Electronic mailing list

Spam! I bet I get more than you do!

These days I get approximately two spam messages for every real hit on my site. Since I average between two and three hundred hits on a normal day, I get at least five or six hundred spam messages. Is this a record? Should I be proud of this? Or worried?

Among the many questions I ask the universe, and one of many to which I will never have an answer is: How did a slimy, over-salted canned meat come to be synonymous with pornographic electronic junk mail?

Even more puzzling is that people really eat Spam. You may take that any way you like.

Most of my spam comes from a Spanish list server (lista de emails … anything you get from this address is spam) and 80% of these are also porn. The rest of them are scams. Legitimate companies do not send thousands of illiterate, nonsensical messages to random blogs.

Then, there are those who ask for advice. They use some version of this message as a comment to a randomly selected post.

“These are in fact fantastic ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Huh? What? It gets better. For completely incoherent, this is one of my favorites. I receive several dozen of these every day:

“Fine way of explaining, and fastidious paragraph to take information concerning my presentation focus, which i am going to convey in academy. Watch Elementary Season 1 Episode 5 Online”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

A few of my best friends and followers always get mixed in with the spam, so I can’t just go and delete it. I have to read through it. Sometimes there are 10 to 15 pages of it at a time, sometimes more, but since there are usually some few real comments mixed in, I have to at least look through all the pages. Every once in a while, something looks like it might be the real deal … a true comment, but I can’t always tell.

If you’ve been trying to comment and aren’t showing up, probably you’re getting dumped into the spam and because I don’t recognize you, you’re getting deleted. If you are a real person, please say something that identifies you as a human and not a machine generated message. I apologize in advance if I have over-zealously deleted you.

I know that I am by no means alone in getting tons of this garbage. WordPress does a good job finding it and putting into the spam folder. I wish there was some way to tell them to just delete anything with the word “Viagra” in it. Or “porn” or “hot sex” of for that matter, “lista de email.” That would cut down significantly on the volume because I’m reasonably sure that no one with something to say includes any of those terms in their comments or uses “lista de email” as their ISP.

My question is this: what do these spammers hope to accomplish by sending me this stuff? The messages never have anything to do with the posts with which they are supposed to be associated. Many of them are repeats and clearly generated on a computer programmed by someone whose native language is not English. Most of gibberish. But then again so are most posts of Facebook, so maybe that’s not a good example.

There are the ones that warns me my blog doesn’t display properly on the sender’s computer in Internet Explorer (why would I care?). There’s are three or four versions assuring me I am brilliant, they love my post about (insert post title) and promise they will tell everyone how useful the information is on my web blog (they always call it a web blog).

The thing is, while there are many ways you could describe my site, no one could honestly say (not even me) that it’s full of useful information. My stuff may be interesting, thought-provoking, occasionally funny, off-beat and apocryphal, but useful? I don’t consider it useful and I write it.

There are those that request I exchange links with them and those that would love an invitation to write for my blog, those who suggest I come to their site to see huge penises, hot lesbian sex, hot gay sex, hot sexy sex, huge breasts, gigantic butts, and attractive ladies doing disgusting things with inanimate objects. If not, they would like to sell me some Viagra.

Does anyone actually believe this will generate business? Make money? If they believe this, why do they believe it? Does anyone ever respond to these “messages”? So many questions, so few answers.

If anyone has an answer, let me know. I’m baffled.

Meanwhile, feel free to visit the Spam website. You’ll be glad to know that Spam now comes in a wide variety of flavors, including a low sodium version that dodges the question of  all that fat but lowers the salt level. The site includes recipes, a Spam Museum (no joke), and an online shop where you can buy Spam gear, such as caps, tee shirts, and other strange and wonderful things.

So maybe I do include useful information. I guess it depends on how you feel about Spam.

Spam! Canned meat and junk email!

Among the many dark secrets to which I will never have an answer is this: How did a slimy, over-salted canned meat switch its identity and become pornographic electronic junk mail? Inquiring minds want to know. Even more puzzling is that there are people, mainly men and usually bachelors who like Spam. You may take that any way you like.

Every day I get a ton of spam, virtually speaking. I receive dozens, sometimes hundreds, of spammed messages. Most of them are from a Spanish list server (lista de emails … everything from this address is spam) and of these, about 80% of them are some kind of porn. The rest of them are from advertising web sites that may or may not be legitimate. I am inclined to suspect they are all scams. Legitimate companies do not send thousands of illiterate and nonsensical messages to random blogs.

Then, there are those who ask for advice. They use some version of this message as a comment to a randomly selected post.

“These are in fact fantastic ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Huh? What? It gets better. For completely incoherent, this is one of my favorites. I receive several dozen of these every day:

“Fine way of explaining, and fastidious paragraph to take information concerning my presentation focus, which i am going to convey in academy. Watch Elementary Season 1 Episode 5 Online”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Since a few real comments are always mixed with the spam, I can’t delete it en mass without checking to make sure I’m not deleting a genuine comment.

I know that I am by no means alone in getting tons of this garbage. WordPress does a good job finding it and putting into the spam folder. There are a few false negatives and every once in a while, a couple of false positives, but over all, the spam filter is surprisingly accurate and efficient.

My question is this: what do these spammers hope to accomplish by sending me tons of email that is blatantly junk? The messages, even when they are arguably coherent, never have anything to do with the posts with which they are supposed to be associated. Many of them are repeats and clearly generated on a computer programmed by someone whose native language is not English.

There’s the one that warns me my blog doesn’t display properly on the sender’s computer in Internet Explorer (why would I care?). There’s are three or four versions assuring me I am absolutely brilliant, they love my post about (insert post title) and promise they will tell everyone how useful the information is on my web blog (they always call it a web blog). The thing is, while there are many ways you could describe my site, it isn’t filled with useful information. My stuff may be interesting, sometimes thought-provoking, occasionally funny, off-beat and apocryphal, but useful? I don’t consider it useful and I write it.

There are those that request I exchange links with them (over my dead body, pen clutched in my cold fist). And those that would love an invitation to write for my blog (over my rotting corpse), plus those who suggest I come to their site to see huge penises, hot lesbian sex, hot gay sex, hot sexy sex, huge breasts, gigantic butts, and attractive ladies doing disgusting things with inanimate objects. If not, they would like to sell me some Viagra.

Does anyone actually believe this is going to generate business? Make money? If they believe this, why do they believe it? Does anyone ever respond to these “messages”? So many questions, so little time.

If anyone has an answer, let me know. I’m baffled. Meanwhile, feel free to visit the Spam website. You’ll be glad to know that Spam now comes in a wide variety of flavors, including a low sodium version that dodges the question of  all that fat but lowers the salt level. The site includes recipes, a Spam Museum (no joke), and an online shop where you can buy Spam gear, such as caps, tee shirts, and other strange and wonderful things. So maybe I do include useful information. I guess it depends on how you feel about spam.

 

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