SPAM – it’s not just for lunch anymore.

So, what does the blog title have to do with landscape, irrigation or lawn maintenance, you ask?  Not a darn thing.  But after 5 months of blogging and blog comment administration, I just simply couldn’t help myself.

The Horizon Landscape Company blog became active on March 1, 2011.  As a new blogger, I had an awful lot to learn about how blogging works, how to write to stay interesting and timely, and how to get your blog out to internet land so that it can be found.  By the time we went live I was reasonably prepared for all of that – I already was comfortable with the written word, and sought advice from some wonderful professionals.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of spam that I would be receiving daily.

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How I remember SPAM………

Upon the advice of our SEO guru (sorry – he’s a closely guarded secret), Akismet was installed to capture spam.  Before this, I was getting 30 or more “comments” a day that needed to be filtered out.  Being new to blogging, I sincerely thought people were just being nice, and answered every one.  That is, until some of the comments began to look very much like ones I had already answered.  It was then that I learned that I had soooooo much more to learn.

Thanks to Akismet, I was able to sift through the captured comments at my leisure, so that I could become familiar with the different types of “standard” comments used, and re-used, and rephrased.  I was actually getting quite a kick out of reading them.  What made me laugh most is that the majority of comments were left under photos, not under the blog text, and in almost all cases were just vague comments that had nothing specifically to do with the picture that was being commented on.  One overseas travel company wrote “Wow, this article was really educational!!!! =)” on every blog picture I have posted to date, and not once on an actual blog post.

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“Sword Lily” is another name for the gladiolus; the original comment probably used the word “glad”, which translated to “gladiolus” which translated to “sword lily”.

There were the comments that were obviously translated from other languages:

“Your house is valueble for me. Thanks!?-” ;  “Some really excellent information, Sword lily I observed this.”

There were those that said the same thing in different ways:

“I simply had to appreciate you all over again.” ; “I precisely needed to thank you very much once again.”  It’s nice to be appreciated, no matter how you say it!

“I’m also writing to let you know of the useful discovery my wife’s child went through studying your web blog. ” ;  “I’m writing to let you know what a extraordinary experience my friend’s girl obtained reading through your blog. ”  Apparently, our blog reaches “to infinity and beyond“.  Hopefully the wife’s child and friend’s girl will write their own comments some day.

And of course, there are the spammers who are counting on the fact that the blogger is clueless to spamming : “Good day! This is my first visit to your blog!”  (Akismet actually caught 7 other posts from this contributor before this one – so much for the first visit).  Or this one: “Hello, you used to write excellent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring!  I miss your tremendous writings.”  Considering the comment was in response to my very first post, I’m wondering if I had previously done tremendous writings while sleepwalking that somehow made it to the internet.  The best one? “From the tons of comments on your article, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here!”.  This uplifting spam comment was in response to “The Bees” blog post, which currently has no comments.

It amazed me how often this comment showed up: “After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I found your website.”  SIX hours of Google-ing?  Continuously? Good heavens.  I hope it wasn’t during work hours.  And I hope we’re not that hard to find. This one was also very common: “I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.”  I’d bet if they asked the six-hour Googlers, they could tell them exactly how they ended up here.

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I sincerely hope that the blogs I post are informative, timely, eye-catching, and maybe even a little humorous.  And if you truly do have a comment, I would be honored to read it and reply to it.  I would also love to know if there is a topic you would like to hear more about – just email me, and I’ll let you know when I plan to write a post on it.

And so, now that I have digressed long enough, it’s time to get back to the task of blogging on landscape, irrigation and lawn maintenance.  But before I go, I would like to leave you with the last type of comment, probably my favorite.  They are the comments that have no relevance to anything on our blog or our websites, like this one:  “They all claim he wouldn’t create it with an attitude like this so they struck him off and went about with the agenda.” (?????)  Poor guy.  Maybe he didn’t like that their agenda involved six hours of Google-ing.