Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spam, Not Just for Dinner Anymore



Recently I was on my blog dashboard, looking at comments that needed to be approved through to public viewing and I found some spam. Spam comments are generic, canned comments that people hope will fool you into thinking they’ve read and enjoyed your blog and they always end with something like, “Come visit my blog.” You’d think they could find a more effective way to drive traffic to their blogs, but it is what it is and sometimes those comments are quite entertaining. Here’s the most recent one and it was left on the last post where I was lamenting about a knitting pattern I wasn’t willing to share. The spammer wrote: “I'm amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. This problem is an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I’m very glad I stumbled across this very important information! Here is my blog” selling yadda, yadda yadda. Oh, ya, knitting rates right up there with discussions on global warming and sex trafficking. We need more people to talk about it!

Another bit of spam that cracked me up was left on a post titled, The Widow’s Workbook: “I was recommended to this blog by my cousin. I'm not sure, but I think he wrote your Monday post for you as nobody else knows such details about my problems. You are incredible! Thanks!” His site was a place to hire others to write essays and homework assignments for those who don’t want to do their own damn work. Aside from spam selling plagiarizing services, there are spammer selling drugs like this one: “Hi, I log on to your blog regularly. Your writing style is witty, keep up the good work! I sell cheap Viagra online. Check out my site. I’m sure you can use it.” I beg your pardon? Oh, my!

A post I wrote with “widowhood evaluations” in the title snagged two bits of spam: “I blog often and I seriously thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. Find me at”…a place selling "cheap flat Irons." What the----!? And the other spam comment was: “I will right away take hold of your RSS as I can't find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know RIGHT AWAY in order that I may subscribe. You can find me at…” a site for Black Friday deals. 

Sometimes you have to work harder than others to determine if a spam comment is a spam comment like with this one: “Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said, 'You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.' She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone! Here is my blog…” which turned out to be a blog that sells sports gear. The post she attached her comment to was about the day my husband’s brand new Chevy got shot on a hunting trip and it probably turned up in a search engine using the term ‘hunting’ or something similar. “Awesome!” another spammer wrote on the same post. “It’s in fact an amazing post, I have got a much clearer idea about the topic from this piece of writing. My site has the best cyber deals at….” a place that shall remind nameless.

For some reason whenever I use ‘diet’ in the title I get more spam comments than with other titles. Like this one: “I like what you guys are up too. This is clever work and reporting! Keep up the good work, guys. I've incorporated you guys in my blogroll. Here is my web-site…” It was site that sells vacuum cleaners and I’m still scratching my head on how they landed on a post about diets. And this one also has me scratching my head: “Hello. I wish to share a comment here concerning you. I personally loved this particular study you've done. We preserved you. Keep up the quality work. My website is ...” a porn site! Dieting and porn? I guess to some people they go together like ham and cheese.

All spammers think flattery will win you over so you’ll moderate their comments to go public---or maybe they don’t realize that some of us bloggers actually use a moderating feature on our blogs. In either case it’s very clear when someone hasn’t read your content like with the following spam comment left on a post about a Red Hat Society outing I went on: “These are actually impressive ideas. You have touched some fastidious things here. Anyway, keep up writing!” If that person, who sells dragons in every form conceivable, was truly fascinated by a bunch of ladies in red hats going to a deer park, I’ll apologize and eat my hat. Seriously, though, I do need to apologize to one anonymous person whose comment a month or two ago got incorrectly sent to my spam folder. Oops, I just found it! I'm sorry! ©

18 comments:

  1. I had one old post that had a recipe in it. I kept getting spam on it. I finally just deleted it. I guess I could close comments on old posts. Oh, well. They are funny sometimes, and often sound like they are written by people whose first language is not English.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ones written by people from other countries can be quite funny, can't they. I don't think here at Bloggers you can turn off comments on old posts. It's all or nothing.

      Delete
  2. I get them--they come into my e-mail like any other comment left, but they don't show up in the comments section on my blog. I so enjoy the ones with their strange English.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the e-mail function turned off so I have to actually go to my dashboard to see any comments. That's interesting that the spam will come in your e-mail but not show up in your comments. I didn't know it worked like that.

      Delete
  3. I agree that they try very hard to convince you to not delete their comment. I delete them all and then I block them from my blog. So I'm down to a few now and then.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how to block someone from my blog. I should look into that in case I ever get a stalker. LOL

      Delete
  4. Weird, weird, weird comments! Your blog is listed in some blog directories, isn't it? I wonder if people are trolling those sites. It's a tribute to how popular your blog is (I think). Only one of my posts - "Dancing on my Husband's Grave" got really really weird spam. One of the benefits of obscurity LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm only listed in one blog catalog that I know of, so I double that's a factor. Trolling blogs could come from anywhere I imagine. How your blog appears in a Google search is probably the biggest key to spammers finding their targets.

      I can imagine what kinds of comments you got on that post with that title. It's a head turner.

      Delete
  5. Jean :

    wow I never knew you could get spam commenters no wonder you have safeguard of approving of commentator.

    Asha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they're pretty common for most bloggers...except on sites where you have to be a member to post them...like where we know each other from. I also like to moderate comments because then I won't miss any that come in on older posts.

      Delete
  6. Gee, you get more entertainment value from your spam than I get from mine. I clearly need to bring a more imaginative mindset to reading them. I did love the comment from the person who is going to "preserve" you. Is that an anti-aging treatment? -Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think "preserve" me is third world speak for "bookmark" me. LOL I would hate to find out what I would sound like if I tried to use a language other than English.

      Delete
  7. I need a lesson on how to be a blogger. I started mine basically for family and friends and that's how it's remained. I don't think anyone can actually find it with an internet search. I'm not sure I want them to. I'm still a bit of a stickler for privacy. I don't know how you do that Live Traffic Feed thing, which as the author I'd like, but as the "visitor" I always feel like you are watching me to see how long I'm reading your blog. LOL Since I love it, that's not a problem. Also, how did you do "Search This Blog" using the labels. I always put the labels on, then wonder how people can actually use them. Duh. There must be a class for this, huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want the Live Traffic Feed just click on the "Get Feedjit" at the bottom of it (right column) and they will walk you through it. It's free and it only involves putting a bit of coding in an "add gadget" that you reach through your layout. It doesn't really let the blog owner watch YOU specifically, we can only see/watch someone who lives in your city. But the thing that I like about it is that it lets you see what search term people used to land on your blog, or if the person landed there because they have your blog bookmarked in some way. Sometimes it's kind of funny what search terms brings people to your blog. for example, I once compared widowhood to "widowhood pigeon races"---yes, there really is such a thing---and, of course, anyone looking for training tips for training pigeons finds that blog turning up in a search. I haven't been using the labels all that long but Google doesn't care, people will still find you by whatever you put in your title, if it relates to a search term someone is using. Like when you used "Golf Porn" in a title I'll be you got tons of people land on your blog searching for one or the other.

      As for the "Search This Blog" you can add that from your "add gadget", too. It's one of Bloggers basis apps. That works even without the labels. Say, for example, I know I wrote something about pigeons but I can't find the post, I can just put 'pigeon' in the "Search This Blog" box and it will find all my posts that that have that word in it. I don't know if anyone else ever searches my blog, but I sure do it a lot because sometimes I can't remember if I already wrote about a certain topic or I want to review something I wrote for a past holiday or whatever.

      Class is dismissed unless someone else has a question I can help with. LOL

      Delete
    2. I never answered your question about labels. I'm not sure but I think they only matter if you also show all your labels in your side panel so people can click on a label to pull up everything labeled with that word. I don't show my label list because it takes up too much space but occasionally I see them on other people's blogs.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Jean! Not sure I'll do the Live Traffic Feed yet. May start with Search this Blog. I sure could use it as you do, for finding my old blog posts on topics. I've tediously tried to go back and find something I wrote at some point, but didn't recall when. Thanks, "Teach"!

      Delete
  8. One of my better ones was;
    My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. For an incredible answer please view this amazing site : muscle building nutrition

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny. Muscle building nutrition and stroke education/rehabilitation issues have as much in common as gold fish and blenders.

      Delete