The shittiest part of running a blog is cleaning up spam comments. I just created a blog for a friend the other day, and in one day there was already a paragraphs long comment about the Chinese Service Mall Adsense Union. It's like plugging a phone into the wall and then immediately getting a robocall about how your car warranty supposedly expired. Wordpress users have it easier. There's a free service called Askimet that aggressively stops spam, though it sometimes suppresses real comments too. There's no perfect solution to the spam problem. ...except to change the tone of comment spam itself. Traditionally, spam comments have been giant blocks of gibberish with links to penis pills, online poker and online poker where the prize is penis pills. Obviously, you're gonna want to delete these "comments" immediately, and curse the blog gods for putting them there. However, a new wave of spam comment is upon us. Let's call it "Swell Spam." "Swell Spam" is usually just a few words, anything from "hilarious" to "i like your blog" to "this is a very good article - thanks for posting!" You can tell it's spam because it's impersonal, there's no capitalization and the URL link attached to the comment is for ExtenZe coupons.

Strangely, I don't mind this kind of spam at all. Sure, spammers benefit because they got their link onto my regularly updated blog. However, my site benefits as well. Having more nice comments posted encourages real users to comment, and makes my blog seem more populated. Hopefully, they won't notice that the comments are Swell Spam and just think, "hey, I should comment too -- just like this guy who runs the online blackjack site did." Everybody wins. In fact, this makes me wonder about spam in general. If it was more useful or entertaining, maybe I wouldn't need to auto-delete it. Send me good restaurant recommendations or tips on getting free Wi-Fi along with the link to your Hollywood SuperFood Diet. I would certainly be more likely to click on it than an email that reads, "PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS AGENT - You are to receive a cash prize of $2,500,000.00." A spoonful of valued content helps the advertisement go down. Television puts shows in between the commercials -- give it a try, Spam. Meanwhile, you can keep calling my blog "very funny." I know you don't mean it, but thanks.


Geoffrey Golden, Apachennov, ARTICLES

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