The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the tag “spam”

Free writing prompt (actual SPAM not included)

This is your lucky day. A new writing prompt that’s so wonderful, you’ll probably get your short story or book published and make at least $10000000000.

Ready?

A down-and-out, but inventive young man or young woman decides to make his/her fortune selling SPAM door to door. (The real stuff.)

I have a few ideas for how to do this, most of which would be humorous allusions to on-line SPAM even if the whole shebang is a success; however it could also be a cautionary tale where everything goes wrong and the protagonist is found in a ditch at the end of the story surrounded by empty SPAM cans.

With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) starting November 1, you’ll have plenty of incentives to get the story done even if you and/or the material end up annoying everyone and getting you kicked off Facebook and Twitter.

I’ll look forward to seeing the results of your work in Glimmer Train or possibly in a novel co-written with James Patterson.

Have fun, or else.

Malcolm

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Laughable Spam

I know little or nothing about the SPAM business, so I have no idea how spammers decide to post on one blog or another. Those of us who are self-employed are told to target our ads for better results. So, I don’t place ads for my novels in computer magazines or trade blog posts with folks who focus on water skiing.

Maybe the spammers send out bots to find our blogs and they then dump messages about Viagra and dating sites randomly across the Internet. They usually begin with “I read your blog every day” and then include the advertisement

So, those of you who are promoting access to content sites who claim to read my blog and follow, “We know it’s tedious maintaining blogs with fresh content so, rather than struggling to write your own, why not buy our articles?”

I can answer that quickly: because I’m a writer. 

Your SPAM about reading my blog every day and then suggesting I need somebody to write it for me has provided me with many amusing moments. Of course, since my anti-SPAM program blocks your comments, my readers aren’t laughing about it. Kind of a bummer, isn’t it?

However, I do apologize with my readers for not sharing the humorous (and tricky) comments.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of multiple novels and short stories and several thousand blog posts.

 

 

The following people should be shot for the good of the country

. . .with a tranquilizer dart, perhaps. 

People who:

  • Run sites that offer free copies of an author’s books and then don’t respond to take-down notices.
  • Subscribe to authors’ newsletters to get a free book and then unsubscribe as soon as they get it.
  • Protest a book and/or want it removed from the library even though they’ve never read it.

    (Rum not included)

  • Post one-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads because the author wore the wrong color shirt or because they accidentally bought a book in a genre they don’t normally read and feel like having a tantrum.
  • Find a way of introducing statements about their personal issues into Facebook status updates that have nothing to do with those issues.
  • Have Twitter feeds that are 99% SPAM.
  • Write blog posts about shooting people with tranquilizer darts because getting shot with a dart is a way of getting the drug without the prescription.
  • Believe that unknown authors (who actually need the income) should get $0.99 for the same kind of book that the rich, big-name author is selling for $15.00.
  • Think that movie stars who own three houses worth more than most people’s neighborhoods really care about liberal programs designed to help the poor.
  • Don’t drink Scotch and/or drink fruity drinks that taste like stale Kool-Aid.
  • Don’t understand how detrimental to the arts it is to defund NEA and NHA.
  • Don’t know the difference between interesting personal tidbits and TMI.
  • Spread quizzes on Facebook with titles like “What Native American Tribe Are You From?” or “What’s Your Scottish Name?”  like there’s some glory from an algorithm’s fake response.
  • Don’t realize today is Friday.

Malcolm

Traipsing some malware with me

Once there was a spammer who camped in a wordpress
Under  the  glare of a forbidden 403
And he sang as he started his trigger words spinning
Who’ll come a traipsing some malware with me.

Who’ll come a traipsing some malware, my phishes
Who’ll come a traipsing delicious malware with me
Traipsing malware under the nose of old AVG
Who’ll come a traipsing sneaky malware with me.

Down came an old codger logging on from a home
Up jumped the spammer and stole from him with glee
And he muttered TTFN as he stowed him in his sucker bag
Who’ll come a traipsing McAfee-resistant bots with me.

Who’ll come a traipsing some malware, my phishes
Who’ll come a traipsing delicious malware with me
Traipsing malware under the nose of old AVG
Who’ll come a traipsing sneaky malware with me.

Down came a Joomla riding on his firewall
Down came the silent filters one two three
Whose is that codger you’ve got in the sucker bag
You’ll soon be eating your shell code with me.

But the spammer he up and jumped into Akismet queue
Drowning himself beneath the forbidden 403
And his ghost can be heard as it sings in the wordpress
Who’ll come a traipsing some malware with me.

–Malcolm

When he’s not waltzing Matilda, Campbell writes contemporary fantasy, satire, and magical realism.

 

Insult your prospective customer. Okay, how’s that working for you?

Two spam companies left messages yesterday that were immediately deposited in the neighborhood’s communal outhouse (“Sit a Spell – Assholes Welcome”) because the robot authors thought an insult would get my attention.

They said: “I see that your blog really needs some fresh articles.”

Then they tried a little sentimentality: “I know it’s really hard coming up with fresh material every day when you’re busy changing the litter box, mowing the yard, saving the world, or whatever it is that keeps you from posting stuff that won’t attract any more spam from me.”

Basically, they wanted to sign me up for curated crap from the communal outhouse. They didn’t put it quite that way even though their opening lines made me suspect they didn’t have the sense God gave a goat.

When a woman walks into a beauty parlor in a movie and the first line she hears is, “Lord have mercy, honey, your need a lot of help,” the theater audience laughs.

In real life, that pick-up line probably doesn’t work so well even though the first thing a business (or a spammer) needs to do is get the prospective sucker’s attention. According to the old AIDA model, the seller needs to remember Attention – Interest – Desire – Action.

It’s always a good idea to know your potential customer so that you have a clue, for example, whether they’re turned on by insults. If not, you’re not even going to get to the Interest part of the advertising model, much less Desire.

But seriously, spam-breath, are you getting any action?

I’m not really cut out to go into the spam biz, but I still have a word of advice: If you’re going to start off with an insult, read some of Don Rickles’ best lines because they were intended as comedy rather than real putdowns:

  • “Oh my God, look at you. Anyone else hurt in the accident?”
  • “You were my idol when I was a kid. I was getting shock treatments at the time.”
  •  “Who picks your clothes – Stevie Wonder?”

Or, perhaps success in the spam business needs a touch of Jack E. Leonard, master of insult comedy: “There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.”

If it’s a true mean streak you’re going for, listen to Joan Rivers for a few hours: “If Kate Winslet had dropped a few pounds, the Titanic would never have sunk” and “Elizabeth Taylor fat? Her favorite food is seconds.”

Or Mae West: “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”

As a last resort, Google the words “insult comedy,” and you’ll find enough stuff to make your spam so hot that customers will sign up with your services just to make it stop.

Until then, my town’s communal outhouse always has room for more.

–Malcolm

 

 

 

 

 

Stupid Spammer of the Year Award

Okay, there’s not really an award, or if there is, I’m not funding it.

spamawardBut if I handed out such an award, it would go to the clown who thinks he’ll get my business by sending me a comment that says, “I see, your site needs fresh and unique articles.”

Then he goes on to say how hard it is to write these articles “manually” when he can send them to me (automatically, I guess).

I wonder if he scrapes his material for these articles off the bottom of his shoe and/or steals it from other bloggers who won’t notice the plagiarism and then offers it to the rest of us for a small fortune.

Those of you who’ve stopped by this blog more than once already know that my eccentric approach to it isn’t going to blend smoothly with Joe Spam’s automated “articles.”

My suggestion to Joe–for our mutual benefit–was “don’t call me and I won’t call you.”

Now, if Joe has stuff that will get me discovered by whoever the hell’s in charge of discovering people these days, I might take a look at what he has to offer. I’m always waiting for Jo Rowling to call and ask if I want to co-author a book with her about just about anything.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of all kinds of stuff that came from writing stories and articles manually one word at a time.

You May Also like: The Buzz Books Spring/Summer Preview: One Hundred and Seventeen Books to Add to Your TBR Pile, from Literary Hub

 

 

 

Cleaning the spam queue is like mucking out a horse stall

“Mucking out a stall is the process of cleaning it by removing soiled bedding, old food, feces and urine. Horse stalls must be cleaned at least once a day when occupied by a horse. Stall cleaning is not a difficult task, but it does take time and physical effort to accomplish. The cleaner your stalls are, the healthier your horses will be.”

Pets on mom.me

A clean horse stall - Wikipedia photo

A clean horse stall – Wikipedia photo

Likewise, you’ll have a healthier blog that won’t spread had spam and other viral diseases throughout the Internet if you take a little time every day to wade into your blog’s spam queue with heavy boots and a pitchfork and get rid of the crap that’s been dropped there during the past 24 hours.

Healthy horses need clean stalls. Healthy blog visitors need clean spam queues. The blogger’s code of

Clean spam queue.

A clean spam queue.

ethics states that keeping a blog sanitized for the readers’ protection is a sacred duty and cannot be left to chance, much less ignored. We’ve all been to blogs with queues that look like a bad service station restroom. That kind of mess doesn’t exactly lure your back to the blog, does it? Whether you blog for business or pleasure, the spam queue makes a positive or negative statement about the kinds of products you sell or the kind of person you are.

Just this morning, for example, I found the following load of spam in the queue:

spamcontent

Tell me true, how would you feel if you stopped by my blog and stepped in that?

Spam Boots - Click on the graphic if you need a pair.

Spam Boots – Click on the graphic if you need a pair.

Quite likely, you would think I didn’t keep the place clean and tidy. Worse yet, you might think all of my material is delivered here by bots that scan the web and give you less than the very best.

Needless to say, I was happy to be wearing heavy duty boots this morning when I waded into the spam queue.

I sent the originator of that purportedly original content SPAM message a sternly worded e-mail explaining why I don’t need their services:

spamreply

When I run a news release on this blog, you’ll see something like “from NPS Glacier National Park” at the beginning of the post. When I highlight another person’s blog post or news story, you’ll see a link to it. The rest of the time, this stuff is my stuff.

You may not know this, but when bloggers join the WordPress family, they swear on a stack of flash drives that they will keep their blogs germ and spam free: that’s your guarantee just as sure as the “sanitized for your protection” strip across the toilet seat in a quality hotel lets you know the housekeeping department cares about you.

Repeat after me: A clean spam queue is a happy spam queue.

Anything else is pretty much a crock.

–Malcolm

New Jock front CVR full sizeAmong other things, Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the comedy/satire “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire.”

 

 

 

 

Dear ‘Authors’ – Thanks, but no thanks

TO: Cora, Jerri, Georgetta, Werner, Charlene, Joie, Dianna, StudMuffin, and Wilma
FROM: Sun Singer
SUBJ: Your Spam Comment
DATE: 21OCT2015

sunThank you for submitting your spam to “The Sun Singer’s Travels.” Unfortunately, it does not meet our needs at the present time. Should you be interested in commenting again in the future, we suggest you read several posts from this blog to learn more about the kinds of materials we use.

Since this blog focuses on books and writers, we seldom have a use for comments about Viagra, sex tapes, brothels, getting laid in Florida, looking for love in all the wrong places, loan shark financing plans, or recipes for re-purposing road kill.

While we cannot respond to every one of you due to the high volume of submissions we receive, we wish you the very best of luck finding a venue for your materials elsewhere.

 

Cleaning out the SPAM queue

The SPAM queue contains few treasures. I always glance through the message because sometime legitimate stuff falls in there. The rest of today’s SPAM looked more like this:

  • Click here for SPAM recipes.

    Click here for SPAM recipes.

    I’ve read all your books. I love those with the space monkeys. Click on my links to learn more about space moneys. Become a monkey person.

  • This is the best post since sliced bread. You really made me think even though I try to avoid it. Get in on my thoughtless marketing deals by clicking right here right now.
  • Didn’t we meet in a bar ten years ago? I’ve been searching the Internet for you even though you told me your name is Bill Smith. I wanted to tell you I was pregnant. If you ever think you’ve gotten anyone pregnant, click here for counseling.
  • My blog is all about SPAM which is why I came here. I hoped you’d stop writing about books and talk about food. If you want to buy my food, follow the links.
  • You’ve really nailed it or whatever. I come to your blog everyday just to learn more. Never disappointed. You won’t be disappointed with my hot deals on Viagra. Just click on the word ‘chicks’ to learn more.
  • Empty SPAM cans make good art that I sell on my site to support my counseling program for people who are scared of SPAM. I can tell by your posts that you’re having issues with your SPAM queue.
  • I’m a hot chick. WordPress won’t let me post any of my chix pix. If you like chix pix, I got what you want. Maybe we can meet at an Exxon station and exchange phone numbers.

Do real people write these things or is there a malevolent machine in New York City churning these out along with fortune cookie fortunes?

–Malcolm

Why did I look at the spam queue today?

WordPress has a handy feature called the SPAM queue that contains 99.999% of the SPAM comments placed on our blogs by (apparently) droids who think we’re actually reading this junk:

SPAMCertainly a real person wouldn’t stop by a post about, say, “foods of Ancient Rome” and say: “I found this post so informative I copied it onto my own website for my customers.Bob from Bob’s Condom Company Where Size Matters”

Right.

Public Service Note: If you’re frightened of SPAM, click on this graphic for help:

fightspam

Then there are those SPAM comments that are 100000 times longer than the post. They’re often filled with gibberish and/or written using extinct languages which appear to be gibberish but actually include helpful information about Viagra for readers who came to the day’s blog post planning to read about library programs for kids. Gosh, do spammers really get traction with these?

stopspamI figure there must be a segment of blog readers who reads, enjoys and responds to meaningless SPAM comments often enough to make it a profitable business. Many of those people hide under rocks, so they’re not part of the same world the rest of us are living in.

That segment needs help. Perhaps we need to start a 12-step program for people who are addicted to SPAM. It should be a bestseller. We’ll promote it with SPAM. As soon as I get it written, I’m going to find a blog about mom and apple pie and leave a comment:

“While thinking of mom and enjoying a slice of apple pie, I can’t help but think a lot of you are tired of buying condoms and pawn shop junk and SEO advice and Valium you don’t really want. If you’re like me, you aren’t reading this kind of comment. If you’re not like me and can’t help yourself, buy my new SPAM INTERVENTION BOOK and free yourself from your worst habits.”

It won’t offend the bloggers because they know better (most of the time) and never look at the crap in the SPAM queue that WordPress keeps off their blogs. But if I can get rich helping just one person get off SPAM, I’ll feel warm and cozy at night about how I made a difference.

This entire post looks shockingly like SPAM. Perhaps the SPAM queue will grab it and it won’t appear on my blog at all. That’s probably best.

BTW, if you find a message in your SPAM queue from Sue of Sue’s Insurance Company and Candy Store, don’t go there. It seems the place is named “Sue” because they get sued all the time for selling cavity insurance that never pays a dime to your dentist due to some annoying fine print in the policy.

–Bob (not my real name)

Early Comments

  • Hi, Admin Person. I sell out of date anti-spam software that works most of the time and want to say that if you had it already you wouldn’t be seeing this comment.
  • This is a very informative post and will probably become part of my next recipe book called “Cooking With Spam.” To get a copy of that book, please send money right now to P.O. Box 603294, Two Egg, Florida.
  • I love your writing and want to see more of it. In fact, I come to your blog 2-3 times an hour hoping against hope there will be a new post here. If you want to get to know me better, I work at moniquesexypix.com and hope you’ll come up and see me some time.
  • Spam really sucks. The Feds ought to make it illegal. Until they do, you can get free herbal teas that aren’t too harmful by contacting satan@wolfebane.net.

 

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