May 27, 2012

Alas, poor comments. I knew them, Horatio.

I'm a notorious creature of habit, which takes some doing when you think about it--people generally don't stand around thinking about who makes the list of the most notorious creatures of habit, so the fact I'm a notorious creature of habit means I've worked pretty hard at it.

Take this blog. . . sorry. . . THUNDERJOURNAL, for example. I started out on Blogger back in 2002, and then basically allowed someone to swoop in and cajole me into moving to Mu.Nu back in 2004, and I haven't so much as lifted a finger to update it since. The look, the feel, the interface. . . it's all straight out of 2004. Which is fine, if you're viewing my THUNDERJOURNAL on a standard Web page, from a PC or laptop. But, if you pull this THUNDERJOURNAL up on a tablet PC, or a smartphone or a Nook or Kindle, it's kind of like trying to read a Gutenberg Bible that's been inscribed on a fly's wing. My THUNDERJOURNAL doesn't transfer well between the technology of yore and the technology of today.

But, whatever, I don't really care about all that. The smartphone crowd really isn't my target audience. For that matter, I don't really have a target audience.

This was all a long winded segue into the scourge of comment engine spammers. I just generally thought that if I stayed on the same Mu.Nu platform long enough, technology would evolve to the point where comment spamming would be considered a useless pursuit.

The general theory behind comment spamming, as I understand it, is if a spammer can bomb a comment engine with gibberish comments that happen to contain hyperlinks to certain sites, then the search engine algorithms that nobody really understands, but everyone likes to think they do will assume, because those links appear so voluminously on other sites--albeit in comment threads--then those sites will appear higher in search engine query results. I know, I know, it doesn't make all that much sense. It seems as though sacrificing a goat and reading its entrails would be a more effective strategy, but if the Internet excels at one thing, it's giving birth to crazy ideas that enough people believe in to keep espousing them.

So, anyway, as with everything in the world of technology, comment spamming has become fully automated. Banks and banks of computers the world over are dedicated to posting automated comment spam in an outdated and fruitless attempt to boost search engine queries for shitty Web sites no one cares about. I say "fruitless," because I deactivated the capability to post live hyperlinks in comment threads YEARS ago, so all this THUNDERJOURNAL comment spamming is particularly pointless on my site.


There was a time, back in the years of, say 2005 - 2006, when I would almost get excited to see a new comment on one of my posts. A COMMENT! A CONVERSATION! SOMEONE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY TO ME! Oh, the glorious Internet!!

Then, around late 2006 or thereabouts, I started seeing "comments" by people named "UGG BOOTS" or "WORLD OF WARCRAFT GOLD" or "IMARAHURU," and I realized comments were entering a sad new era.

That's not to say all comment spammers are that obvious. Occasionally, I'll see a comment from someone with an actual name, like "Joel" or "Amanda" or "Generica," and the comment will entail such positive feedback as:

Great post!! I didn't find the information I was looking for, but I love your writing and will be back soon! Thanx!

Such comment spammers typically put their hyperlink in the URL: field which, admittedly, isn't a futile tactic, because those hyperlinks still appear as active on my THUNDERJOURNAL, so kudus on that, I suppose.

Anyway, it's all generally deflating to sign into my THUNDERJOURNAL GUI and see wall of obvious comment spam awaiting deletion.

If this post seemed to ramble aimlessly, it's because I've been reading too much comment spam lately.

Posted by Ryan at May 27, 2012 03:19 PM | TrackBack

The last couple of times I tried to comment, gave me the finger. Or pointedly ignored me.

Posted by: Keith at May 29, 2012 11:04 AM

Great post!! I didn't find the information I was looking for, but I love your writing and will be back soon! Thanx!

Posted by: Donna at May 31, 2012 09:11 PM

calm down bro. real people still read your ish.

Posted by: Seth at June 3, 2012 11:40 PM
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