Spam. I don’t get it. I mean, I get the concept of companies endeavouring to sell us stuff by perpetually invading every conceivable orifice of our digital lives; be it inboxes, timelines, newsfeeds or comments boxes. What I don’t get, is exactly what it hopes to achieve and does it really work?
And so, as opposed to my usual material, there’s nothing in this post about getting my book published or interesting writing experiments. There’s also nothing about character naming conundrums or the best/worst way to use an awesome adjective. But there is something about writing. Bad writing. Very, very bad writing. Almost comical writing even.
My blogging friends in particular will recognise the last item in my above list of annoyances: that being the invasion of comments boxes. And this is my reason for putting pen to paper; or finger to keyboard; or whatever idiom best describes this act of having a moan.
The catalyst for this post was a piece of spam I picked up recently in the comments box on my old blog, and if you’re a blogger yourself then I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of them yourself. You know: someone telling you how wonderful your blog is, how it’s enlightened them and how they found all this fantastic information on your site and blah, blah, blah and yadda, yadda yadda.
I’ll get to the offending comment in a second which, I have to say, really was the worst example I’ve ever seen. But before I do, I really must ask exactly what this method hopes to achieve? There’s never any explicit advertising to accompany these bogus comments, so what do they want me to do? Click on the sender’s address? I don’t think so.
And let’s say, for argument’s sake, that I was in the market for whatever the spammer is trying to sell me. In that instance, the very act of spamming my comments box would only serve to put me off their product or service immediately.
In fact, I’d probably take it one step further and go out of my way not to use them simply because I abhor their marketing methods. If I want to buy some antivirus software, improve my website or increase the size of my… well… never mind, then I’ll look for these services myself, thank you very much. Making a stupid comment to sound as if you like my blog accompanied by a link to Common Female Fetishes is just going to make me cross. (No that’s not a real link I’m afraid; just made to resemble one for effect).
This is almost as bad as someone ringing your doorbell while you’re in the middle of dinner to try and sell you some obscure product or get you to sign up to a charity that re-homes war-wounded lemurs. Again, if I want to do something frivolous like that, I’ll do it in my own time. I’m certainly not going to buy it at my doorstep.
The only time I ever did go for this type of selling was when the milkman cold-called me at my front door. But I can excuse that, because he delivers his product directly to my frontdoor, so that’s ok. Plus, most people in the UK (including me) thought the milkman was lost to a bygone era until he came a knockin’ to tell us all otherwise.
Anyway, onto this comment. Now I’m sure these spammers pay cash-strapped English students in some faraway land to write these comments in an effort to slip around the spam filters (which they do of course) but geez people, could you not use a student who can actually speak the language?
Anyway, enough of me rabbiting on. Here’s what I found in my comments box on that fateful day:
“I just could not go away your website prior to suggesting that I really loved the usual information an individual provide to your visitors? Is going to be again continuously to inspect new posts.”
Wasn’t really worth the hype was it?
But I love it.
I love it because it’s just about possible to see what the person who wrote this wanted to say, but they just missed the mark. While I’m baffled by the erroneous question mark, I think the second sentence is sheer class because they’re obviously trying to say, “I’ll be back to look at your future posts”, but they use a most colourful sentence structure that I don’t think one could invent.
In fact, I think I do know who wrote this: It was Yoda.
So that’s it. I just had to get this off my chest and also see if anyone else has had some spam monkey drop a clanger in their comments box that can top the absurdly poor language of this one?
And also – returning to my original question – what are these guys hoping to accomplish? Please enlighten me if you know.
Thanks for reading.
Note: As an addition to this post, I have just read this on another site. “Spammers know that leaving nonsense posts with their website URL in the comments scores them a trackback URL – which raises their Google ranking.” So that explains a lot then…