Tag Archives: commenting

“Legitimizing” Spam?

How many times have I talked about spam? Well, let’s see. I talked about dealing with >Russian spam>. I talked about spam that seemed to be coming out of the wood works when I was talking about Compete Rank, and I talked about it a week ago when I talked about hating spam.

SPAM!
Luc De Leeuw via Compfight

I still hate spam, but now I’m seeing a different kind of spam, and if I’m seeing it, I know you’re seeing it also.

I’m talking about a specialized spam that’s advertising software that will send out comment spam. Talk about being bold and upfront about what you are! I even decided to visit a couple of these sites, putting the name of the company into Google first just to make sure they weren’t sites whose purpose was to drop drive-by malware onto my system.

Nope; in their own way, they’re attempting to be “legitimate” businesses by actually having safe domain names, without much contact information of course, and some of them are one page sites where you can click to purchase the software. Most of the sites actually said “send messages to millions of blogs at the same time”; no sir, that can’t be good for anyone.

This left me with many questions that maybe someone else can help me with.

One, uhhh, isn’t spam illegal?

Two, how the heck can the “regular” people who might think to try this stuff actually get away with it more than once, since their ISP would have to catch on? I mean, does the software actually know how to get around that one?

Three, if there’s software that helps explain all the spam we presently get, didn’t anyone deign to teach those who are using it a little bit of proper grammar. I mean, most spam is written quite poorly.

I’m not alone in writing about the topic of spam these days. Most stories are the one surrounding the ISP that got shut down and supposedly reduced the amount of spam by 70%; I didn’t see that. There was even one study that was done by scientists through a seized part of a spammer’s network, where they were able to send out 469 million pieces of spam and only got 28 “attempted sales” (they didn’t actually sell the product since it was a study, so all sales requests were rejected. So, the conclusion was that spammers have to work really hard to make sales, which is why they exist; anyone feeling sympathy for these folks yet?

I like the idea I came up with while talking to someone on Twitter about this yesterday. Let’s find out who they are, and take some sledgehammers, break down the doors, and destroy all of their computers. It might not stop anything, but it would sure feel good for a little while.
 

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Is It Easy To Comment On Your Blog?

I just left a post on another blog. The blog required me to register first, then it sent me a password so I could fully register and add any pertinent information I wished to. It’s a WordPress blog, so I’m familiar with it.

Thing is, the blog has been in existence for almost 18 months, and there’s never been a comment. I would pretty much figure it’s because the blog owner makes one have to register first. I usually don’t register for blogs, but in this case I made an exception. I don’t usually like doing it for three reasons. One, it takes time away from my commenting; when I want to comment, I want to comment now, while I’m thinking about it. Two, it gives the blog owner a feeling that they can start sending me all sorts of email that I don’t want or need; I’ll visit the blog and possibly read or buy stuff when I want to. And three, you can’t unregister; I tried on this one blog and finally just fudged an email address, because the writer was inundating me needlessly with updates, then updates on the updates; enough already.

There are other blogs I’ve left messages on, only to receive an email asking me to click on it to prove that it’s me. It’s easy enough to do, but it leaves me wondering if I want to continue dealing with it long term; I’d rather you just read the comment and determine if you want it on your site or not. A couple of times my entry has never shown up on one of those sites anyway, which left me feeling like I wasted my time. And, if I feel like I’m wasting my time, you’re probably not going to get any love back in the form of links or even being added to the blogroll some day.

I never had it set up that people needed to register for my site (though some do anyway), but I realized fairly early on that I was going to have to add something to stop as much spam as was coming through. I first loaded Botcheck, which took care of a lot of stuff but not nearly enough. I then loaded Bad Behavior, but the same was occurring. Finally I added Akismet, which is supreme, and it catches virtually everything. On my business blog, I added a plugin that makes people put in a randomly generated number. I haven’t had to go that far with this one, as Askimet seems to be doing a great job on its own.

The main idea of your blog is to encourage others to comment; at least that’s usually the intention. You share your ideas, and you hope others will either validate your thoughts or offer something new. If you’re just writing for yourself, then that’s something entirely different; enjoy that. Some folks don’t have comments open at all; their choice. But if you’re going to do it, make it easy.

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