Spam is the sincerest form of flattery

When I first started this blog, there were not particularly many readers, and I didn’t show up on any search engines.

Nowadays, I find my self at the top of the list for certain kinds of Google searches, and have a regular smattering of readers.

With the increase in attention comes the innevitable spam. I don’t receive spam to my email, rather I get spam in the form of comments to articles that I’ve written.

How do I know they are spam?
The email they come from is fairly generic (not a personal name)
The comment is extremely generic and could apply to any blog entry by anyone
“I really like this subject, you’re doing great…”
The comment is posted on a relatively old article
etc.

It’s increasingly interesting how the spammers put in little details from the blog entry to make it look more legit. For example, it might actually say “I like your coverage of OpenScad, I have a question, can you give me your email…”. On an article that was written about OpenScad.

There are tell-tale signs that the thing might not be legit. In a surprising number of cases, the language itself is not particularly good. Reminds me of the email scams coming from Nigeria. In other cases, I actually try to contact the author, and of course there’s no response. Sometimes these people become “followers”, which makes it worse, because they’ll get an email every time I post something new, and have a chance to tag along another comment, to lure others to their web sites.

I say it’s flattery, because it means there’s enough traffic through my site to make it a worthwhile target for such fun. On the other hand, it’s probably so easy to do that it’s nothing more than an indication of how easy it is to tack spam onto a blog by using the comments/follower capability.

I’m going to take it as flattery, because I choose to.

At any rate, I get to click on the “Spam” filter every once in a while. If you have legitimately left a real comment, and you feel incensed that I spammed it, please don’t feel bad, and just post again, and I’ll know that you’re either legit, or that the spammers have become that much more sophisticated.

Such is the way of things in our modern internet.

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