In a long forgotten post I spoke about spam. It is so forgotten that it was never transferred to my updated website… three (four) years ago? The spammers haven’t forgotten me, though, have they? I get a modest amount of spam each week, and I hope it will remain so because I find spam boring. They’re like the telemarketers. The people who phone you with ‘number withheld’, only to assail you with gleeful news that – well, you know the rest, don’t you? It’ll cost you money and you won’t see much – if any – of it again.
It was when visiting a blog run by an anthroposophist who runs a speech training centre down under, that I saw something odd.
There was a comment on her blog that said, “Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying these details.” To which this learned anthroposophist responded: “Thanks for that. The whole experience of teaching in Asia was wonderful for me too.”
Which shouldn’t strike anybody as odd – save that the commenter called themselves “Moving Los Angeles” and there’s a link to a real estate firm in… you guessed it, Los Angeles.
Now this blogger is a person who describes herself as having “40 odd years experience teaching adolescents, teachers and adults.” All this experience and she still can’t spot a spammer?
It is important to note that this blogger obviously thought that the comment was genuine, and was so overwhelmed at getting a comment at all that she gleefully accepted it. I will add that it ‘pushed all her buttons’ – that is to say, it spoke to her in her language. Positivity without any negativity.
That’s not how you deal with adolescents, but that’s what forty years’ experience should have taught you.
If you are going to spot things like spam, you have to know what they want from you. In this case, the spammer melted this woman’s heart…
Gullibility is a difficult disease to cure, and it may take longer than 40 years. I’ll add that the gullible have only themselves to blame if they remain so…
Item 2: From The Archives.
Digging into my own spam bin, I fished out a few that give an idea what spamming is all about. I received this one from Micah:
Hi There! We are searching for experienced people that might be interested in from working their home on a full-time basis. If you want to earn $500 a day, and you don’t mind creating some short opinions up, this is the perfect opportunity for you! Simply click the link here NOW!
The sting here is the “$500 a day” and is sure to make a few ears prick. Now bear in mind that this is the kind of spam that isn’t actually intended for moderation in that it is aimed – at least in part – at the blogger himself. They are writers, after all… and $500 a day is a substantial sum.
So what do they pay for?
Do I honestly need to tell you?
You’d be working as a spammer! You’d be organizing your own weasel words to entrap the likes of ‘Lonely Down-Under’. It looks like a lucrative deal, given that most bloggers don’t think too much about what they’re doing… and so click the link. That’ll bring this spammer… five cents? More? Doubtful. Less? Possibly. Spamming is hard work.
In fact, spamming is hard, boring work. Work that is easily automated – and with there being no charge for emails, you can send of ten million emails a day and it’ll not cost you a penny. That is, after all, why we have spam filters. There was a problem on one of Microsoft’s servers (I think it was them, it was one of the poorer quality email clients like Outlook or Yahoo) and their spam filter broke. People opened their mailbox expecting to find three unopened emails… only to find it’s bulging at the seams with three hundred? Imagine sifting through that lot with your morning coffee to try and find the message from your daughter?
What a grind!
And they’re all trying to sell viagra to divorced women… never mind that. It’s obvious that spammers haven’t ever read Claude Hopkins… Few marketers have, but that’s another story waiting to be written.
Spam Item Number Three.
It’s from Tami Sandoval:
I was just looking at your An Odd Kind Of Inflation. | Ponderings website and see that your site has the potential to become very popular. I just want to tell you, In case you don’t already know… There is a website network which already has more than 16 million users, and the majority of the users are interested in topics like yours. By getting your website on this network you have a chance to get your site more visitors than you can imagine. It is free to sign up…
I’ll not make you suffer the rest of the drivel.
Firstly, this is aimed at the moderator and not the general public. Albeit that it’s a boon if it was published – if any moderator was so dimwitted as to do so.
Now, to many people, sixteen million people is a lot. It’s fair to say that this is a helluva lot more than my website will ever get by way of visitors. In internet terms, though, sixteen million is tiny. An acquaintance of mine bought a billion facebook ‘likes’ – and knows what to do with them to make a serious profit. The internet is all about large scale business.
But we’re not dealing with reality here: we’re dealing with what people are comfortable in believing… and the two are only the same on the rarest of occasions. For most people, sixteen million is a lot, and is believably so. What is essential to note here is the plausibility of a lie, and Fake News depends on plausibility.
Because yes, this is another post that shows what Fake News relies on.
Part of which has to do with traffic, but only tangentially – and the upcoming post will explore that in detail.
Item Four. Total Gibberish.
I precisely wished to say thanks once more. I am not sure what I would have tried without the entire aspects documented by you on such a problem. It actually was the terrifying scenario in my opinion, however , viewing your specialized strategy you handled that forced me to weep over delight. I’m just happy for the service and in addition believe you comprehend what a great job that you’re doing teaching people today with the aid of your webpage. I am certain you have never encountered any of us.
No doubt a few people might allow this kind of thing if they were about to go to bed. Only to read it in the morning and wonder what the hell that commenter is trying to say. Everybody is happy, everybody can be friendly and happy together (remind you of someone down under?). It is the perfect example of management speak: it says everything to everybody, and in doing so, actually says nothing at all. I will remind you that the world revolves on businesses that try to placate. I took down my shingle as a marketer when I realized that a firm of a reasonable size could increase their profits by ten percent.
By stopping the fight between their sales and their marketing departments.
Nobody wants to deal with that because, well, you see, they are all very nice people.
:Rolls Eyes Heavenwards:
And what, pray, do they say to you under their breath, the moment your back is turned? I will remind you that you are paying these people to take a hatchet to your business model. And all you can do is blabber fucking platitudes? No wonder the economy’s creaking!
I will add that the Dutch are expert at this kind of insanity. That again is for another post.
Item 5: From Maureen Dixon.
I was excited to discover this web site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new information on your web site.
I was so delighted to get a comment, it really made my day. She spoke to my heart! Compassion flowed because I knew they had read and understood every word of what I had written about. It made me feel that my work wasn’t in vain, that I was doing some good for the world and that someone at long, long last, had appreciated all my hard work.
So I fucking spammed it.