Oh My Blog…

December 14th, 2006
Blogging Essays, General

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This is written by Tim from ptvGuy Worthy of note is that this essay was written before my last post on comment spam floods and was submitted a few days ago but was lost in my spam-can.

I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the incredible spam community out there for their unbelievably huge investment of time and thought and innovation in their efforts to spam my blog. I am absolutely in awe of the shear willpower of these people in the face of such widespread rejection. And, quite frankly, I just want them to know what I really think of them, but more on that later. First, I have to take a moment to ask a few questions that I’m certain other people have wondered about.

Has anyone on the planet ever bought a septic tank from a spam email or blog post? Has anyone ever even taken half a second to consider doing so? For that matter, is there anyone out there that has ever even sneezed at the wrong moment or had some kind of spasm that made their finger twitch and accidentally click such a link? I’m just wondering who on earth thought that this was good idea. I’m picturing some poor soul with a nagging spouse demanding that he or she do something RIGHT NOW to sell some tanks or else, and this was the best idea that person could come up with. The alternative, of course, is sheer stupidity, but we won’t go there (yet.)

Does anyone else remember the good old days when a spam post was just one or two links or they even just settled on having their name linked? What on earth made these people decide they could get away with leaving pages upon pages of links like no one would notice? Are there actually enough idiot bloggers out there so desperate for comments on their blog that they willingly leave this stuff unchecked? (Don’t answer that, I really don’t want to know that my suspicions are true.)

Let’s take a moment to think about the concept of click-through. That, after all, is the point of all this garbage. The idea is to get as many people as they can to click on these links and get their browser pointed at whatever’s at the other end. Usually that’s some kind of pay-per-click setup. The more millions of people you can send to a specific page, the more ad clicks you get. That’s why The New York Times reports that “spam messages promoting pornography are 280 times as effective in getting recipients to click on them as messages advertising pharmacy drugs, which are the next most effective type of spam.” I’m trying hard to be shocked by that, but it isn’t working.

The newest trick I’m seeing that seems to have the click-through goal in mind is actually aimed at bloggers themselves. You check your stats and see new incoming links to your blog and decide to see who it is and what the link looks like on their site. Of course, when you get there, there is no link. There are, however, plenty of ads for you to look at and click on. Who knew?

You know what all this tells me? It tells me that people out there are not only making money by annoying us, they’re making money at the expense of our time. We need a class action lawsuit against these people to reimburse us for the time (and money) we’ve had to invest in dealing with them. I’m not just sick of it, I’m pissed as “INSERT SOMETHING REALLY BAD HERE.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously considering getting one of those instant online doctorates they keep spamming me with. I wonder if they have any for internal medicine, because I really want to be the person that gets called in the next time one of these people needs a doctor. I have a whole collection of power tools at my disposal just waiting for such an opportunity. I think that it would be truly appropriate to go in and replace various body parts on these people with literal Spam, you know, the kind that comes in the funny-shaped can. It’s just a matter of poetic justice.

So, while I do indeed wish to publicly acknowledge this vast spam community out there, I’d also really love to publicly expose it. I want to see these people pictured on a spam-offender site similar to the sex-offender websites. I want people to know where to find them in any given neighborhood. I want to personally follow them through a store while they shop and offer them every single item they pass on the aisles. I want to open my coat and flash rows and rows of garbage watches for sale. (I bet you thought I was going to say something else there, huh?) I want people to be knocking on their door at midnight offering to sell them leftover items from their yard sales. But mostly…MOSTLY…I just want these people to go away.




  1. Trent (3 comments.) says:

    Lost in your spam can? I sent in an entry a few days ago … was mine lost, too? I re-sent the entry earlier today.

  2. Mark (118 comments.) says:

    I got yours, thanks.

  3. MatGB (4 comments.) says:

    click-through. That, after all, is the point of all this garbage.

    No. Most blog spam is there to affect search engine rankings so that the site they’re spamming gets higher up in Google. Any clickthroughs they get are entirely incidental.

    Get them to go away? Fine. Install enough spam blocking that it no longer gets to you, and make sure everyone you know (ie friends and non-blogging family) never (ever) buy anything from one of these dodgy sites. Because that’s why the spammers do it, because people do buy stuff. Remove the demand for their products, and the spammers will no longer have a market.

  4. Richard Evans Lee (1 comments.) says:

    Some of these are people buying blog spamming kits with no real clue how effective it may or may not be. Or even much understanding of what they are doing other than “advertising.”

    They aren’t doing any checking or testing. I have sites that never allowed a spam comment through and they get the spambots all day long, every day.

    Plenty of people – even some WordPress plug-in developers who you’d be sure would no better – do leave their systems open to spam comments and aren’t paying much attention because the spam remains on their sites for months. Since the plug-in developers usually have good inbound links it is probably good Google juice for the spammers.

  5. kevh (2 comments.) says:

    I couldn’t agree more, granted Akismet catches a majority of the garbage that comes in, but I still have to go in every few days and clean out the spam posts it has caught. On top of the frustration it puts on readers when a spam post makes it thru, its ever more annoying when you don’t want to block a range of IPs because the bastards are in dynamic IP pools.

    And on Sundays, when I have nothing better to do, I generate a list of the links and submit them to anti-phishing/spam sites. I don’t know how many actually get listed, but my email provider filters for phishing, and I don’t want to be on the receiving end of some script kiddie that makes a good mock-ebay site.

  6. Paul OFlaherty (2 comments.) says:

    Here here! I’m in total agreement! 1372 pieces of spam in the past 4 hours is enough to make anybody was to name and shame these guys.

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