Thursday, June 24, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ Who Needs Some Viagra?...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

Forever funny Cardiogirl had a post this week about the spammers that amuse her. And when you look at it from that point of view, I suppose they can be entertaining. But generally, I find them incredibly annoying. English is generally not their first language, so my neurotic internal grammar police automatically gets all prickly. Every now and then there are some who don't even make an effort to speak my language - they just leave a comment in their own tongue - inserting key English words for the products they are spamming. That's just plain lazy and I can't respect that effort at all.

I am lucky that we are not spammed frequently - probably because very few people read this blog! And I am always grateful that their spam comments most often appear on older posts so none of our innocent readers will be accosted by pleas for Viagra customers. But they are the reason we employ Captcha in our commenting settings, aka Word Verification.

Captcha keeps the spammers at bay pretty effectively, because they just don't have time to enter challenge responses and earn that minimum wage some slave driver is making them feel lucky to have. But then again, it may deter wanted readers from leaving a comment. Andy, for example, is not very proficient in interpreting and entering Captcha challenges. He gets frustrated and gives up - with his awesome comment fading into oblivion. I wonder how many others skip leaving a comment because of all the hoops they have to jump through just to validate their thoughts.

I don't want to monitor comments - I have no time for that business. For those of you who do - how long do you spend doing that?! I really dislike those Captcha challenge boxes that pop up AFTER you've hit Submit. I can't tell you how many times I've hit submit, and then clicked the page closed as a saw the Captcha verification box opening up on the screen. If you want me to verify that I am a real person and not an autobot or spamming Bumble, let me know up-front before I get involved in the process. It always feels like you're tricking me or something. And though I am stubborn, I don't always have the time or desire to go back and re-create my awesome comment for you after being foiled by the ambush verification.

I am not brave enough to go sans verification. I don't want our blog overrun with spam. I don't want to find out that more spammers visit our blog than people we want to interact with! That would be a huge hit to the ego. So, I'm thinking there is probably some automated spam filter program out there that I could utilize. But I'm cheap and refuse to pay for it. Which is another reason why these spammers should knock off leaving sales pitches here. No matter how tempting your deals, no matter how intriguing your cobbled together English, I am not clicking to your cause. And besides, at the risk of too much information, as of yet, we are not in need of Viagra.


P.S. - I kid you not, as soon as I finished writing this post we received a spam comment on the post that attracts all sex spammers like honey - Eye Candy! How many do you think this Viagra filled post will attract?

How do you fight off the spammers? Have you ever accidentally clicked on their site? What is on the other end of that offer anyway? Do you know of any free spam filter programs? Or are you living proof that all of this "protection" is just a bunch of hooey and we can blog safely without tormenting people trying to leave a frickin' comment?

25 comments:

Novel Reaction said...

I use Aksmet to filter the spam but I also have a Wordpress site. It does a pretty good job filtering out the spam, although I have been fooled by the spammers who copy comments others have left before on my site legitimately. It really makes me wonder how successful they are at getting clients, I mean really...

jehara said...

When I do the readathons I turn captcha off at the request of the organizers to make it less of a hassle for the cheerleaders to leave us comments. However, inevitably I will forget to turn it back on after the readathon is over and I get lots (to me anyway) spam. It is really annoying. That reminds me to turn captcha back on quickly.

Honestly, I really don't mind doing the word verification. I do agree with you about it popping up afterward. That is annoying.

What really aggravates me are commenting systems that require you to create logins and passwords to leave a comment, like Disqus. That annoys me to no end and I will admit that in most instances I won't even bother.

And leaving comments on livejournal blogs, forget it.

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

On my blogger blog, I have all of the comments emailed to me, but have captcha turned off. I can see the spam pretty quickly that way and then just pull up the post to delete the comment.

On the WP blog, Akismet takes care of it.

What is weird is that ever since switching to WP, I get A LOT more spam comments. Thank goodness that I don't have to manually delete them, one by one.

Patty Reiser said...

I agree, Spammers sometimes can be entertaining. I just don't see the point of spamming though.
I too have a WP blog. And since I just recently re-launched my blog, the spammers are back in force. Fortunately WP Askimet catches them so they do not appear on my blog and I usually have to spend a few minutes a day deleting them. I will be happy when my blog has aged some and the spammers leave me alone.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Like Novel Reaction says, Word Press Aksmet is pretty good. It gets almost all the spam. I just checked the stats on it, and in almost 2 years of blogging it has caught 21,201 spams. But it misses quite a few too, so there have been even more than that! So if I used Blogger, I'd definitely want to be using sort sort of prevention to catch them, even though it's a drag for the user. But any user who has a blog will understand. It always always amazes me though that there are that many people out there whose lives are so empty or perverted or ??? that they do this kind of thing for entertainment, instead of, say, reading books!

cardiogirl said...

Hey, thanks for the shout; you're too kind!

I'm also a WordPress user who relies on Akismet. That program is wonderful. Roughly 90% of my spam goes directly to that folder. Very occasionally do I find a real comment from one of my regulars trapped in there.

That's the main reason why I actually look through my spam.

I do hate the after-the-fact captcha codes. But ,like jehara, I absolute HATE the comments that require a sign-up/login. When I run into that, I never leave a comment.

The Book Chook said...

I have a Blogger blog, and I use Echo (JSKits) for comments. I moderate spam out.

Follow the links? No way, I am such a chicken (!) that I daren't. I figure I might catch something nasty by doing that. I HAVE looked up their IP address and contemplated dropping egg bombs on their city.

A bigger peeve for me just now is people ripping off my blog content. A couple sites are scraping the lot. I am trying to be lofty and ignore it but under the lofty is irritation.

Any thoughts?

Susan said...

I agree, the after-the-fact captcha thing-ys are very annoying. It takes me long enough to get through all my awesome blog friends' posts and comment on them without having to stop for those.

I had the regular kind on mine for a while after I got a couple of spam comments (I guess I'm just not that popular), but then I took it off and figured I would rather just deal with the occasional one than have my few followers annoyed by mine.

Have you noticed that the evening news (at least NBC) always has a Cialis commercial. Wonder who's watching it? Why, we middle-agers, I'm thinking. I don't think young people ever get their news from TV.

bookfanmary said...

I was getting so much spam on blogger that it pushed me to switch to wp. So far, all spam have been caught. I don't mind word verification at other blogs but when participating in a weekly meme it gets a bit annoying because I like to comment on a lot of blogs. I used to turn verification off for certain posts just to make it easier on commenters. That worked.

On a related note, I have a gmail acct and in the past couple of weeks I've received a lot more span than in the past. Anyone else notice that?

Mary

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've got the same safeguards as you, and I know it is annoying but is a necessary evil. And yes, I have accidentally deleted my comments in the after-the-fact word verifications. Argh! Also I hate having to sign in all of my information every time I leave a comment. There are one or two bloggers I follow that require that, and if I didn't love 'em so much I'd give up.

Matty said...

I admit that I hate having to type in a word verification. I'm finding that the given word is becoming increasingly difficult to see and understand. The words appear in fancy scriptive writing and the individual letters are spaced so close together that I sometimes cannot decipher the letters. I sometimes type the word incorrectly and have to do it all over with a new word. Plus, the words are getting really long too requiring me to type in more and more letters. And that capture thing is even more annoying. Yes, I have clicked out of the comment thinking that I left one, when in fact I hadn't because of the word verification.

As for me, I rarely get spam. I don't know why, but it isn't often, and it's always on an older post. So, I don't use word verification just to make it easy on my readers, because I know how much I dislike it.

ds said...

No, I don't like "ambush verification" either. But I'll stick with it for the blogs I love. Sometimes, though, I'm pressed for time & can't repeat what was of course the World's Best Comment (HA) & then I feel badly for the blogger, who will never know how much his or her work was appreciated...

I use word verification as a safeguard (as you know, Awesome Commenter); moderation only kicks in after a certain period of time. I hope that doesn't offend people, but then, I'll never know, will I?

kaye said...

I've had a few spammers but not many. I hate the ones that leave a reasonably connected comment and then when I click on the name to reply an annoying flashing ad pops up. I have to confess when I first started to blog I was guilty of using that annoying sneak up on you captcha--because I liked the fact that the comments could always be seen at the bottom of the post--but that was one of the things that DS brought out in her evaluation, and I'd noticed a few of my readers commenting on how annoying it was. I'm glad they said something to me. I think I have fewer spammers because I have made my blog "unsearchable".

I'm with Jehara I don't mind verification. It doesn't take that long. I am also a no visit on livejournal blogs. I do brave the Disqus, but I comment as a guest only. And like DS I have comment moderation on posts older than a week.

lively discussion today--have a nice weekend :)

Kathleen said...

I just use the simple word verification that comes with blogger. I've tried to turn it off but got spammed and had to turn it on again. Even with the word verification I will get a few anonymous posts that are actually spam but I can handle one or two of those at a time. I also hate the word verification that pops up AFTER I have typed my comment. I have a favorite blogger who uses that system so I tolerate it for her.

stacybuckeye said...

Wordpress does catch almost all spam, but I do occasionally check the comments because a real one sometimes gets stuck in there.
I am not a fan of word verification, but I understand its necessity. It does mean that it takes me longer to get through my blog reading/commenting which I resent ;) Sorry.

Kapauldo said...

the second you get published on a trackback or pingback the spam crawlers find you and attack. i got *one* link on techcrunch and got 900 spam comments. but, i agree, i *hate* captcha. akismet is pretty bad with false positives though.

Penny said...

How do you fight off the spammers? I have my comments set to mod. So I have to view them and then approve first.

Have you ever accidentally clicked on their site? YES!! It was weird. I got one that was too intriguing to pass up and I clicked it and it was insane. It was like: "Hello, I wrote something for you here my dear". I thought I knew this person or something.

What is on the other end of that offer anyway? Just insanity. It was some random site where people write their sexual fantasies. Odd.

Do you know of any free spam filter programs? Not sure. I do get spam about once or twice a week and my blog has no where near the traffic you bring in so I can only imagine!

Candy Minx said...

I've had a couple of scary spammers for political hate blogging. I was horrified.


But I don't believe in any kind of censorship...so I don't want to monitor my comments area...at least as little as possible.

Great post, enjoying these series very much!

hope you have a great weekend!

Forgetfulone said...

I used to monitor comments, but I have no time for that. I do get an email every time a comment is posted, so when I get the occasional Chinese comment or spammer trying to sell something, I see it immediately and delete it. Other than that, I do nothing. I don't even have word verification right now. If I find I need it, I can always go turn it back on. I don't like to have moderation on because I want my comments to post immediately.

BTW, because of one of your previous blog posts, I weeded out my feed reader again. Hadn't done that in a while. Got rid of 12 blogs. Pretty good!

Kaye said...

Phew, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who hates word verification and the capture one annoys me to no end. Just thought it was my cranky dispostiton. Disqus, don't even get me started. There are blogs I like but don't comment on for that very reason. I don't use word verification on my blog only because I don't like it myself. I moderate comments over 7 days, get e mail whenever anyone comments and can weed out the spammers asap. Disabling anonymous comments has worked well too.

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I have a Wordpress blog and so I automatically get the anit-spam program. It works very well. I check mine every week or so and I would say I average about 100 spam a day. (I think it's my blog name as they definitely think I need Viagra and financial planning for retirement.)

I don't like the word verification because my eyes have a hard time seeing the configuration of the letters. The handicap thing is just plain laughable so I don't use it. It often takes me two or three times to get the word right. I will use the word verification on blogs I really like but the rest I skip. I hate it because I know I'm missing some good blogs.

My opinion on the subject is that it's the fault of Blogger/Google. They certainly have enough resources to purchase or develop a good anti-spam system so I don't know why they don't.

bernie said...

I'm surprised that all those male enhancement companies can make any money at all, I mean they do face a lot of stiff competition.

Wanda said...

LOL! Your title pulled me in in hopes that you had found some magic way to increase my desire to blog. Too funny!!

Honestly, I have far less readers than you so monitoring comments isn't an issue. However, I don't think people like having their valid comments left in limbo. Spammers suck (literally according to some of the posts they've left for me to delete)!

Lynn said...

The spam is definitely annoying. I have not had much of it on my blog (got that same word identification thing you do, which must help). But all those v*agr* messages have got to go. Like who really clicks through and buys that stuff? Ergh.

Lisa said...

I have the all of my comments go to my email to approve--no verification on the readers end. I actually like going through them because it makes sure I take time to respond and stops the spammers. It is odd that they always hit old posts--it's a dead give away, which is nice for us!