Another scam targeting writers? An update!

best-story-award-
This could’ve been yours…if the price was right. $14.95, as it happens.

So, last night I spent a little time talking about something I along with…conservatively speaking….forty or fifty bazillion people on the internet took to be some kind of possible scam, which if true had apparently set its sights on the oh-so lucrative pastime of trying to separate inexperienced or maybe even desperate writers from their money.

(Would you like to know more? See “Another scam targeting writers?“)

When a fair number of those aforementioned forty or fifty bazillion people–most if not all of them some form of writer just trying to make their way pushing words through this crazy messed up world–took to their blogs or Facebook or Twitter or other venues to report, dissect, condemn, and generally mock the very same email I described in last night’s post, things quickly devolved to the point of absurdity, culminating in what can charitably be described as a dumpster fire shit show train wreck very poor attempt to “set the record straight.”

Presented here, without any edits or changes to formatting, is the *second* email I and most of those forty or fifty bazillion people received from this group:

Continue reading “Another scam targeting writers? An update!”

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Another scam targeting writers?

Well, maybe “scam” is too harsh a word.

“Shady,” I can hear one of you saying. “What about ‘Shady,’ Dayton?”

Yeah, we’ll go with “Shady.” For the moment, anyway.

So, I get this email over the holiday weekend:


best-story-award-Dear Dayton,

I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas! My name is [redacted], I’m from the NY Literary Magazine.

Congratulations! You have been nominated for the “Best Story Award”.

Visit this page to submit your entry: [link removed]

Submission period ENDS on December 31st, 2017.

Happy Holidays!

The NY Literary Magazine

PS: You can now add to your bio and credentials that you are a Best Story Award 2017 Nominee.

The NY Literary Magazine is a distinguished print and digital magazine.

“The prestige of such literary awards is immense for an author…awards drive up sales” – The NY Times

“Can do wonders for your writing career… one of the best ways to get your writing noticed!” – Writer’s Digest


Holy dogshit, Private Joker! I’m a winner! They like me! They really like me, don’t they?

Wait. Hold on a minute. Let’s unpack this a bit.

Congratulations! You have been nominated for the “Best Story Award”.

Um…’scuse me? Hello? There seems to be something missing here. Hang on…it’ll come to me. Just give me a sec to think about it. Oh. Right!

The email didn’t list which story of mine had been “nominated,” or offer any hints that they meant “novel” or “short story” when they said “story.” This would seem to be a an important nugget of information at this juncture, don’t you think? I mean, *I* kinda sorta thought it might have a bearing on the direction of the conversation, and so on and so forth, but what the hell do *I* know?

Strike one.

Visit this page to submit your entry: [link removed]

Being the suspicious curious sort, I opted to click the link and see where it took me. Sure enough, I found myself at the oh-fish-eeee-al website of the NY Literary Magazine. What was waiting for me? The chance to submit a story to one of several categories they’ve identified. There are “only” 200 such “submissions” accepted each month, in each category, so I really needed to ACT NOW IF I WANT TO CLAIM MY SPOT.

Oh, and did I mention there’s a submission fee?

$14.95 a throw. Boom.

Now, there are some legit literary contests and journals that charge modest reading fees – a few bucks or so – to help offset the actual costs of running such competitions. However, assuming these folks get their 200 entrants for each category every month, and there are (at least) eleven categories, that’s a tidy little haul–almost $33,000–every 30 days or so, just for “reading fees.”

Oh, and that $14.95? It was the super dooper special Christmas discount price.

Strike two.

Then, just for giggles, I Googled those quotes listed in the email, like that one from The New York Times. You know, this one:

“The prestige of such literary awards is immense for an author…awards drive up sales.”

I’m happy to report that the quote is legitimate…..albeit from 1992 and pertaining to a completely different thing. So far as I can tell, the NY Literary Magazine‘s available online “archives” stretch all the way back to July 2016, so you know…hmmm…..

Strike three.

With all that said, I can’t come right and tell you conclusively that this is a scam. At best, it looks shady as fuck, and my Spidey sense was tingling the whole time. I therefore opted not to submit any story (duh), and I don’t think I’ll be adding “Best Story Award 2017 Nominee” to my CV.

Oh, and just to tie all of this up in a nice, neat bow, I saw on Facebook and Twitter that a whole lot of people got hit with this same email, which…if you think about it…would seem to sorta dilute the whole “exclusive” nature of the thing. Of course the email’s originators got roasted on those platforms and elsewhere. Meanwhile, a check of the “magazine’s” website now reveals this new message:

Due to technical issues, we are suspending further contest entries till we can resolve them, once our technical support is back to work from their holidays. Apologies, please email our support via our website contact form if you wish to be notified when entries are functional again.

Oh, those pesky “technical issues.” It always amazes me how they’re able to crop up at the most convenient worst possible times. Dang, y’all.

Strike four. Because I’m not the biggest baseball fan, that’s why.

So, if you got one of these emails or something like it from someone else and are understandably suspicious curious, my advice is to avoid this sort of thing with the same determination and zeal you’d exhibit if a horde of fire ants was bearing down on you and trying their damnedest to plant their flag on your taint.

But, I happen to like my taint unsullied by opportunistic fire ants. YMMV.
Write on, boys and girls.

“Do you accept guest posts?”

Those of you who follow my Facebook updates may have seen me post something pithy last weekend.

“Um, Dayton? Wanna be a little more specific there, bro?”

Sure. Here’s what I’m talking about, posted this past Saturday:


Dear Unsolicited Wannabe Guest Blog Provider of Crap Having Nothing At All To Do With My Site,

I’ve spent a number of years cultivating a readership whose support and loyalty far surpasses its size. I’m rather protective of them. Kindly fuck off and get your own.

Signed,
Me


“Wow, Dayton,” I can hear some of you saying. “That’s pretty damned harsh.”

Yeah, I guess it is, but here’s the thing: Sure, the message is rather blunt, but the sentiment behind it is genuine, particularly when we’re talking about the sort of e-mail I get on this topic. For example:


Hello There!

I was conducting content research on [something not at all to do with anything I post about here] and I chanced upon your site daytonward.wordpress.com. I must appreciate that the content of your website is par excellence and exceptionally useful.

I am [redacted], an avid blogger for XX years, with special interests in [again, nothing at all to do with anything you’ll generally read about here]. Today I am a self-taught expert in the subject and over the years, have consistently contributed articles and blogs to top [topic specific] sites. My efforts have been well recognized and accepted in the [again, nothing to do with me] industry.

At this juncture, I am looking forward to attaching myself as a guest blogger to your site by contributing an article in your blogs/site. Rest assured that, this article will be highly informative and educative. While I am not looking at any monetary benefits, instead we could consider the possibility mentioning my site/resource once within the article.

Do let me know if this sounds good and works for you – I can provide you some of my previous work samples or I can initiate writing an article for daytonward.wordpress.com right away.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

[name redacted]

Sounds pretty cool, right?

implied-facepalm

Now, I have no reason to doubt this person is in fact all they say they are. That’s not really the issue. For me, it’s the rather bold assertion that my audience is somehow available to anyone I invite aboard to hock their wares.

I don’t know how other bloggers feel, but that sort of thing actually kinda sorta pisses me off.

This isn’t the first time I’ve received this sort of mailing, and while I did not respond to this latest solicitation in similar fashion, it still irked me. The simple fact is that people like this aren’t making these requests out of the goodness of their hearts. Of course not.

They’re hoping to promote some product or service, and they want to latch on to the readers of other sites and blogs to do it. They’re aiming to literally take over someone else’s platform to drive web traffic for their own gain, which I consider to be something of a dick move. And even though it wouldn’t have made a difference in these cases, they wanted to do it for free.

Well, fuck that.

I meant what I said up there. Some of you have been following my antics for years…in some cases the better part of two decades. You’ve been here as my so-called writing career has grown. You’ve bought my books, or read them via your library or because you received them as gifts. You’ve taken the time to tell me what you did and didn’t like about them, and you’ve told other people to give them a try.

All of that means a lot to me; more than I can say. The very idea of squandering any of that goodwill, even long enough to let some stranger try to throw you a sales pitch, doesn’t sit very well with me.

Now, that’s not to say I’m opposed to the idea of guest posting altogether. If a friend or professional colleague approached me about hosting a guest blog for them, I’d at least consider it. In those cases, it’s a safe bet that the other person and I have shared interests, or write similar types of stories, or whatever. It could even be another writer with whom I’m not acquainted but who’s trying to conduct a “blog tour” while promoting a book I think you might like. In these scenarios, I’d expect the other person do actually do their homework before approaching me, and be relatively confident that their proposed guest post would actually be of interest to you. Given those considerations, I’d at least entertain the idea and see where it goes. If that’s you, then drop me a line, and let’s talk.

But random people selling random stuff? No way.

Now, quit reading this and go buy all my stuff, all right? 😉

The spam I get.

So, this gem appeared in the email inbox this morning, under the subject heading “Editorial” –

Hi,

I hope you’re having a nice day.

We are interested in sending over a quality and relevant article to your site daytonward.com as a contribution. We have a team of writers ready to prepare a post that adds value to your site and its readers.

Is this something you might consider? If yes, I can email over the article asap. Rest assured that it will be subject to your review. Please note that we’ll also add references to our client.

Aside from the article, we will also pay an administrative fee worth $100 for your trouble.

Please email me back if this is something that might interest you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

[Name Redacted]

My first reaction?

implied-facepalm

Apparently, the sender thinks my blog/site is just so gosh-darned awesome, they have a “team of writers” standing by, like operators hoping I’ll call to order one of those garden hoses that doesn’t kink or that spray-on crap that lets you cover holes in boats or whatever. Not only that, but they’re concerned for you, dear reader, because they’re prepared to write a “quality” and “relevant” article that “adds value” to my site and you, because until they searched the wilderness and found me, I was hopelessly wasting your time.

I’m not saying they’re wrong, mind you. I mean, look at this place. It’s a pimple in the ass crack of the internet, for crying out loud.

Therefore, with that in mind and in the interests of doing whatever I can to further enhance the experience for you, my devoted blog reader, I replied with this:

Hi,

This sounds like a terrific idea! I’m sure that after your review of my site and its reader comments, you’ve learned that the three things discussed the most here are bacon, Star Trek, and porn, with occasional diversions toward the occult, climate change, and whether Dick Sargent or Dick York made the better Darren.

If you’ve already reviewed my site and prepared an article tapping into this particular zeitgeist in a manner that only my readers can fully appreciate, and doing so better than I’ve been able to accomplish to this point, I can’t wait to read it.

Best,
Me

Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Let’s be Spam Buddies!

So, this showed up in the comment filter/moderation queue a day or so ago:

Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

In other words…..

spam_zombie2

So far as I was able to determine without actually clicking any links, the site to which the trapped comment linked back is a dating/match-making/hook-up site of some sort from somewhere in Europe. As irony would have it, the comment had been posted to this bit of weirdness I wrote about SEO spammers back in August.

I’ll wait while you conjure a joke or two of your own.

We good? All righty, then.

My favorite part, of course, is this bit:

My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours….”

Well, that’s certainly not true, but I imagine that if I did write about the same sorts of things that appear to reign supreme over there, I’d be getting shit-ton more blog hits, for sure.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten some flavor of this particular bit of spammage,  but like everything else of this sort, it seems to be coming with greater frequency. Obviously the douche nozzles on the other end of missives like this are trying to tunnel their way under the perimeter security barriers surrounding stately Ward Manor, but to what end? I’m certainly not going to write anything suitable for their site, and I damned sure don’t want anything of theirs over here. I mean, I like to think I’ve got the market cornered at this particular blog so far as utterly useless postings and other nonsense is concerned.

Anybody else getting stuff like this?

Dear SEO spammers: Bite me.

So, every once in a while, I get a spam comment to one blog entry or another that features some variation of the following:

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin at some bullshit website linked here

Holy. Shit.

SEO, for those of you who might be wondering and because the douche nozzles responsible for polluting the blogosphere with this crap always fail to define their acronym after its first use as is customary when introducing a lot of jargon, lingo or techie shorthand into any sort of correspondence meant to be read by anyone other than the dickbag writing it, stands for “Search Engine Optimization.”

Essentially, we’re talking about a collection of tips and tricks which, when employed on your site’s various pages, result in higher “page rankings” whenever various key bits and bytes of info are collected and organized by the Googles or your search engine du jour.

According to the boneheads pushing stuff like the infoblob above, your website, the internet, and indeed the entire space-time continuum will come to a screeching halt if you don’t sprinkle some of this virtual voodoo into your webbins and bloggins and whatnot. Now, we all hate when the entire space-time continuum comes to a screeching halt for any reason, so is it really all that far out of line to want to take steps to delay or even avert said catastrophe?

What. The Fuck. Ever.

Now, this isn’t to say that there aren’t a varying number of common sense things any website can do to improve not only its appearance and navigation but also in how it’s found by those the person running the site would like to have come over for a visit. Some of these are holdovers from the “rules of thumb” established way back in the early days of webpages, when everybody had little more than a handful of markup tags and a dream. You know, stuff like limiting the number of clicks anyone should have to make to reach anything on your site (three’s the max, one instructor of mine used to say all the time).

Having relevant titles in blog postings is another easy one, as is making sure that your site is linked through the various arenas in which you maintain a social media presence. I keep all of that stuff very simple. My name/handle on Facebook and Twitter is “Dayton Ward,” and both profiles link back to “daytonward.com,” which in turn is a very simple navigation tool to bring you to my blog. Voila! We’re done.

Well, not really, according to the infodump gnarling up my spam filter. Let’s break this all down and see what it is my would-be savior wants me to do (aside from give him or her money, of course). By the way, I’ve left everything from the original comment as is–typos, repeated words, mashed together sentences, and all, because nothing makes me want to give money to somebody more than a professional-looking sales pitch like this one:

I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization.

Ah, yes, the all-too vital “H tags.” You know why I tend not to use those things all that often?

Because shit like this is really pretty annoying.

So’s this. Kind of.

To be honest, this one’s not so bad, but fuck that guy for whining about it.

Next? There’s not enough bold or italics. HOLY SHIT!!!! Now what am I supposed to do?

Probably less of that, I’d imagine.

On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO.

And here I was, grinding my teeth and pulling out my hair at the thought of substandard Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings. By the way…what the hell are those, anyway? I tried to read about PageRank here, but Holy Dogshit on a Triscuit. The only thing I could come up with was that it’s a way for that creepy guy from Person of Interest or those Balok-looking precogs from Minority Report to figure out if I’m about to convert my blog to a porn site or a place to download pirated e-Books or something.

As for Alexa Rankings, that seems aimed more toward commercial websites and such, so it really doesn’t apply to me. Indeed, most SEO “tips” are aimed at marketing and promotion in order to boost sales, which would be fine if I actually was selling something here on The Fog of Ward, or was running a website that was a portal for a brick & mortar location.

“But, Dayton!” I can hear someone calling out from the cheap seats. “Aren’t you a writer? Isn’t this blog really nothing more than you selling yourself to potential readers?”

Yes, that’s true to a certain extent, but let’s be fair: not everything I write in this space is aimed at selling you something. I like to have my bit of fun from time to time, too, as well as wax pseudo-philosophical every so often on this or that issue or topic of interest. Whoring myself with every blog post would get old after the first or second entry, right?

(Hey! Where are you going? Sit down!)

Also, let’s be honest: Not everyone who comes here is a customer, potential or otherwise. A lot of you are, of course, and I love you all, though I hope you’ll believe me when I tell you that I don’t view you that way. You’re already doing me a great service by supporting me and my writing, so the least I could do is not shove my latest “Gotta buy this, too!” thing in your face every time you come here.

However, in addition to you faithful readers, we’re going to get the occasional visitor who’s found his or her way here because they were looking for something entirely unrelated to me or my writing, and a few minutes spent reading a rant about politics, stupid people, or TV isn’t going to convince them to run out and buy my new Star Trek novel.

(Unless it is, in which I case I’d like to direct you to my newest release, From History’s Shadow. Yeah, that was pretty shameless, wasn’t it? I even feel a little dirty for having just done that. Well, not really.)

Anyway, the simple fact is that, as a writer, my biggest asset when it comes to selling myself is my name, and guess what? Plug my name into the interwebz and BAM! There I am, right at the top of the page listings, without any special tricks or shenanigans, or money stuck into some “expert’s” pocket. There’s even a picture of my dumb ass staring back at you when you do the search thing. I win, internet!

Onward, we go:

So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing).

Keyword? BITE ME. You’ll note that “Bite Me” also appears in this post’s title and accompanying URL. As for “Latent Semantic Indexing,” I’m guessing that if I invite the authors of the spam comment to bite me, and also include “Bite Me” in the post’s title and accompanying URL, they’ll be arriving at Ward Manor in due course to…you know…bite me, because the search bots will have determined from the latent semantic indexing and casual use of the term “bite me” that I really want these boneheads to…you know…bite me.

(Hey. That bolding and italics thing works pretty neat.)

Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.

I think we’ve already established that I find

shit like this

to be

three or four kinds of irritating,

and I

tend to avoid using such obnoxious markup tags

whenever I can avoid it.

BECAUSE,

AGAIN,

THIS IS BIG

AND ANNOYING AS

FUCK.

Amirite?

Moving on.

Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page.

Whoops, I already blew the first part of that one. Don’t worry, though: I’ll hook you up before we’re done.

You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.

For the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, get over it, already.

There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword…

What, you mean a link to a totally unrelated page elsewhere in the Fog, which just happens to incorporate my chosen keyword? You mean like this one? Wow. That’s certainly relevant, eh? No wonder the web’s infested with tangled knots of crap clogging up everything.

Of course, this leads me to one of the more annoying facets of reading just about anything on the web, anymore: The embedded link to something not at all related, stuffed right into…

Related: Spam doesn’t even try, anymore.

…the middle of the article you’re reading! Damn, but that sort of thing bugs me. I’m reading a story about nuclear missiles being misplaced at an Air Force base in the middle of Bumfuck, Nowhere, and suddenly there’s a link to a review for Independence Day, because they set off a nuke in that movie.

Hang on! I almost forgot! At least one image with an “alt” tag containing the keyword, right? Here we go:

Bite me.

Mark that one off the list.

wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin at some bullshit website linked here

Well, then. Why didn’t you just say so in the first place? It would’ve saved me typing out all this crap.

I guess the point is that for the people who might want to find me, the process for doing so is already about as easy as it’s ever going to get. As for keywords and other triggers making individual pages on my site more visible to search bots and other aggregators? If there’s value for me there, I’ve yet to figure out what that might be. Meanwhile, and for the real people looking to come to my little corner of the web, well…you found me. Welcome aboard.

Don’t drink my beer, screw with my TV or grab my wife’s butt, and we’ll get along just fine.

I think I’m done here. Oh, wait! I almost forgot.

Dear SEO spammers: Bite me.

Spam tip…apparently.

I have no idea if anyone’s been dealing with something along these lines, but here’s the deal:

For weeks, I’ve been experiencing a massive uptick in spam here at the blog. My “moderation” queue had exploded, going from a couple a week to hundreds per day. One thing I noticed right off was that the bulk of the incoming crap all was banging up against the same page here in “The Fog of Ward,” namely the page I’ve set up to list the various guest blog posts I’ve written and had posted to other sites. I have no idea why that page in particular attracts so much attention instead of…say…anything where there might be a picture of a scantily-clad female.

(We’ll wait here, while some of you go looking.)

Anyway, once I made that rather odd observation, I tried a simple experiment: I edited the page, and altered the URL WordPress generates whenever you create a new page or post. Nothing too drastic; just a simple change in one word.

The result? Not a single spam comment to that page in the 48 hours since I performed that little action.

Now, I don’t for a moment discount the possibility that all of you have known this trick for eons, and for your own reasons have seen fit to withhold from me this interesting infonugget. Perhaps you did so for your own amusement. However, if by some chance someone reads this and is able to enjoy similar victory against spammer dicks on their own blog, then I feel like I’ve done something nice today.

Okay, nice stuff over. I now return to you the curmudgeon you all know, if not love.

Spam doesn’t even try, anymore.

There used to be a time when spam, if it didn’t just offer up a link to some bullshit product, at least attempted to look like a “real” blog comment or message board post. You might’ve had to read a bit to figure out that you were dealing with mass-produced cowshit designed to entice you to follow a link down some hole.

Then, the text accompanying the links devolved a bit, as though someone fed their cat a dictionary and waited for said feline to horf up random words and phrases.

But now? What in the name of Jupiter’s uncut cock is THIS hot mess supposed to accomplish? I quote:

“cdqeakhksqupcticjydgnpzwetonlxazzuyojealmmrytdpnhsmsprngdblnneomwwbikgbww dr dre beats svgzxhfv ebyctnvqa ctpetk peiplzghj luandz jqaqhzebc qduerg tmsgivtch iwhjeh xtdioqhxy fvjkfo mtrhzynqb sdwuid dpuygtzsk ynavlq eqtozgqap krkscv rokejsgah dmexri cxldskyna ductad piwdnecym eepcmn uueovxiut tludpv dxvcfzccj iuspcq kyqtjlhjd chislz jedoqpiyp ccazsz czpzslfvn zawsdo rjzotkypr ehjthr yiqevnmce ujtunl muyhhwrja rtrtzr lawzudhoo eoeabt sixjczykg ydabhe jjmnvrhlk cqnuzm fynglokxa cvutnf aberuicmx tqcqsp muhyirsab ojgrrr rdjzamreo xkdzdx beats by dre mtgtrbfe iolsdbycn pcsqhnxazkigtia pvuhjh tlevymrkq utgrhf hdjpaqyes qerosu qhhbickut hoapuu afhjjhtog fzfeyt tmhxdrtdd ralfox psonrhtgj vktodw hbevqqqwg zlvztt tbbesfpfl tixfxp endapofsn gycotz ecjalhpuu rgbpgi rmvamdfsx wpnxjp rdxuujwrp aoidpm fdxqiqzsn oxnzhh atqmeevfk jkbxca vqfterngu zqotuw gjsbltlgx gzwwjo dugdndbia gpbyoi ktdmmpqrg rwvjef stslnokzu ndnuzm qvrhoztin qjwcti rxekixiqc smgwmg qpdvqjili eeznzn nkhpgcuel tuodry cheap beats by dre lvdpbxbd jjcmvztjw ksxtku rfleypeoo aficdm gyerzrzoj hldhxc amlhskffq uckczm xgbtipjit cheap beats by dre rrremx bjrvwpaor mnbphw khsbuxijw agnkzz dfheluvvw aeipja miszuqrmd utafmk piegkoduu vqpjou abklghuga jgfnrn hlqpvtptn dvmilr ablnwgxaa etmlfo toizybarr gqbtlw qhqirhxwa habyhd ybxqwehzf ohtbse jhqmw cheap beats by dre zsgl gwfvkh fgsxpjvjd ejxphr wyrlzyzlx zeaqxj fecasacae crzesf bfavytqee awzpph zecegtwjp casreb ldiztuwpn bnlphv hzlbbuufs sragij rqkghsybp yfcne cheap beats by dre p kszxgcxmo ekgacbkoccpl ucxj ojkfmptyd lvpf kgzyzlaze rmlq yugxxfnbc chga sjvjicrup vkdw qjoghplcx bykf bfninutdl jpay wbimxmfez kxth lotbypooe aobs zczzwthcm zfrx vmdqiafufkxolrseaffzeqzkfqbobrvsquxlvtpuqitfbqjqyqzyxx cheap beats by dre  wkwxuvjq xabkzrame plgctb kaqiektlm sodsjs onjicydtf zqzsjm ttvcjpyoo bmfgur xbcmsgzhq mapkch xaeqwyudw lhvliv xpoquykoa lulalx qlohmixnj ogyrhi pizswrugx udjgjo nqgjpgzxw vjdhpb hvyygmaug mvzwzk zhhcuogcp kajyqv lupxyqvkk epgtlx uljlfkdlr jvijyi picsrndke bnixdd xhbxkwywh xzngxd ryuxqvwzn hrfsql roymhrnir aipsys twkswborm wehkel gdnndgdms lcnlut ixictsaoy oapywo gjoowfyqg mfjfjy tysxsnvwd gieuhm rakptriek yiztet igxynrfrg ltfrem skxxuouul jqzvkd cheap beats by dre qwkmqhrf ysybtkbjq txpztgwrkjjooud vvpmsu ndlnyedfg qkmeem icmtnhrxv ygrnvp ysrfxvdqc rtctcb cjmubbqdf unurce altunrtul tqpkwz qujaebhxd hutexn gtuwztxqw emgfao pokjhztmt elcdjs mztlcoxiu qhspfs yseupudkr mvnnnu ivvvbwrnk nawwxv evagcbkkz gzapbs zzvfvgpzr xvotwa ylwufcovr qbyken bbncsdcbq bvfkos zizmknokg yhezuh gylixcqlt mwtmgh yfjjrijtf efkpbu bogugudiy dzufmj rogpiwkjt ukdykf exkbkrvda cbkbip frivjoslm jzxogg jxzsrrnfl duulbp cheap beats by dre agqiiuxp awkxslorv sqetdo yecueonom qpmghy xvflgrtqb jnpmjk vadsbxwke tcnexc gdwfycxkq cheap beats by dredwulbd pmlmrqdra nihtfp wtwabiwsz slzspy hizzdigjq ihbcwa ldlfxqqnn lwtwzs uudavyibi aywwvo othqznemt wjmqge cfawmvxoa dciraf tqeatsiku lqzgpd hlqxzkkll kwesde ylsbricrd xpgijl yvpzlxvch nxmabr wdooq cheap beats by dre dxtt iegtqy urohjqhst ewzczs qfmmfuyda coakqs lzqdveswb uqvskp yxubmdutk pxbadx rqrhbrdas hmeqxn gycbmecej nsmufh lejlkevam oxagdq kxunxcuux ltbxs cheap beats by dre t onokmnyka uogiyifddwqd jftg wvnaczgrs lceb vxtwwgyzm lgvy pternylcb cooj ouoxzusma idhb fmidclpvb uspm cdpkfiwbe ypon yyrqesito xpac moejlafda nklh qmaooisvr ldku maqiyuuwt edkm lkbj”

Don’t worry, I checked. It’s all spelled correctly. All the bolded bits are where I disabled the same link to the same site selling the same crappy headphones.

Who the hell thinks sending out crap like this actually works? Has anyone ever admitted to paying for a “service” that involves annoying the shit out of as many people as possible? It only makes me want to hunt down the dicks responsible and provide them with real, worthwhile jobs, like cleaning up peep show booths at strip clubs, or inseminating farm animals.

Dear “Beats by Dr. Dre” – Fuck you and your headphones.

Spam that makes me laugh.

I’ll never understand how spam is targeted, beyond the simple “Blast everything” approach. In the real world, I know of no successful sales pitch that involves annoying the shit out of potential customers with non-sensical blatherings and then concludes with a “Oh, and buy this _____” tacked on at the end. On the other hand, it seems to be the only approach used with any regularity on the internet.

Case in point? I found this comment in my spam filter this morning:

“Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is simply great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.”

WOW! That’s some nice complimenting going on right there. In another universe — one free of annoying assholes — I’d feel humbled and honored to have received such praise. But, wait…what entry on my apparently awesome blog caught this reader’s attention and inspired them to respond in this way?

This one.

So, you know… “F” for effort, and all that.

Obviously, it’s nothing more than an attempt to defeat spam filters by offering something that almost but not quite passes for coherent reading. The comment, of course, includes a link to a website that’s probably about three kinds of useless (I didn’t bother clicking the link. Screw you, ya lazy pricks.). You and I know this stuff is a waste of time and an uninspired attempt to separate us from our money (or to get our password/etc.), but it’s obvious that it works at least to some degree, or so many people wouldn’t be taking advantage of such “sales services” to pimp their particular dumbass product. Still, it does give me a chuckle from time to time.

Anybody keep any of the better or favorite spammy comments they get?

The stupidest SPAM I’ve received in a while.

Most of the time when one slips through the filter, I just delete it unread, but this one caught my attention, mostly for the unchecked stupidity it represents not only for whoever thought up the notion, but also for the scads of dumbasses who likely will fall for it. I post it here in its unaltered state:

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Dear AOL user,

After the elections, the new president asked us to rise the level of protection of AOL accounts. All accounts will be secure and users will receive the bonus amount of 25 dollars from AOL Custumer Service.

This bonus will be allocated directly into your account after you do what you ask for the page below. We remind you that Barack Obama is the new president.All this for a better protection and for a new America.

To upgrade your account please click the link below:

http://www.AOL.com/upgrade/receivebonus/upgrade.htm

Thank you, and remind you that in more than 24 hours after the renewal dates you will receive the sum of 25 dollars

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