Everyone who writes online does so because they love to write. Some have pictures they want to share. Some share therapy. Some thoughts. Most everyone writes from experience, sharing what they’ve learned with others who want to learn. Those who share on social media also enjoy the responses and interactions with those who have read their writing. This is where friends are made, ideas are shared, where we feel good about what we do.
Then there are the spammies.
Spammies attack all sorts of social media — emails and blogs in particular. Lately it has been open season to those with nothing else to do than create chaos.
Here is a real comment from a real follower:
Very nice! I hear you on the “creaks from my joints and the squeals from my muscles.” I definitely want to work on those this year, too. Happy New Year, Claudia! I wish great things for you in 2016!” Maddie
Some how I missed the yellow brick road last time — I loved your story! Thank you for repeating… Deb
Subscribers and non-subscribers alike usually refer to something specific in your writing. There are times when you do get “I really like this!” or “Great post!”, but usually those are from followers you already know. (I know — sometimes I use less than 5 words too).
But a spammy is always from someone you don’t know, usually has no image or legit link, and often talk about things that have nothing to do with your post. It’s usually generic praise for you to keep doing what you’re doing. For example:
Your writing is certainly extremely persuasive and that is probably the reason why I am making an effort in order to opine. Secondly, even though I can easily notice the jumps in reason you make, I am not really sure of exactly how you seem to unite the ideas which produce the actual final result. For now I will, no doubt subscribe to your position but trust in the foreseeable future you connect your facts better. Tata
Thanks for the comment and sharing this story. Somehow when this stuff is going on, I tend to attribute also and to myself. Like I’m a faulty adult or something. But having done workplace advocacy for a long time and so to I’ve come to realize just how often what this is to be only by simply ignoring a co-worker they don’t like is so acceptable… Roman
Those are just a few. You can see right away they have nothing to do with what you’ve written. I’ve seen tons of others where some nebulous person says, “Your blog is very helpful. I am grateful you are writing these things.” They are generic and aimless. They usually pick older blogs where no one goes anymore. I’ve seen conversations go on between two different people about a totally different subject right in my comment section.
I don’t know how they get in there or what they want in there. I don’t know if they are just messing around or if they’re pulling information from my site or just trying to get me to respond so they can continue to fool around. But I don’t trust any message that doesn’t come in the front door. I don’t appreciate invasion of my personal space by people who are playing in my back yard without my knowledge.
Strangers stop by all the time and comment and go on their merry way. But if you keep an eye on how many people comment on your posts (I think everyone does to one degree or another), be aware that not every comment is a true comment about you. Most of these spammies just sit in your e-mail notifications as someone who commented on your writing. Who knows if they have viruses or attachments?
There’s nothing wrong with taking the extra step of approving your comments before they get posted. Anyone can type anything anywhere, and anyone can type your email address into anything. So keep your eyes open. If it’s too incredible, it’s not. If you’ve received a ton of comments on your offerings and you usually get a half dozen, sniff around. Something’s up.
Filter your enthusiasm with a bit of caution. That way you can take your comments for what they were meant to be – responses to your hard-earned efforts.