Have We Come of Age? -- First Spammer in Comments
I wonder if "The Gnomestead Stump" has come of age? We had our first Spammer come and Spam us with an unsolicited advertisement in our comments section for one of our articles! Now I could like a good adman make you search for the article with the comment in it -- that way you would have to look over more of the articles -- but instead I shall provide you with a link to the article which will open up on its own page. That way it will show you the comments section right away too as a bonus. It is in the "Tickets Please - Fair Transit Fares" article from July 13, 2008.
I was tempted to immediately delete the ad and perhaps in future I shall do so. I did add a comment of my own afterwards. I am leaving it in place for a couple of reasons. The first is that I planned on writing this article I am posting here, and it is an example of what I am writing about. It is also fairly innocuous other than wasting bandwidth for you and blog-space for me. The Spam also wastes server space for Blogger/Google and resources for the whole Internet community.
The advertisers are obviously not paying for the advertising space and while Blogger does offer free space, the purpose of it is not for third parties to make use of -- unasked for -- for advertising their wares. If I chose to I can have advertising on "The Gnomestead Stump" which actually would pay "Me" money when people followed the links advertised.
Someone I am sure is getting some sort of remuneration for the ad -- possibly based on each click on the links in the comment unless you have a script blocker in place. I actually do cruise the net with a script blocker in place. To allow for safer surfing I use the "NoScript" Application for Firefox, even though it means I have to activate scripts when I determine I trust a site.
If I could, I might disable the links in the comment so that nobody would be tricked to follow them to the travel site they link to. If someone did want to use their services... I can not say that they are bad... they could follow the links. I don't recommend it personally. I can say that if this is the sort of advertising technique they use, I would not want to do business with them.
On-the-other-hand there are people who pretend to be someone else just to discredit them. Someone might be pretending to be them. I have gotten sever emails purporting to be from MSN lately saying they are about some news reader service or some such... But I know the email does not originate from MSN. It is just another one of those Viral emails that say they are one thing when they are another. They even use return addresses that are not their own. I think in a way they are spoofing and phishing for information or trying to hurt MSN's reputation?
If someone has decided to try to Spam this column, I guess that means we have "made it". Now of course I also have seen them Spamming Forums with only a dozen members... If they send out 1,000,000 pieces of bait and get one nibble, those responses have paid for themselves many times over -- for they pay next to nothing to go fishing.
But, does that mean "The Gnomestead Stump" has passed a right of passage?