The Thing about SPAMs

“You need to join a contest initial of the greatest blog on the web. I will recommend this website!”

That was among the common, nicely put-across comments designed to make new bloggers like me become way over my head, thinking that my pieces might have been worthy enough for global consumptions. The first few similar-sounding comments didn’t make me upset enough to keep them in my spam box. Although I have suspected why WordPress automatically classified them as spams, their contents were sufficiently flattering or moderately constructive that I thought approving them would definitely bring traffics to my site. Hence, I began to respond, and approve, such messages.

Nevertheless, day by day my suspicion to such unsolicited comments, regardless of their legitimacy, grew as I started to pay close attention to the huge influx of comments getting into my spam box. Before, 5 was a relatively small number, almost insignificant that I didn’t mind going through them one by one. Today I could have 30 to 40, or even more, spams within a day, and it has now become annoying to read each one in search for a genuine responder – a missed spam or a false positive.

Anyway, somewhat I went to study all those comments, out of curiousity, and turned out to enjoy learning human behaviour simply from analysing what spammers wrote. Forgetting about those with clearly commercial nature, consequently, I managed to come up with these four characteristics of WordPress spams:

1. Strange numerical code

It is unlikely that spammers would attribute their comments with specific codes making them easily identifiable. So, I guess Akismet does it job very well, scrutinizing responders with commercial or promotional back links. No people behaviour lesson gained here!

Comments ended with odd codes

2. Vague content

Sometimes spammers send you unclear comments and those that are definitely irrelevant with the context of your writing. Worse still, they drop notes that are not even in the language you use to populate your blog. How weird!

a) I’m not German, and b) Who’s Grace?

3. Odd locations

What puzzled me most is the fact that those comments, despite some being quite civil, are dropped in locations that are least likely popular. How in the world that numerous individuals, men and women, would fancy fine, long dresses and say, “I completely agree with you on this matter?”

4. Generic contents

Most spammers wouldn’t bother to read and fine tune their comments to at least suit the context of the blog post. They would simply copy a single generic message they created or took from other websites and paste it irresponsibly on others’ blogs. I called them “lazy”, as in L-A-Z-Y.

There are several natures of lazy spams, including those that are relatively modest, in flattering or giving feedback, rather over the top, and officially disguised.

Can you tell the “lazy” nature of each comment?

However, the best out of all “lazy” comments I received was a simple “Great task!” At least it was complimentary.

One comment that might have earn a tiny bit of my respect sounds as if he or she actually read my post, saying thanks despite it’s a bit too late to comment. Well, maybe he or she had purposely searched for older posts to spam on.

Has he or she actually read the post?

On a lighter note, as bad as spamming may sound, it may be wise to think that spammers do what they do mostly to fulfill their livelihood. As spamming is an unauthorised form of marketing effort, we could also consider spammers as marketing staff or officers who get paid to do their job, or earn their income from it. So, regardless of how irritating receiving spams might be, I believe they are just doing their share of lives – pushing their luck to the end without considering how others might feel. Therefore, we can be forgiving of their action.

I can’t believe I once supported the idea of sending an e-mail blast, which is identic to spamming, months ago to my company’s marketing department. How naive!

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