In Praise Of Spam

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spam-comments

Spam – good stuff in blogs and sandwiches!

This is a guest post by Jennifer Syrkiewicz a blog writer, and Director of Stilus Communications, a small company which specialises in producing high-impact, low-cost blog articles for busy businesses.

If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

When I was a kid, my mother used to make me Spam sandwiches. If anyone has ever tried Spam, they’ll know it is a mournful fusion of entrails from pigs, blocked together in a colourful can. The name is supposed to originate from the phrase ‘Shoulder of Pork and Ham’, but anyone who has eaten the stuff knows really it stands for ‘Something Posing As Meat’, or ‘Spare Parts Animal Muck’.

The thing is, I liked Spam when I was younger. I have fond memories of curling up with a plate of Spam and pickle sandwiches and watching television. I think that’s why now, as a blogger, I take great delight in getting spam mail on my site.

The joy of your first comment…and the disappointment that it is spam

As my blog has grown, I have been beset by superb spamming mails posing as comments and feedback. When I was a newbie, I seized upon my first spam comment with great enthusiasm. How fantastic, that James from ‘Elongate your schlong’ wanted to discuss the beauty of language with me! I read his comment, confused as to what the link between Viagra and Virginia Woolf could be. I relegated it to the trash, disappointed, when I realised that James just wanted me to purchase from him and didn’t really like my post.

Over time, I have learned to delete spam, no matter how engaging and well written it is. I have come to know that Abi from the URL ‘greatboobs.com’ possibly doesn’t want to hire me as a blog writer. Despite this newfound cynicism, I have to admit I get a lot of pleasure from reading my spam comments. Someone out there is diligently crafting smashing snippets to adorn my blog, in the hope that I will be conned in to purchasing breast enlargements. Fantastic!

Championing the diligence of the humble spammer

I thought I’d share some of my favourite recent comments with you. They demonstrate the resourcefulness and brilliance that is spamming:

‘I admit, I haven’t been on webpage in a long time… however it had been an additional pleasure to see It is this kind of an essential topic and ignored by so numerous, even professionals. I thank you to help making people a lot more aware of feasible issue Excellent stuff as usual…’

‘Excellent post! I’m just starting out in community management and trying to discover how to do it nicely. The example above is something that I worry about as nicely, how to show your own genuine enthusiasm and write about the fact that your item is useful in that case.’

‘Perhaps you have considered adding extra video clips about automotive leak repair to your blog posts to hold the visitors further entertained?’

‘I love what you guys are always too. Such bright job and reporting! Continue the great works guys I’ve added to my blogroll. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.’

‘I reading something else regarding this on another blog. Your linear perspective on this is diametrically contradicted to what We examine to begin with. I am still mulling more the diverse points of look at, however I’m leaning to a great toward your. And regardless, that is superb regarding modern democracy.’

‘Several for taking the time to discuss this, I experience strongly regarding it and really enjoy learning a powerful on this topic. If likely, as you gain expertise, would you updating your location with some what information? It is particularly effective for me.’

Opening up a surreal world online

My all time favourite comment to date was from someone responding to a post I did on how to write a great resume.

It read:

I found this post when I was searching for advice online about how to deal with a heart attack. Thank you for the useful information.’

Someone was having a heart attack, and they took time out to read about CV etiquette? Why?

The beauty of the language of spam can’t be ignored. I love picking out strange dialects and mulling over the thoughts that may lie behind each sentence. As internet entrepreneurs, we are constantly hearing about why spam is bad, and that bloggers need to stamp it out. For myself, I hope I always get these beautiful snippets of craziness on my blog. It makes me remember why so many people choose to outsource their writing to professionals.

What’s your view on spam comments?

Please share your views in the comments below.

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46 Responses to In Praise Of Spam

  1. Rhys July 21, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Hate spam comments.

    No other way to say it I’m afraid!

    My personal favourite was praising the “feng shui of my RSS feed” (seriously).

    I’ve written plugins to hopefully stop the spam comments. As a small plug (yeah sorry!) check them out on my blog 😀
    .-= Rhys´s last blog ..My Take on the thesiswp Drama =-.

  2. Ellie K July 21, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    The people at SAS, a very high-end statistical and predictive analytics software company, was so puzzled by what they referred to as intelligently written spam that they devoted an entire article to it, and invited all previous spammers to comment. They received over 50 responses from past spam commenters who explained their rationale and motivations. It was rather fascinating and sweet. Note that none indicated any remorse nor inclination to cease spam comments though!

    I recommend Akismet to combat blog comment spam. In addition, I have a list of about 100 not-allowed, “automatically reject” words which I use as a comment filter. It deters most of the porn spam.

    The current spam trend on my blogs is bargain basement prices for second-hand backhoes and diesel generators from the Russian Federation. And of course Viagra and Cialis.

    • Jen July 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Ellie,

      Thank you for yoru comment – it’s absolutely great to see the rationale behind some of the spam comments, as the ‘other side’ of spamming. I don’t think there’s much need for remorse, as they do bring a lot of laughs in to my life!

      Jen
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..On cutting the crap as a small business owner =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

      Ellie,

      I use the plugin wp-antispam to help reduce the spam I get.

      I receive my fair share of ‘loans’ ones.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Advice´s last blog ..Blogging Advice- Top 10 Errors In Blogging =-.

  3. Vipin July 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I also hate spam, but unfortunately i don’t think there is any perfect solution which can automate this process of deleting spammy comments with perfection. Although there are some plugins which help you to get somehow out of this but yet also some slip away which are enough to frustrate you.
    By the way this phrase “I liked Spam when I was younger” tells everything about this, spammers are hungry of getting links to their site and that’s why they spam isn’t it 🙂
    .-= Vipin@Romantic SMS´s last blog ..Romantic SMS – 20-07-10 =-.

    • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

      Hi Vipin, thanks for commenting. You made me smile – Spammers are hungry! There is still some pleasure to be had from going in to your blog periodically (with wine) and manually working through the spam, just for the fun of it!
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

  4. Tia July 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    I think spam is a little tacky, yet completely understand the sentiment behind it. People want shortcuts. I think what makes spammers so despised is their willingness to sort of use you for their own gain. It can only be beneficial in mass numbers, since they know that the likelihood of getting approved on a high quality blog is so low.

    That said, gotta love spam comments! I posted some ridiculous ones once. Every now and then reading through them is really great for a laugh.

    Cheers,
    Tia
    .-= Tia´s last blog ..Two Cents Tuesday- Some Blogs Get Better with Age =-.

    • Tia July 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

      Sorry – need to clarify. “I posted some ridiculous ones” meant that I posted the spam comments that I received on my blog, not that I was the one posting spam comments all over the place.

      🙂

      • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

        Hi Tia!

        I was intrigued for a minute there and thought you were confessing to being a closet spammer! I post up the best of mine often on the blog. Goes to show that spam comes in handy sometimes.
        .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

  5. David Stillwagon July 21, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    My father loved spam so my mother cooked it regularly. Strangely enough he eat quite a bit of it in WWII and he liked it! I couldn’t stand but I ate it anyway.
    As for the comments spam I have one blog in particular that gets an enormous amount of spam! Your examples are spot on.
    .-= David Stillwagon´s last blog ..Lunge for stronger legs =-.

    • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

      Thank you for commenting, David. My husband likes Spam too. I blame this on the fact that he is from Yorkshire.
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

  6. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella July 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I must admit to also liking Spam as a child. My mother use to make Spam salad sandwiches. A concoction of spam, green pickle relish and Miracle Whip mayonnaise style salad dressing. I thought that they were heavenly. No accounting for childhood tastes I guess. LOL

    It certainly is interesting to read the crazy spam comments. They can indeed be quite entertaining. I wonder how many times they actually get published? Someone out there must be publishing them. Otherwise you think the spam authors would stop writing them.
    .-= Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella´s last blog ..@font-face The Future Of Fancy Blog Fonts =-.

    • Jen July 21, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

      Hi Joella,

      OK. I admit it. I am guilty of (very) occasionally publishing the odd spam comment. I now feel as if I have been caught fuelling the puppy farming trade or something!

      Spam and pickle…there is something quite appealing about the sound of that!

      Jen

      • Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella July 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

        I do too. But only if they seem to have taken the time to actually read the article. Seems only fair.
        .-= Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella´s last blog ..@font-face The Future Of Fancy Blog Fonts =-.

    • Mark Johnson July 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

      I always think this too. Generally in the world, is something designed to make money isn’t actually profitable, it will die out… That’s basic economics.

      So the prevalence of SPAM must indicate that it really does work…

      This has actually got me thinking. I’ve just had a look at viagra dot com (for purely research purposes, honest) and according to the Chrome SEO tool, Google only recoqnises it as having 289 backlinks, and it’s still top of Google.

      So given the thousands of links that these spammers are trying to get, even if they do get them accepted, it hardly seems effective if the top competitor only needs 290 links to get no1 on Google.

      Sorry, bit of a tangent there. But it puzzles me.
      .-= Mark Johnson@Marks Marketing Blog´s last blog ..The One Keyword Experiment – Day 1 =-.

      • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

        That is very strange. Perhaps we are all in the wrong jobs, and should be spending our time spamming? You’re right Mark – the process of natural selection dictates that if something is not working, it fades out.
        .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      Joella,

      I think a lot of spam gets published by those who don’t track it or stop it.

      I bet a lot of blog owners don’t how to do that.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Advice´s last blog ..Blogging Advice- Do You Blog For Yourself Or Your Customers =-.

  7. Anne M July 22, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    The problem with spammers is that they’ve taken away the legitimacy of just saying your post was great to read. Which yours was btw, for real.

    Whenever I read through the spam comments, I also think about the poetic qualities of some of them.

    My favorite spammer used to ask me for advice on finding a flight school. Odd, since – 1. my posts had nothing to do with flight 2. he could have found out the answer by clicking on the link to his own site. :p
    .-= Anne M´s last blog ..Sites in Languages other than English =-.

    • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

      Hello Anne and thank you for making me smile! The flight school spammer sounds a bit like my heart attack writer! You’re right, spam comments have reduced the effectiveness of people simply stating that your blog article was good to read – which is what makes comments like yours all the more valuable.
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

  8. Dean Saliba July 22, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    I like to think that I am now something of an expert at spotting spam comments, because a lot of them go to great lengths to desguise it. A bit like the examples you states in your article.
    .-= Dean Saliba´s last blog ..Recycling Old Content =-.

    • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

      Hi Dean,

      It’s true – spammers are becoming more sophisticated all the time, and need to evolve to keep ahead of us savvy bloggers 🙂 It is becoming a specialist skill to spot some of them. Having “Buy cheap Viagra online” as a URL sometimes gives it away for me 😀
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

  9. Gerlaine Talk July 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    When I first started Spam comments let me know that my blogs were at least being found in the ether. Today, I do not receive a lot of spam comments. I guess my filters are doing their jobs. 🙂
    .-= Gerlaine Talk´s last blog ..The Purpose of Life =-.

    • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

      Hi Gerlaine,

      You’re right – as a new blogger it is thrilling to see the spammers taking time to flood your site. It gave me a sense of satisfaction, in that I knew my blog was taking off. Nowadays, I still feel pleased that I am being singled out for such a wide number of resourceful spammers 😀
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

  10. etipz July 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    thanks for sharing i love spam but i also hate spam 😀
    .-= etipz´s last blog ..Sweet and White Mashed Potato Swirl =-.

    • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

      Me too! Can’t live with it and ..well, can’t really live with it.
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

  11. Edward July 23, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    They have a new way of spamming nowadays. They will take a previously approved comment on a page and use it as a comment on another page. I almost approved one, but I was thinking, “this comment sounds so familiar to me” and when I checked, alas! it was a comment from another post. I checked my comment spam folder and was able to identify the pattern right away. Spammers are getting smarter by the day.
    .-= Edward´s last blog ..The Importance Of Choosing the Right Keywords =-.

    • Jen July 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

      Hi Edward – thank you for commenting!

      Spammers are becoming much more smart about commenting. This makes me sad, as I really enjoy the poorly-written, incomprehensible drivel that most spammers post up.

      I’ll miss it, should the practice evolve in to something too sophisticated…
      .-= Jen @ blog writer´s last blog ..Why ‘job’ is a dirty word =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

      Edward,

      They have a new way of spamming nowadays. They will take a previously approved comment on a page and use it as a comment on another page.

      Ah – you already said that!

      Sorry – only joking!

      Yes, I have seen a few of those and thought, “I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere else”.

      Thanks for coming across and commenting.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Advice´s last blog ..Blogging Advice- Do You Blog For Yourself Or Your Customers =-.

  12. Gina July 25, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    LOL! Well, it’s even funnier when the spam is in the email, and I get “Gina, having trouble with maximizing your manhood?” I’m hurt. Does the writer not know I’m a girl?

    Nonetheless, I still check my Askimet for spam because sometimes decent commenters just get stuck there. Nice commenters, too. Like the ones who decide to add your blog post as a trackback on their site.

    I guess the more traffic you get, the tougher it is to manage for spam, but not all of the spam is is actually spam.
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Make Money Writing and Selling 7 Dollar Info Products =-.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      July 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

      Gina,

      What you say is true – I get non-spam going into my spam folders quite often.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Andrew
      .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Income Blogging Guide Week 1- Inspiration =-.

      • Patricia August 8, 2010 at 5:03 am #

        Can’t believe I’m commenting on your site Andrew. Didn’t know when I clicked to read about why spam is good that it would lead here.
        At least you will know I’m doing my homework and commenting on dofollow blogs. In fact have even seen you on some of the sites I now regularly frequent cos they have some great articles for me to read and learn from 🙂
        I had tons of spam when I first posted but Akismet blocked it. I still check to make sure genuine commenters don’t go in there and I definitely have a lot less now.
        Maybe when my blog is established I will have more to contend with.
        Regards from sunny Perth
        Patricia Perth Australia
        http://www.lavenderuses.com
        all things lavender

    • Jen July 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

      You’re right Gina – when I get spam comments asking me if I’d like to elongate my manhood, I always feel a bit perturbed!

      Thank you for commenting. 🙂
      Jen recently posted..Why ‘job’ is a dirty wordMy Profile

  13. Saksham July 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    I hate spam! Well due to great plugins available these days like Akismet and others, spam gets caught easily! Thanks to them and also for the post! 😀
    Saksham recently posted..Blogging To The Bank ReviewMy Profile

  14. Viv Smith July 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Whilst the spam comments do amuse me – when I’m in that kind of mood – I would love to be rid of it! Some people clearly have too much time!

    • Jen July 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

      I agree – imagine how soul-destroying it must be to have to produce spam as a living?
      Jen recently posted..Why ‘job’ is a dirty wordMy Profile

  15. Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny
    Twitter:
    July 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Spammers really are creative. I enjoy reading their efforts too. They tip their hand when the same comment shows up multiple times in a row. Too bad for them. I love Akismet!
    Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny recently posted..Playing the TGIF Links Game Effectively for the SITS Girl Problogger ChallengeMy Profile

  16. Ana
    Twitter:
    July 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Sounds like you are an eternal optimist!

    Spam is just an annoying side effect, a decease that cannot be cured, but at least managed.

    I must admit some of the spam comments I get are hilarious.

    Thanks,
    Ana Hoffman
    202 Bite-Sized Tips To Insanely Increase Your Blog Traffic

    • Jen July 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

      Hi Ana – thank you for your comment! You could be right, I think I am a bit too optimistic when it comes to Spam 🙂
      Jen recently posted..Why ‘job’ is a dirty wordMy Profile

  17. akbar April 11, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    I also hate spam, but unfortunately i don’t think there is any perfect solution which can automate this process of deleting spammy comments with perfection. Well thanks for sharing this plugin.

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