’t been back, so I suppose they aren’t following that closely!
~ Steve (aka the trade show guru)

Trade Show Guru´s last blog post..Joy of Fatherhood

November 14th, 2008 | 3:27 PM

That’s intriguing, Steve. You must have visited somewhere, or been on some platform, that they just happened to be looking for at the time. Weird.

November 14th, 2008 | 4:27 PM
Dennis Edell:

Spam as an indicator…I must be a super guru. LOL

Dennis Edell´s last blog post..We Will Stay Do-Follow, But…

November 15th, 2008 | 9:36 AM

Based on the number of comments I’ve seen you get, Dennis, I’m not even in your league.

November 15th, 2008 | 12:15 PM
Dennis Edell:

keep going the way you are with the blog commenting and you will be rapidly…I base my entire recent success in readership numbers and comments on it…

Seriously. 😉

Dennis Edell´s last blog post..We Will Stay Do-Follow, But…

November 15th, 2008 | 7:10 PM

I base it on that myself, but I’m also going to base it on the first time I actually have made two sales of anything from this blog in the same month. Hasn’t happened yet, but one day,…

November 15th, 2008 | 8:10 PM
Dennis Edell:

Umm what does blog commenting have to do with sales?

Dennis Edell´s last blog post..We Will Stay Do-Follow, But…

November 15th, 2008 | 8:26 PM

Sales has to do with the number of visits, and both are intertwined because the more visits and the more comments, the more opportunities for people to see what you have to offer and possibly buy something; hence, sales.

November 15th, 2008 | 8:34 PM
Dennis Edell:

Oh ok, I was talking bout my subscribers and commenters coming from my commenting.

Gotcha. 🙂

Dennis Edell´s last blog post..UPDATED – We Will Stay Do-Follow, But…

November 16th, 2008 | 7:33 PM

“even at 0.00001% a spammer could be making at least between $7,500 and $9,000 a day, because it seems there’s always someone who clicks on, then buys, one of these products; wow!”

Hi Mitch!
that little piece of information just blew my mind, maybe I should become a spammer as well LOL

I have noticed an increase in russian spammers like you said, so maybe that is a good sign, marking them as spam straight away so hopefully the amount of russian spam will go down soon!


Mirjam´s last blog post..Outsourcing Heaven or Hell

November 17th, 2008 | 9:02 AM

Hi Mirjam. You know, it does seem a little bit tempting to want to go to the “dark side of the force” when you see numbers like that, but I know neither of us could live with ourselves. Especially while looking over our shoulders all the time, waiting for someone to kick in the door. lol

November 17th, 2008 | 10:52 AM

Those numbers do sound tempting but still… it wouldn´t even be because of the “looking over the shoulder waiting to get caught”… I don´t think I´d be happy with the money, knowing how I got it 😉

A question, something completely different, why did you choose not to put your recent articles in the sidebar?

Mirjam´s last blog post..Outsourcing Heaven or Hell

November 17th, 2008 | 11:05 AM

Oddly enough, I didn’t put it there because I’ve always ignored it on other people’s blogs, so I assumed people would ignore it if I had it here. If I write a post on a blog, I usually end up subscribing to that blog in my reader, so I always know all the posts someone has.

Matter of fact, I’ve given some thoughts to removing the Archives php, because almost no one I know ever clicks on it to go through it to look at really old posts. I often wonder if I’m losing prime real estate that could be used for something else instead.

November 17th, 2008 | 11:11 AM

LOL, it is normally one of the first things I look for after reading a post on a “new” blog (new for me that is) to scan the content and see if some other posts catches my attention…

I hardly ever sign up for feeds anymore for a few reasons, not wanting to fill up my inbox and not wanting to spend too much time reading… 😉

About the archives, you could set up a “page archive” that way you save the space in your sidebar and if people do want to go through your achives, they can just click on your page and see it all. there are some neat plugins for that to easily set it up 😉

Mirjam´s last blog post..Outsourcing Heaven or Hell

November 17th, 2008 | 11:16 AM

For feeds, I use a reader so I don’t have to use the browser if I don’t want to. That way, I don’t get email either, but I can see up to 100 posts at a time, with an indication of what’s new or what’s old.

I have a plugin for archives, but I thought it might look like what came with the theme, and I don’t need that duplicated by any means. But maybe I should take a look at it, just to be sure. Something I was planning on doing was creating a Favorites page which could be accessed at the top of both my favorite posts and those that got the most activity. Thinking about another page also, but I don’t want to give that one away just yet. 🙂

November 17th, 2008 | 11:28 AM

The video make me laugh, but problem is really serious, I am receiving more than 500 SPAM emails every single days, sometimes SPAM filters are blocking good emails from customers which is disaster

August 17th, 2010 | 5:17 AM

Kyle, I come into the blog this morning looking at 98 spam messages, so I’m feeling you. However, I have to say that the blog is getting more popular, and the extra spam comes with the territory, it seems.

August 17th, 2010 | 10:26 AM