Figuring Out Live Comment Spam

I know I’m not the only one having problems figuring out which comments are real and which ones are spam these days. Strangely enough, the problem isn’t with the stuff that’s very obviously spam, or with people who you know. It’s the fact that there are enough people who write badly that sometimes you’re not sure if someone is an awful writer or if it’s live comment spam.

Here are four issues I seem to have; let me know if you have them as well:

1. Punctuation but no spaces between it. How many people do you know that write a sentence, add a period, then immediately start writing without a space between the period and the next sentence? I hate to admit this but I know quite a few, and I just don’t get it. I mean, it looks weird to my eyes and one would think it would look weird to everyone but it doesn’t. So, one can’t automatically use that as a determining factor.

2. No punctuation at all but you know the next sentence is coming because the beginning word is capitalized. Once again, I know people who do this; just what are they teaching in school these days?

3. Sentences missing words to keep a coherent flow in meaning. Heck, that’s so common that even I notice that I do it every blue moon, probably because I type too fast. Your mind just seems to pop those words in there whether you typed them or not.

4. Because someone uses your name, you tend to believe it’s someone who’s actually reading the post and writing you something personal. However, knowing that people are paid to post comments to blogs and link back to other websites, these things suddenly become suspect, though they’re hard to discern.

See what I mean? None of these fits the qualification of comment idiocy that I’ve talked about before or pretty much any of the other comment issues I’ve seen before. Frankly, I’d have to admit that this is a conundrum because these people are able to bypass the GASP plugin and also bypass the Akismet spam filter easier.

Although it takes time, one thing I do is click on the link these people are leaving to see if the page it takes me to has writing as bad as what I’m seeing on the site. For instance, if English is the second language for some folks, the writing on their blog or website, if it’s also in English, will probably be just as bad; at least that’s what I’ve noticed. If it’s consistent then I kind of assume it’s probably legit. If not, then my mind says “spam” and I’ll “unapprove” the comment for a day. I do that to see if the person who wrote the comment will come back and wonder where their comment is, or will leave comments on other new posts I write.

When I’m not really sure… in those times I’ll leave the comment and I’ll comment on it to see what happens. I know people get notified when I respond to their comments because I’ve tested it so I figure it’s now become an experiment of sorts.

Yeah, some of these things take time, but I think it’s worth it to make my space legitimate across the board. What’s your thought? Oh yeah; couldn’t figure out what image to add to this post so this is a area of my office. lol

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Bad Writing Kills Sci-Fi Shows

Recently it was announced that the show Caprica on the SyFy Network was being canceled for, or course, low ratings. People have started speculating on the dearth of science fiction shows and how they’re dying out and coming up with all sorts of reasons for the possible demise.

One site called Airlock Alpha had its writer come to a determination that what was killing many of these shows was injecting religion into the mix. Indeed, it lists Caprica, Lost, and the final shows of the very popular Battlestar Galactica as shows that decided to inject a religious bent into them and, for whatever reason, drove people away.

I tend to take a different view of this type of thing, and in a weird way it can be related to blogging as well. I tend to believe that some science fiction shows, like shows in other genres, might fail because of bad writing. Well, not necessarily always bad writing as much as a loss of what the shows were supposed to be about in the first place.

For instance, there was a great show called The 4400 on the USA Network. The first season, and it seems funny calling it a season since it started with, I believe, 8 or 10 shows, was absolutely fantastic. The general premise was that people had gone missing over decades and suddenly one day they all show up in Seattle, 4400 of them, with no recollection of where they’ve been. And, over the first set of shows, all of them started showing signs of genetic mutation that gave them superhuman powers of some sort, all different.

The second season came and everything went into the trash. No one had any idea what was going on with the show; it was like they had started a totally new series as opposed to continual exploration of what was happening beforehand, and that was that for the series. Nothing made sense; and you really weren’t sure who to pull for and who the bad guys were supposed to be. What you did know, though, was that it had nothing to do with religion.

For that matter the Sarah Connor Chronicles, one of the most awaited science fiction shows in history, flopped for the very same reason. The pilot was very good, but after that, the show made absolutely no sense. When the cyborg that’s come back starts having “flashbacks” of being a young girl when she not only was never alive but didn’t have a past to even be considering, you knew someone had been watching Dallas in the 80’s and decided adding ridiculous scenes was what made that show good (supposedly; I never could watch that stuff either).

In other words, bad ideas and bad writing killed those shows, not religion. I’m not a religious person, as you know, but this is one time where I just can’t let religion take it on the chin for something that has nothing to do with it.

The same kind of thing goes for blogs. I personally believe that almost any type of blog has an opportunity to make a big and positive impact in some fashion if some of the writing was better, and I’m not talking about spelling. Unique ideas, or old ideas written in a different and entertaining way will help a blog sustain itself. Being informational or even confrontational can help as well. But if you take a position on something such as gun control and the best you can write is “I don’t believe in gun control because I want to shoot my guns at stuff”, your blog is going to fail. Even supporters would be ashamed to own up to stupid writing like that.

As another point, in closing, I believe that Caprica ended up running into the same type of problem that Enterprise ran into. It’s hard doing a prequel to a popular show because we’ve already gotten used to certain things. A one time movie explaining the history of something works really well, but a full series is hard to pull off, and hard to keep on direction. As much as I loved Enterprise, as well as every other Star Trek themed show, it ultimately lost its direction in one full year by leaving what people expected in the series, that being ever changing themes and “baddies” along the way, not spending an entire year on one theme and then, when everyone thinks “finally, they’ve ended that arc”, going in a totally different and confusing direction; anyone who ever watched the show knows what I’m talking about (it went from chasing aliens who wanted to destroy earth from afar to aliens suddenly being Nazis; what the hey?).

Of course all this is my opinion, so I ask you what your opinion is. And it doesn’t have to be on science fiction; in your opinion, what type of thing usually kills new TV shows, if you watch TV?

Star Trek T-Shirt: Live Long and Prosper T-Shirt

Star Trek T-Shirt: Live Long and Prosper T-Shirt






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