The Nascent Art of Spam

SPAM! [don't buy]
SPAM! [don’t buy] (Photo credit: dังvid)
It’s been some time since I lasted posted about what ends up in our collective spam folders. As a matter of fact, as of late, I haven’t taken much notice of my spam. I’ve blogged for so long (last week, WordPress informed me I’ve been doing this for the past six years – yikes!), I honestly thought I saw it all. So going through the spam comments doesn’t hold the glee it once had.

But this week I noticed two things:

  1. They’re watching me.
  2. There’s a certain poetry and profundity to their nonsensical prose.

It is not just the NSA watching me

Okay, so maybe I’m on the paranoid side, but haven’t you noticed that when you don’t post, actually do not enter your dashboard to mess with the inner-workings of your blog, you don’t get spam?

I have several blogs. Actually, too many. I have this one that you are reading, of course, and then I have this new one I set up for the anthology I recently published. Then there’s this photo blog I was doing really well maintaining earlier this year, but then flaked. Oh, and there’s my book review blog that has essentially become a mirror of the reviews I post over on SFFWorld.com. Lastly, I have this blog I set up for my dog, but he abandoned it long ago (too much pressure, he said).

Those blogs that I never update? No spam. Not a lick of it.

But as soon as I mess with a widget, change a theme, or (dog-forbid) post something, bam! Spam comments.

That seems obvious, yes. But during my (sometimes) long stretches between posts, I’m still active on WordPress – just not on my blogs. You’d think they’d still spam me if they were tracking general activity. But they are not. They are tracking my specific activity.

For the blogs I’ve abandoned, no spam. For this and others I occasionally post on, spam.

A new art form in the making

You know what I mean. You’ve gotten them, too. Those comments that just seem almost human, almost as if they are saying something meaningful and profound. It’s like computer-poetry or something. This latest one I got is insulting, but nice, too.

For a human, the ability to simultaneously praise and dress-down another human is a skill learned on the hard concrete of a school-yard. And the lesson becomes well ingrained by the time puberty hits. Well, I never learned how to do it, but I admired those around me with the sharp wit that could.

When I got the following comment on my About page, I had to sit back and wonder how long it will be before computers become just like us.

I do noot even know the way I ended up here, but I assumed this post was once good.
I donโ€™t understand who you are but definitely
you are going to a well-known blogger if you happen to arenโ€™t already.

Cheers!

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18 thoughts on “The Nascent Art of Spam

  1. Hello! I have stumbled upon your postings with great interesting. I couldn’t not have lived for today if I did not find this so thanks! Keep going man, you’re doing cool. Also you could visit my sales paging for to spread the words of your new blog friend? Could you and do I blog friends? Thanks man!

    Yeah I just made that up but it makes as much sense as most of the spam that I get. It has rocketed in the last month for some reason. I’m not sure if the putting the Akismet widget is going to help, but it helps me in putting the proverbial two-fingered salute up at the bots.

    I wonder though if they quantity you get is proportional to the regularity of posts or actual web hits, or perhaps a little of both?

    1. You wrote that? Dude, you, too, can be a spammer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I think it has to do with posts and whenever we update a page.

      I updated my About page and got spam on my About page. No visitors actually went to my About page (according to my WordPress stats). The bots *knew* I had updated my About page. Makes you wonder how secure the WordPress interface is. Or they must follow different stats than the ones we are interested in.

      1. I’m a natural spammer! Hmmm…. not quite sure how to take that ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I’ve seen spam jobs on odesk. There are paid jobs for “comment posters” where they expect 5000 comments posted to various blogs and forums every day. I don’t apply for them, the jobs don’t interest me for starters and I don’t think I’d get anything out of it anyway. Saying nothing about the awful rates of pay of course.

      2. I always assumed, as most people did, that they were automatically generated by bots. All I can think is that there must be some that are compiled by actual humans.

        As for the 5000 a day, there’s software that’ll do it for you – I think some article spinning software might have that function. I won’t use it though. I write because I enjoy crafting actual words, not writing one article and then putting it into Skynet to produce 400 variations on the same basic text.

  2. Interesting connection. I may never update my “about” page again! Although, I’m not sure what the purpose of such “robo-comments” might be. Are they thinking you’ll reply and… then what?

    1. Yeah, I’ve always wondered about that, too. Just what are they after? Do they really think we are going to click through to their site?

      I suppose at least a few people do and that’s all they need.

      1. Ah, grasshopper, but it does have meaning. You just don’t understand it – yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Joking, of course. And I agree. Especially those really long ones in Chinese characters or Russian. Go figure.

    1. Not sure if any of that is worthy of congratulations. After six years, I am not that popular and despite having so many blogs, I rarely blog anything of substance. (And I still haven’t published a novel!)

      But, hey, life is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Not surprising since many of us do not understand the deeper workings of the programs we use everyday. While people no longer have to work with programming codes due to Windows, that does not mean it is not there for people to play with and exploit.

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