Comments 101

spam2Good morning fellow bloggers, potential bloggers, friends, and curious ones!

I had a totally different blog in mind, but I feel this topic needs to be readdressed, with tips for those of you who are just starting out.

Everyone who writes a blog does so because they love to write. Some have pictures they want to share. Some share therapy. Some thoughts. Most everyone writes from experience, sharing what they’ve learned with others who want to learn.

Bloggers also enjoy the responses and interactions with those who have read their writing. This is where friends are made, ideas are shared, where we feel good about what we do.

Then there are the spammies.

Spammies usually attack e-mails. But blogs are also open season to those with nothing else to do than create chaos. I addressed this topic a month or two ago, and wound up deciding to moderate all comments before they get published. Things quieted down, and all was well.  But the spammies are back, and I want to share with you what is a real comment for your hard work and what is nonsense.

Here is a real comment from a real follower:

Very nice! I hear you on the “creaks from my joints and the squeals from my muscles.” I definitely want to work on those this year, too. Happy New Year, Claudia! I wish great things for you in 2014! Maddie Cochere breezybooksblog.wordpress.com.

And another:

Some how I missed the yellow brick road last time :-)  I loved your story!  Thank you for repeating… Deb Hathaway debhathaway.com

And even shorties:

Great story!   ittymac  ittymac.wordpress.com

Subscribers and nonsubscribers alike usually refer to something specific in your blog. There are times when you do get “I really like this!” or “Great post!”, but usually those are from followers you already know. (I know I sometimes use less than 5 words).

But a spammie is always from someone you don’t know, usually has no image or legit link, and often talk about things that either have nothing to do with your post or use the generic praise for you to keep doing what you’re doing.  In the last two days I received 20 such “responses.” That doesn’t include the 93 comments in my SPAM folder.

Your writing is certainly extremely persuasive and that is probably the reason why I am making an effort in order to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, even though I can easily notice the jumps in reason you make, I am not really sure of extcaly how you seem to unite the ideas which produce the actual final result. For now I will, no doubt subscribe to your position but trust in the foreseeable future you connect your facts better.   Tata

Another:

Thanks for the comment and shanrig this story. Somehow when this stuff is going on, I tend to attribute also and to myself. Like I’m a faulty adult or something. But having done workplace advocacy for a long time and so to I’ve come to realize just how often this nonsense is taking place, not to mention that many people think that simply ignoring a co-worker they don’t like is so acceptable… Roman

Those are just a few. You can see right away they have nothing to do with your post. I’ve seen tons of others where some nebulous person says, “Your blog is very helpful. I am grateful you are writing these things.”  They are generic and aimless. They usually pick older blogs where no one goes anymore. I’ve seen conversations go on between two different people about a totally different subject right in my comment section.

I don’t know how they get in there or what they want in there. I don’t know if they are just messing around or if they’re pulling information from my blog or just trying to get me to respond so they can continue to fool around. I mean, how do I know they’re not using MY past posts to share secret or illegal information? I’m not behind-the-scenes savvy when it comes to Internet privacy — or piracy. But I don’t appreciate invasion of my personal space by people who are playing in my back yard without my knowing what they’re doing (or talking about).

I’m not saying you should moderate all your comments. Strangers stop by all the time and comment and go on their merry way. You don’t have to have a liege of followers who hang onto your every post. But if you keep an eye on how many people comment on your posts (I think everyone does to one degree or another), be aware that not every comment is a true comment about you. Most of these spammies just sit in your e-mail notifications as someone who commented on your writing. They don’t have viruses or attachments, but yet when you click on their name to see who they are, who knows what that does?

I know anyone can type anything anywhere, and anyone can type your email address into anything. My husband was a victim of the recent Target scandal, and all he did was buy a Christmas present. So all this blog is about is keep your eyes open. If it’s too incredible, it’s not. If you’ve received a ton of comments on your blogs and you usually get a half dozen, sniff around. Something’s up.

But don’t worry — Big Granny is here looking out for you — and reading your stuff — so keep on reading and keep on commenting.

Fakey Spammies Always Get What’s Coming To Them….

 

Goddess

JOURNEY 2011-8-16Have you ever “Googled” your name? Your blog name? Your friend’s name? Your address? The world of online fame and personal invasion is amazing.  And, depending upon what you’re looking for, frightening.

I tested my worldwide fame on a few levels this morning, and was amazed at what I found.

First I searched for “goddess” on Yahoo. My blog was nowhere to be seen in the first 15 pages. (The limit of my scientific research). No problemo. I tried the same on Google, and one of my blogs was 6th. Clap clap! Then I tried the word “humor” (almost as broad a term). Nothing in the first 15 pages of Google, the same with Yahoo. Now I know popularity is all in the name, and my name (Humoring) is different than Humor. So I tried MY version. Second page on Yahoo, first page on Google. Not bad, eh? So if anyone in the reading universe is looking for a chuckle, they have to pick the right noun in order to find me. If they are looking for a connection to the Goddess, I’m nowhere to be found.

I then decided to venture into the more personal realm. This is where it gets scary. My full name (who is actually me and not the doppelgängers). My name/blog appeared 9th in Google, Yahoo, not at all. But it starts to get creepy when all these sites tell you they can give me information based on my name. So I tried a few. Spokeo found me. The White Pages found me. USA People Search found me. Some had other family names attached to the info. For just $3.95 or $4.95 you can find out all kinds of things about me.

I typed in my address. There was my house on Zillow, with an approximate dollar value. There I was on Trulia, with a Google map tour down the road I live on and even down my driveway. They estimate the value of my house, my monthly mortgage payment, and how much I paid for it.   For $1 I could get a full report from Property Owners Org. about my house, including code problems, legal problems, square footage, and value of the property. I tried my social security number. E-Verify said they could give me court records, criminal records, phone number, and a half dozen other things about my personal life.

Suddenly free speech and public information isn’t such a great idea. What started out  as a fun search on how popular a name my blog was on search engines turned into a nightmare as I realized that, for a fee, anyone can find out anything about you. It doesn’t matter if the information is old or bogus; your name, your address, even your social security number is floating around in Internet Space somewhere. And if someone really wanted to wreak havoc with your personal (or public) life, it would only cost them $4.95.

It makes you want to become a hermit. Not a goddess.