It’s the scourge of the interweb, the traffic-coned contra-flow of the information superhighway and has – for most people – all the attraction of that jelly stuff they put in pork pies between the crust and the meat… What is this internet evil? – Spam!
Personally, the stuff doesn’t bother me that much, (internet spam, that is, not the jelly in pork pies… that stuff bothers me a lot!) – i rarely suffer from it, mainly from being completely paranoid about who i give my e-mail addresses to, and how i do it, together with my almost-pathological avoidance of social networking. When i do get spam, i tend to chuckle over it, more than i get irritated, because it’s usually so incredibly wide of the mark that it’s laughable.
The spam filter on this blog is pretty effective – although, for some reason, i do seem to get targeted by gold-market sites… because, of course, in rl i spend a heck of a lot of time trading in gold commodities, in between sustaining my voracious sex life with little blue herbal pills and looking after vast sums of money for terribly friendly members of the Nigerian banking system. Oh boy, do i live an interesting life!
My particular favourites are the spambots – those endearing computer programs that are just that little bit too clever for their own good. You know the sort… everything seems pretty normal to start with; they might even seem to be on-topic or related to your interests, then Blammo! They start to descend into Swedelish or Engarian and make about as much sense as, well ninety percent of the rest of the internet, really – which, if you’re running a serious forum or money-making blog that relies on impartial, genuine responses from real people can be a bit of a bummer, whereas for me, something like the following just makes me titter:
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The one thing that does irritate me about spam is how it seems to infiltrate every means of communication that we possess, from the junk mail in our inboxes and the rubbish comments posted anywhere on the .net that there’s a response form; to text messages offering compensation for our car accidents – (that’s odd, i don’t remember crashing… Oh no! i must have amnesia!) – and the cold callers trying to sell us double-glazing, (“Oh, i’m so sorry, i already have triple-glazing!”)… and there’s plenty of spam in sl too.
Every time i log in to sl, you can guarantee i’ll be spending the first five minutes wading through the junk messages that have accumulated since my last session. Umpteen sale advertisements for stores i visited once and have never been back to since, promotions that i have no interest in and invitations to events that finished hours ago – and the very worst thing about it is that i have to check each one carefully, because bitter experience tells me that wanton deletion of everything without checking is a sure-fire way to delete forever the one important message that you do have, or reject that insanely expensive outfit that’s just been delivered from the Marketplace! So, i hold back and force myself to read before deleting – of course, i’m still buggered – thanks to all that spam, all my proper IMs are going to be capped anyway!
Then there’s the insane amount of pop-ups…
By all means, send a group notice to give advance notice of something special, or let me know when an event is about to start. You can even give me a half-way-through reminder… that’s ok, but 42 announcements within the space of a couple of hours – supplemented, of course, by the obligatory group ‘chat’… just in case you haven’t got the message that the event of the century is currently going down, like it does every freaking week, at the same freaking venue, with the same freaking people! – is just a little excessive for my tastes.
No! i don’t want a landmark! Why would i TP into a store and instantly decide i want to come back, before i’ve even looked at the merchandise? Chances are, i’ve already got a landmark, since i found the store in the first place – if i want a landmark, i’m perfectly capable of making my own! i arrived at a store recently, and i swear to you, it took me ten minutes to close all the ‘welcome’ messages, group joiners, hunt hints, discount notices and ‘do you want to display your profile picture’ dialogues… did i buy anything? Hell no!
Spam, whether in rl, or the virtual kind, is spam – nobody wants it, nobody needs it and, even spam-tolerant people like me, would live happier, more fulfilled lives without it. Spam does nothing to enhance sl and unlike all those other things that do nothing to enhance sl, like lag, bake-fail and Linden Lab, it is avoidable!