Spam. We get more and more of it every day. I am a little crazy, I have four active e-mail accounts. One is with AOL. It was my first account. I’ve had it for 8 years — if that is possible. I’ve kept it not because I like AOL, but because it has been free (– long story) and friends and family know that e-mail address. It is inconvenient switching accounts. You have to notify everyone. Then not everyone updates their address books immediately and they get annoyed by undelivered messages. But spam in my AOL account is out of control. SPAM totals 40 or 50 mesages a day. I am dropping that account.

The account for this site is at Yahoo. It has been active for almost a year. Yahoo — so far — seems to have a good spam blocker. I get spam, but 95% of it is dumped into a bulk mail account. When I dump AOL I expect to have less spam and to read the messages that I want to read much more easily. But now as I try to reduce e-mail spam there is a new spamming technique on the rise. E-mail spam now has competition from blog commenting spam.

On the old Byrd’s Brain site the first blog comment spam message appeared recently. Spam purportedly came from Drugstore. com. A Google search has shown that “comment” spam is not new, but like all spam it is increasing. Spam is not like junk mail in your (USPS) mailbox. You don’t pay more because you get junk mail. You don’t have to weed through junk mail messages that are interspersed with your real mail. No, instead SPAM costs us all. It takes time and money to download and weed through all those useless messages. I have to scroll through the 60 or so daily messages in my AOL account. Then I have to select and delete each individual message that looks like spam. Every unfortunate now and then I open a spam message that looked like it was legitimate. This only lets the spammers know that they have a live one and that they should send even more spam.

I am dismayed at the thought that this phenomena will affect blogs. In the future will much time be required to weed out spam messages from the blog comments? If so, bloggers will drop the comment functions and people will stop leaving comments, because it will be too frustrating to scroll through the spam while looking for the real comments. If that happens it will negatively impact this medium. Comments make this blogging thing (which like all writing is done in relative isolation) much more of a community.

Posted by robert byrd in Culture, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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