Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Serious Talk

I think it is time to get serious and discuss something that has been on my mind for a while.  I need your honest input, and please try to stay objective and give me the straight facts.

I have three main discussion points that I would like to bring to the floor.

1. What is Spam really, have you tried it, and is it delicious?

2. How did Spam become SPAM, a word used for unwanted online messages?  I mean, for posted mail we have "junk mail", and who/how/when/why did someone decide that for emails the word should be "SPAM"?

3. I get a ridiculous amount of SPAM comments on my blog.  They used to always comment on really old posts, and I'd have to go through my archives, find the post, and delete the comment.  Not only that, but they were also fairly to extremely offensive in nature (not to me personally, but to people of values and standards in general), and one in particular for some reason or another would not delete, and I started crying, and finally had to delete the entire post, copying and saving all of the comments, reposting the post, and then reposting all of my friend's comments. (Nerd alert.)  But now Blogger has really improved their system, and there is a nice separate folder for SPAM comments so I can delete them before they ever show up on my blog for the public to see, AND since the update, even though I actually get MORE spam comments now, for the most part they  have not been offensive.  They usually start off by complimenting me on my creative/inspiring/aesthetically pleasing blog, and then there is a long link to some website where you can buy GREAT cell phones for CHEAP! 

This one in particular made me smile, and if whoever wrote it is by chance an actual reader of my blog who just happened to also be a salesmen of GREAT cell phones for CHEAP, then to that person I would like to say, thanks for the sweet comment.
"Never thought blogging could be sooooo fun and interesting. Man you know how to do it brother." and from the link it looks like this person wants to sell you an Android.

In comparison, this is what most of the SPAM comments I get lately look like:
"Thanks on creating one of the most stylish blogs I have come across in a long time! It's truly incredible how much you are able to take away from some thing simply because of how aesthetically gorgeous it is. Youve created a fantastic be site fantastic graphics , structure. site!"
and this one wanted to sell educational toys for kids, actually. A departure from the cell phones!

So my question on this third point is, do you get SPAM comments like this too, or is my blog somehow targeted? Occasionally I get 100 hits a day from Pakistan, all to the same post... and then the next day that post will have a spam comment.


  1. Mindee's blog gets similar spam. She uses a service, that is free for non-commercial use, called akismet. However it is a plugin, and only works with 20+ blogging systems, blogger not being one of them. It does essentially the same thing you say Blogger now does for you.

    The coolest thing about Akismet is that they call the *real* comments HAM!. I know I'm opening up new questions before I've answered all the outstanding ones... Why HAM, How did the transition from SPAM to HAM happen? And most importantly, how do pigs feel about this?

    So on to the other questions. On the etymology of SPAM, I bet if you were to ask 10th grade me and give me only one guess, I'd have gotten it right. That's right... Monty Python, of course!

    All blogs are targets. And not just blogs, but forums, and anything that accepts comments, are targets. The reason they do this is SEO, Search Engine Optimization. The companies that sell SEO to other companies have been attempting to trash blogs in a more polite manner. I'm sure they are glad you noticed. At the same time, if you don't delete them, they will take note, see you as weak and crush under even more SPAM.

  2. Spam is, well...,spam was invented in WWII. It was a sort of synthetic ham. It was canned so it would keep for years. It was easy to ship and easy to store. Some army and navy cooks were threatened if they didn't find something else to serve. G.I.'s didn't eat it unless they hadn't had anything else to eat for several months. Most of the spam was given to starving people in the war torn areas.
    The letters s p a m stood for some words which I don't remember. The term spam came to stand for most anything forced upon you which had no worth. Eventually standing for words of no value. Well, that's the way I remember it.
    Love, Grandpa H

  3. I havn't had spam myself... but Jon says it's not that bad... it's like processed meat, so soggier hot dogs in a can. Doesn't sound appetizing to me! :)

    I don't know why we really call junk mail spam... but my guess is that they are both unwanted in our system. :)

    No, I don't get any spam comments on my blog... my blog is still fairly new though so maybe they just haven't found me yet. :) I also set my settings so that only people I invite can view it and comment on it, and it doesn't show up on search engines... at least it's not supposed to. :)

  4. Dear Amy,
    I have no idea how Spam became part of the internet lexicon, but it has been a canned meat for most of my life. It got its bad reputation during the second world war when it was used so very often as the meat dish for soldiers who were eating rations, and not meals in mess tents. I think they just got tired of it, for it has always been an edible substitute for raw cooked meat. Does that answer part of your question as to the origin of considering Spam the last possible choice for dinner? Love, Grandma

  5. I have my comments set up so that they have to enter a code to post and that has stopped the spam comments for me. Good luck.

  6. I get spam on my blog, because I hate typing in the security codes that I don't want to force anyone to have to on my computer. I don't mind deleting them though, especially now with blogger's more advanced screening. And I never get offensive ones anymore.

    Laurie likes spam. One of her dinners is to make au gratin potatoes with spam. Most of her sons (possibly all) hate this dinner.

    Grandma and Grandpa had some very interesting knowledge about spam.