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Trade Show Zombies, Spammers, and Tadpoles

April 6th, 2009 · 15 Comments · Random Stuff

more trade show zombiesI guess this post is a bit trade show related. I’ve noticed that my blog must be becoming a bit famous, at least based on the amount of spam comments I am getting. It used to be a few spam comments a week, but now it’s dozens a day. And I noticed that the majority seem to be on my post about trade show zombies. Is this just a coincidence, or do spammers know deep in their hearts that they are really just kindred mindless zombies, churning out meaningless spam?

In any event, I am getting mobbed by spamming zombies.  Most of the spam I get make no sense to me, thought maybe it would make sense to a zombie. Here’s an example. I’ve added dashes to the words I think are questionable (I don’t want any search engines thinking the Trade Show Guru is a “questionable site”, and I’ve also delete links and put brackets around the former anchor text. It amazes me how many links the spammers put in… Anyway, here’s the example.

“Just stopped superior nose tentacles than become the roared thunderous arrow checked [x-a-l-a-t-a-n eye] liked dry and though can fashion searching north make mat heir heads [a-t-i-v-a-n does in long stay system] who never climb onto the strongest ada sailed tempt them lost its [a-c-i-p-h-e-x weight gain] her feet getting hit the stupid those chocolate the upper governing dragon [canada m-e-r-i-d-i-a] man with could travel straight forward voice came thinking process their ears [how v-e-r-m-o-x] works the higher remembered where will unpoison was hooked nose tilted fleeting thought [dr b-r-a-n-d-w-e-i-n] [s-i-l-d-e-n-a-f-i-l pills] she shook the firedrake winged horses pretty and nothing but the second [when ovulate c-l-o-m-i-d] was doomed far away little stream been petite cloud dissipated absolutely solid [f-l-u-m-a-d-i-n-e 100mg] from children with frozen arrow shut good mare older form these flaws [c-l-o-p-i-d-o-g-r-e-l bisulfate] own secrets very young political liaison had she through this haiiy skin [p-s-i-l-o-c-y-b-i-n mushroom growers kit] hey all orceress will achieve the heir bases all must pet dragon [useage e-l-o-c-o-n cream] the dying and your brushing gently took firm whose points this spot [a-t-a-r-a-x 25 mg] had consoled tender flesh longer tentacle raid the best paddler oiph asked [n-o-r-v-a-s-c drug interactions] his creature and joined looked like death…”

The above is only a portion of the comment (about 25%). Where do these spamming zombies come up with this stuff? “Superior nose tentacles?” “Firedrake winged horses?” Does your blog get comments like this???

Tadpoles Update: As I wrote last week, we caught some tadpoles at a nearby stream and brought them home. We decided to see if we can raise them to frogs. I looked on the internet to see what to feed them, and found there’s a wealth of information about tadpoles. But one website cautioned to be “environmental” and not take “too many” so as to not effect the eco-system. Well, we didn’t take that many, but I also have to chuckle because we went back this week to get more algae to feed our tadpoles and found that the original stream bed water hole was no more. It was dried up with only a few buzzing flies, but no more tadpoles. Looks like we actually saved a few of the little fellers! Anyway, we’ll take good care of them, and see what happens…

If only those spamming zombies lived in a water hole that dried up…

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15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tim // Apr 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Ha! They all stopped bothering me and went after you finally 🙂
    That superior nose tentacles thing sounds pretty cool compared to most of those inferior ones, doesn’t it?
    It seems like certain spammers will latch onto our blog for a while and bombard us with crap for weeks, all pretty much the same kind.

    Are you counting? I’m curious how many you will get. The Redneck is over twenty eight thousand spams now… with about 75 per day. My best spam day was over a thousand and then I put a Captcha on the comments. That screens out almost all of them, leaving me way more time to myself!

  • 2 The Trade Show Guru // Apr 8, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Wow Tim,
    Your numbers are stunning. I think I remember when you hit 1,000 last year? Now you’re over 28,000, and with the captcha? Wow?
    I’m just over 600, but I think it’s accelerating now. I should look on the bright side and consider my blog “popular” but instead it annoys me. ~ Steve

  • 3 Lin Burress @ Telling It Like It Is // Apr 8, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Oh the joys of spamming zombies. Not.

    I would guess there are those notorious ‘bots’ that search out keyword posts for any term they plan to target. Then there’s also spamming zombies who use Google Alerts to be notified anytime their keyword of choice is used and then here they come with their spam.

    My spam has dropped off quite a bit, and I can’t help but think it’s due to a new WP plugin that RT installed. Whatever it’s called, it works great.

    Hovering over the delete spam button isn’t a lot of fun, but it’s one of those necessary evils us bloggers have to contend with. Sigh….

  • 4 The Trade Show Guru // Apr 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    hi Lin,
    Spam bugs me. Especially spam email. But what really bugs me is the fraction of a percent of people that reply to and buy from spam email. If no one did, I think they would eventually give up. The fact that they keep doing it tells me someone is buying their stuff. Zombie buyers of spam products I suppose… ~ Steve

  • 5 Will // Apr 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Firedrake winged horse! That is great. Actually it could be the name of that bug in my WW post today.

    We did the tadpole thing once when the kids were young. We brought home about 50 and none of them survived.

    A couple of days ago I turned off my two comment spam and trackback spam plugins and forgot to turn them back on for about 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes I got over 800 spams, some with at least a hundred links in them. I could not believe it when I went to my comment page to delete them. The reason I don’t normally see them is that I have one of the plugins set to delete spam and not put them in the spam bin. I was shocked though.

  • 6 Tim // Apr 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Hey Steve,
    You’re right on track. It took Ernie and I over a year to get to a thousand, and look at us now! I am sure that you will receive the attention that you so richly deserve, in the form of thousands of oh so special spam comments. Just hang in there; all of your hard work will pay off 🙂

  • 7 The Trade Show Guru // Apr 9, 2009 at 11:38 am

    @Will,
    I just found your comment in my akismet folder! Have you been making spammy comments lately? 🙂 Maybe it’s because you used the phrase “Firedrake winged horse”.
    Anyway, I think 800 spams in 20 minutes has to be some kind of record! And all of the tadpoles are still alive and kicking. I do partial water changes and put in fresh moss on a regular basis, so we shall see. ~ Steve
    @Tim,
    I guess it’s all in how one looks at it, so I will try to look at it as an honor. ~ Steve

  • 8 Master of the Philippines // Apr 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    That plugin is WP-Spam-Free I think. It forces commenters to have JavaScript and cookies enabled in order to comment. My spam is but a trickle compared to what it was a month ago.

  • 9 The Trade Show Guru // Apr 10, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    hey RT (aka Master),
    I read somewhere about combining the Bad Behavior plugin with akismet. Bad Behaviour blocks “bad people” from even accessing your blog. Anyway, I installed Bad Behavior after writing this post, and it looks like it is blocking spam like crazy, and very little is even getting into my akismet spam folder to have to check… I just wonder if anyone legit is getting blocked? Anyway, thanks for stopping by! ~ Steve

  • 10 Will // Apr 11, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I used Bad Behaviour for a while but decided I did not like how aggressive it was. I was afraid legit comments, (like my last), would get blocked and I would never know. Now I only block and delete spammy trackbacks, and all other spam goes into the spam folder where I can review it. I do find some good ones in there at times.

    Part of these numbers might be how we are defining spam. Of the 800 above, I bet 750 were trackback spam.

  • 11 The Trade Show Guru // Apr 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    hey Will,
    I think Bad Behavior blocks “bad” ip addresses from even accessing one’s blog. So if you can access the blog, you can comment. Then you just have to get past akismet, which makes mistakes every now and then. 🙂 Anyway, I’ll be curious to see if anyone reports they can’t get to my blog… or if I’ll ever find out. So far the “regulars” seem to be getting through… 🙂 ~ Steve

  • 12 Kikolani // Apr 16, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    It’s the dark side of being a dofollow commenting site. I thought my site was immune, and then one day, I started getting slammed with spam comments.

    I just recently found out that my site is listed in a forum for blackhat seo as a blog to spam because of my dofollow links. It’s nice to be recognized and linked to, but there are better link neighborhoods I’d rather be in.

    That’s why I ended up with the math spam protector field – I got a bit lazy moderating, and ended up with over 10,000+ spam comments still waiting to be deleted.

    ~ Kristi

  • 13 The Trade Show Guru // Apr 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Kristi,
    I don’t think I’ve made it onto any of those lists… yet. But I say “bring it on!” I have no problem deleting any comment that doesn’t add value or make me laugh, or isn’t from a blogger I follow. I’ll probably regret saying “bring it on”… ~ Steve

  • 14 Brian D. Hawkins // Apr 26, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Hi Steve. Are you getting a lot of spam from this post? I seem to get a lot on my blogs when I use the word ‘spam’ in the title for some reason. I get a lot anyway but they seem to target old posts like that. I wonder if their spam software searches for keywords like that.

    I’ve been banning a lot of IPs manually but I think there is a WP plugin that will do it. I found it on someone’s post a while back but lost track of which blog.

    I was considering using a captcha but those get very frustration. I might try the math spam protector that Kristi uses. I haven’t had any problems on the commenter’s site of that one.

  • 15 The Trade Show Guru // Apr 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Brian,
    I wondered if I might get more spam comments on this post, but actually, since I installed “Bad Behavior”, I’ve been getting very little spam at all. It blocks “bad” ip’s, and might be what you are looking for. I think it might end up the topic of my next post. I’ll let you know. ~ Steve

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