Sep 01 2011

This is going to take some getting used to

Back at my old blog, I’ve always had a policy of “first time moderation,” meaning if you’ve never commented before, I have to approve you first before your comments get posted. It’s a great way to cut down on spam, but I’m beginning to wonder how well it’s going to work here. My apologies to everyone who had to wait in line.

It’s great to have so many people commenting, though—thanks everyone! If the first time moderation rule gets to be too much of a bother (read: if there’s more new comments than my laziness will conveniently allow me to process) I may bite the bullet and turn off the filter. I really do hate spam, though, so it’s likely to be a brief hiatus until the spammers notice we’re here.

I do, however, have a few favorite pieces of spam that I will always treasure. Here’s the subject line from one of them, word-for-word as it was delivered to me:

Having erection problems, Jenny?

Offered as partial atonement for having made you guys wait. Cheers.


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  1. 1

    Having erection problems, Jenny?

    Call 867-5309… ;) I’ve always been amazed at how many spammers suggest I want to simultaneously increase my penis and my breast size…

    1. 1.1

      I’m amazed that spam marketing actually works – and it must work or else they wouldn’t keep doing it.

      1. abb3w

        For some value of works. The opening capital outlay is small, and the cost-per-spam microscopic; even very low rates of return allow significant profit margins on high mark-up items.

      2. Robert B.

        It’s so cheap and reaches so many people that it can work with staggering infrequency and still be profitable. If unsolicited spam worked on any significant percentage of people, it would pay off well enough to buy better writing.

      3. Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

        It works on kind of a scattergun marketing scheme. Send out millions of messages a day. If 10% of the people click on the links, that’s still several hundred thousand people who’ve clicked on them. They don’t even have to buy the products for the spammers to get money – ads will help with that. Plus most spam links also infect computers with Trojans that then make the machines spam out messages.

        The only way to stop spam entirely is if everyone in the world stopped clicking on random links from emails. Not likely to happen, though.

    2. 1.2

      Thai ladyboi/shemale market?

  2. 2
    Greg Laden

    It works. It only has to work on one in a zillion people.

    I think people will be patient with the one time moderation thing. Everyone on the internet is pretty patient most of the time, aren’t they?

  3. 3


    Are you using WordPress as your engine? I know there are really good anti-spam plug-ins for it. If not, your host may have something to filter the spam out of the comments.

  4. 4

    So the lesson I’m taking from this post is that I should submit a comment now, just in case I have some really profound thought that I want to share somewhere down the line, and I don’t want to wait to have my profundity moderated. Therefore, this profound comment.

  5. 5

    OOOOO! The Physicalister reached around with a little work around!

  6. 6

    Well – allow me to welcome you to FTB. Does “first time” mean first comment on this blog or first time anywhere on FTB?

    1. 6.1
      Deacon Duncan

      Actually, I’m not sure (I only have limited access to the blog setup itself), but I expect it would mean “first comment at Alethian Worldview.”

  7. 7

    Well, then, let me get my first comment out of the way.

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