Tag Archives: blogging

Spam, Spam, Spam, Eggs, and Spam

Blog spam is a weird world.

Most of my spam is trying to sell drugs. I like to imagine they’re only sharing insider information on cheap sources of prescription medications with everyone so they can undermine predatory Big Pharma and stick it to the man.

ambien

Notice how some of them look like they thought my blog comment section was a Google search box? The guy who was looking for help with his Thai Ambien-induced diarrhea must be so embarrassed right now.

Most of the spam consists of a short line of text with a link back to the spammer’s website. Sometimes, though, these guys really bring their best to the game and get a gold star for effort. They cut and paste a block of text from a news story and slip in their key words and links so smoothly that you hardly notice you’re being subliminally led to their pages. See if you can detect the subtle changes in the following text that turn it into a spam masterpiece:

tiffanyWho knows what these guys are trying to sell me.

It’s not all bad, though. Many of my comments make it look like English-as-a-sceond-language teachers are using blog commenting as a way for their students to improve their reading and writing skills. How else to explain all the praise I receive in confused English?

It’s hard to find educated people on this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks!

What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience regarding unpredicted feelings.

I think this is one of the most significant info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

These are actually enormous ideas in regarding blogging. You have touched some nice points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

I know all this junk is fake. I know that none of these are real people who are actually reading my blog, let alone enjoying the content. I recently learned about how spammers come up with these comments and why they all read like a foreign student getting fancy with a thesaurus. It’s actually kind of a neat idea, except that it rarely works right. Still, it’s nice to hear that robots enjoy my work. At least, most of them do. Some robots don’t, and they’re mean about it:

mean

If it wasn’t for the plug at the end for Mitsubishi air conditioners (Mitsubishi makes air conditioners?), I’d think I had a passive-aggressive bully coming to abuse me on my blog. Maybe I do need a better spam filter after all, before the mean spam bots wreck my self-esteem.

Text and image Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. Read more about them here.

Mediocrity

A friend sent me a link to a contest. To enter, people write blog posts about their greatest fears and submit them to a published author, who will choose the best story and give the winning writer a trip to anywhere. How could I ever enter such a thing? My piece would be compared to hundreds of others. It would likely come up short.

I am afraid that my writing isn’t good enough. That I’m not good enough. That when I think I’m going to be a great writer someday, I’m wrong.

I am afraid that the voice inside my head that says I’m silly to want to be a writer, the voice that says I should give up and just keep a little journal for myself, might be right.

I am terrified of my own mediocrity.

I grew up nerdy, awkward, and quiet. I never had many friends, and my family didn’t have money for music lessons or sports teams. Instead of popularity, I comforted myself with my brain. I could read at three, write sentences at four, and I was so bored by the A-B-C of kindergarten that I was skipped through to second grade the next year. My parents praised my grades, so I kept bringing them quizzes adorned with gold stars and smiley faces. My teachers told me I was smart, told me I was talented, told me I should be a writer. Daily, I was praised for my brain. I was a very smart kid.

Then I got older, and I met more people. Smart people. People who were better than me at so many things, and so much more confident. People who inspired and intimidated me. I attended medical conferences and heard scientists speak excitedly about their work. After every conference, I wished I had gone on to grad school so that I could stand up there with those amazing people. But I doubt I’m smart enough to get through it. I went on a special cruise with hundreds of other geeks and was blown away by their guts and creativity. Singers, comics, writers and artists – I want so badly to be like them and to share myself with the world, but I don’t know how. Deep inside, I feel that my efforts would never compare to theirs, so I am afraid to try.

I am afraid that my brain has failed me. I used to feel so smart, and now I feel so… stupid. Is my pond bigger and more crowded now than it was when I was young, or has insecurity shrunk me into a smaller fish? I have grown into a woman who surrounds herself with intelligent and engaging people – why does this intimidate more than it inspires? In comparing myself to these people, my sense of self has begun to crack. If I’m not as smart as everyone’s been telling me I am, then what is left of me?

Here, on my blog, I feel safe. I write more for myself than for anyone else, and nobody is judging me. If readers don’t enjoy what they see, they don’t come back, and without a statistics counter embedded in my code, I’ll never know. It’s comfortable and isolated, and I can pretend here that I’m a wonderful writer who just hasn’t been discovered yet. Because, truth be told, I might not be all that good, and that’s a reality that I don’t want to face.

I am afraid to expose myself to criticism. I know it’s the only way to grow, but doing so may force me to admit I’m mediocre, and not the writer I wish I were. I fear that rejection will break me. It will reinforce the negative voices that whisper to me at night and prompt my retreat.

By entering this contest, I am choosing to face that fear. I’m handing in my assignment for some very talented and intimidating people to read and criticize. The little girl in me hopes desperately for a gold star. The insecure adult in me worries that putting my post in a pile with those of better writers than me is a mistake, and I shouldn’t try. They’re both wrong. What I need is not empty praise to puff my ego. I need to improve, both in skill and in guts, and the only way to do that is to take a deep breath and ask for criticism from people who are qualified to hand it out.

 

 


Love with a Chance of Drowning – A Memoir by Torre DeRocheThis post is part of the My Fearful Adventure series, which is celebrating the launch of Torre DeRoche’s debut book Love with a Chance of Drowning, a true adventure story about one girl’s leap into the deep end of her fears.

“Wow, what a book. Exciting. Dramatic. Honest. Torre DeRoche is an author to follow.” Australian Associated Press

“… a story about conquering the fears that keep you from living your dreams.” Nomadicmatt.com

“In her debut, DeRoche has penned such a beautiful, thrilling story you’ll have to remind yourself it’s not fiction.” Courier Mail

Find out more…


Change is scary

Well, here goes. I went and got my very own domain and I’m going to blog with the big kids. Dropping the “blogger.com” from my online writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Most of my favorite bloggers have their own sites – even the amateurs – and I feel like if I want to be taken seriously, I need to have my own site, with its own distinctive look, to share my writing.

It’s going to take me a while to get used to using WordPress, but I’m excited to be doing something new and different. I hope you’ll be patient through my growing pains, and enjoy the ride with me.

Do I look more legitimate yet?

We’re on a break

I’m not likely to be updating the blog for a few weeks due to a family emergency. I’ll be back soon with news, but right now I’ve got other critical priorities overshadowing even my own basic needs. 
Hopefully I’ll be back here dishing out great posts and linking them up with my new blogging buddies in a few weeks. I just need some time to focus on family right now.
Jen