By Maggie Rascal
If only the spammers would listen, this is what I’d tell them…
Dear Purveyors of Canned Meat:
Thank you for your interest in our website. Because so many of you have left similar comments, we’ve put together a list of common observations, questions and concerns. Please consult this FAS (frequently added spam) guide before posting.
The Site Administrators
It’s thoughtful of you to be concerned about our SEO scores, Google ranking, social media marketing strategy and website layout. Really, though, we’re happy with how everything is going right now. We’ll keep your contact information on hand if we’re ever looking to make a change. Yup, it will be right there in its own special, circular file.
You have a lot of questions! Fortunately, the answers to most of them can be found easily, eliminating the need for us to post your comment that (coincidentally, we’re certain) leads to a site selling cheap shoes/purses/NFL jerseys/silicone wristbands. Here is the information you’re seeking:
- This site is built on the WordPress platform, which is why “Proudly Powered by WordPress” appears at the bottom of every page.
- The theme is WordPress Twenty Eleven, just one of the many standard themes available.
- Setting up your own blog is simple, quick and, in many cases, free. Although we’re flattered that you’d ask for our recommendation, your best bet is to search for “blog sites” and pick the one that seems to best fit your needs.
- We’re sorry, but we can’t help you get listed in Yahoo News, and honestly, we’re a bit perplexed about how you found our site while surfing there. We’ve certainly never come across it. Oh, and this isn’t a news site.
- Ditto for MSN.
Without a doubt, being so fawned over is flattering. It strokes the ego to hear that the site is awesome, the layout fantastic, the content fresh and unique, and the writing wonderful. Unfortunately, false praise is easy to spot, and isn’t going to see the light of day.
You know who you are. Does that ever work?
- If your little sister/cousin/roommate really maliciously dropped your iPad just to see what would happen, you need to be spending your time looking for a new little sister/cousin/roommate instead of telling complete strangers who frankly don’t care.
- We are dumbfounded that the 30 or so of you who simply “had to tell someone” about taking your children to the beach, where your 4-year-old daughter put a shell to her ear and was pinched by a hermit crab, chose us to be that someone — and also that the incidence of hermit crabs pinching young girls seems to be so widespread.
- Perhaps you should be looking for a site related to football/religion/tech forum kind of stuff to post your comments regarding football/religion/tech forum kind of stuff. This isn’t that site.
- To be fair, you may not be babbling, but we disregard all comments in languages other than English, Spanish, French or Italian. Sorry, but those are the languages we know. If we can’t read a comment, we can’t moderate it, and we won’t post it. Ever.
The Forthright Hawker
You come straight to the point, and get props for not trying to fool us. We’re still not going to post your pitch, though.
Honestly, this strategy isn’t going to get you anywhere. Go away. We don’t need your negativity.
- No music started playing as soon as you visited. We don’t have any music on the site. Only two posts have accompanying audio, and neither begins playing automatically. Trust us, we’re equally as annoyed by your comment as you claim to be by our nonexistent music.
- Likewise, no video started playing, because — you guessed it — we don’t have any video on the site.
- And one of our advertisements did not resize your browser window. How can we be so sure? Simple. We have no music, no video, and no ads.
- We do, however, have photos accompanying nearly every post, so grumbling about “an awful lot of text for only one or two photos” doesn’t stand up.
- You get several emails with the same comment because you initially checked the “Notify me when new comments are added” box? Oh dear! Are they all spam? And does that bother you for some reason? We’ll be sure to look into the problem right away, Sr. Especiales Adidas Bounce Titan Entrenamiento Negro Azul Hombres.
- The website did not “eat” your first comment. As noted earlier, all comments are moderated. None will appear until approved by an administrator — and that includes your “followup” comment. It wasn’t eaten either; it was deleted.
- Saying we’re lazy for not posting every day will not improve the odds of anyone here approving a blurb that urges us to search online for your unique content service. Would calling you stupid prompt you to search for Maggie’s Essential Tool for Idiotic Spammers? By the way, one of the reasons we don’t post every day is that dealing with asinine spam attempts takes up a great deal of time.
The Absolutely No Fucks Given Huckster
Massive cut-and-paste posts that include every trick in the book, all rolled into a single comment; snippets trolled from various sources, run together in a convoluted mishmash; comments taking issue with the lack of source citation in a poem; compliments on the “useful information” presented in a fictional story about a guy who intentionally harms children… Come on, at least make an effort. Your laziness is showing.
The Successful One
All this isn’t to say we’ll never post your comments. To ensure they are approved, just follow these tips:
- Use your own personal email address.
- Read our content and only comment on the pieces that genuinely interest you.
- Limit your post to discussion of the work you’re commenting on — don’t delve into something off-topic, mention specific products or brands, or include any links.
In other words, be a reader rather than a spammer, a participant instead of a peddler. Don’t worry, we understand such a major shift isn’t going to happen overnight. We’ll be patient. And while we’re waiting, we’ll be fortifying our defenses against all manner of evil creatures that would be driven out of Hell by the ice, and scanning the skies for flying pigs.
© 2015 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved
M.P. Witwer (a.k.a. Maggie Rascal) is an administrator of Select Stories, as well as one of the site’s contributing writers