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Getting too creative in a bad way

February 4th, 2004 · No Comments

If only those spammers could utilize their creative talents towards another more noble purpose, I’m sure they could discover a solution for world peace or epidemic diseases or maybe even…spam…

What I’ve discovered stuck to my blog has amazed me, MT-Blacklist not withstanding. I can only imagine what I might be seeing if Ted and I hadn’t been installing and testing some preventative techniques. A take on Dr. Seuss comes to mind: “Spam I am…”

In recent days I’ve gotten spam that actually said it was from “spam”. There’s creativity for ya. The standard technique though seems to be writing what appears to be a nice vague comment but with a yucky url link, for enlargement products or other hypes.

I got a comment for a post that I never published. I guess the spam generators just crank out random numbers and see what they can find. It did appear on my comment list on my blog page. There’s something MT needs to fix.

And in a creative twist, I got a comment on my blog that seemed strange. It seemed to be addressed not to me but to the person who had previously commented on that post. The link went to a software users group. I thought perhaps it was genuine and forwarded it away.

The person to whom this comment was addressed (?) happened to be a fellow blogger who has helped me with spam in the past. If this blog were a movie and listed credits, the way The Lord of the Rings series lists off “inferno” and “chain mail”, I’d have to list Steven Noels as Spam Assistant for Seedlings and Sprouts. Ted helps me a lot but there are some things he doesn’t know about MT and Steven’s been great. And this time he clued me in to the fact that this was yet another, more cleverly disguised type of spam, with the links on the user groups site heading somewhere else…

I’ve gotten quite skeptical, examining everything that gets added to this blog. I wonder whether comments are coming incognito. Today when I got a comment saying something simple “it’s great”, I checked again and again for the enlargement url or some other spam scam. But I think it was genuine. Hard to know any more.

A friend who reads this blog sent me a clipping from last week’s NYTimes about a “Manhattan exhibit that tries to make art out of spam”. I can’t find it on-line but here’s the Yahoo News version: Artists Turn Junk E-Mail Into Spam Show

Now I certainly feel emotional about this spam. But do I feel creative enough to make art out of this stuff? Probably not. Doesn’t seem worth my while. But then again, cutting and carving it up into art could be quite cathartic. The best revenge with something so creative might be to be creative with it in return…

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