UBC DAY 11: Donning my groveling britches. (No flogging, though.)

You know those dreams where you’re in a social setting — shopping, at the movies, in school, at work, at a party — and everyone else is dressed appropriately, but you show up … naked?

This isn’t about that.

But close. It’s about blogging, and doing something so stupendously DUMB that you might as well be the only naked kid on the playground till you’re 21.

This gaffe sends me cringing to the cybersteps of about 15 fellow bloggers whose comments on my blog have been ignored. For two years.

Here’s what happened:

Back in 2012, I was in the WordCount Blogathon, a GREAT blogging challenge that had it goin’ on when it came to getting great traffic to all participants’ blogs.

I went from 943 visitors between May 14, 2010 to April 30, 2012, to over 2500 visitors between May 1 and 31, 2012!

At the same time, all that exposure also exposed my blog and website to those nefarious spammers. You know what I’m talkin’ about. Those jackasses who post NOVELS about where to get cheap Viagra@, Michael Kors bags, mineral make-up, you-name-it.

I was getting hundreds of spammer comments on my posts every day. Every. Damn. Day.

Now, even though I didn’t allow just anyone to post comments without moderation, I did have the sense to activate a setting that allowed anyone who had already had a comment approved to publish a comment without moderation, bypassing my approval. Loved that!

But because they were pre-approved and went right onto the site, I didn’t see these comments in a timely manner. I did this so I could work on paying gigs in writing, remember.

When I finally did check on Comments, I discovered that I had over 800 “awaiting moderation,” and they were almost all spam!

Crap. I didn’t need this. I didn’t want this. I wasn’t going to deal with this. I turned off Comments across the board, forgetting that my solution created a new problem for my fellow bloggers: they couldn’t comply with our “rules of engagement” by leaving a comment on my blog.

Today, a third of the way into the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I thought maybe the spammers were done with me. I thought maybe I could reactivate Comments, because I’d already been bitchin’ on the Ultimate Blog Challenge that nobody was commenting on my blog. Oops. They can’t.

So, I went back to the Dashboard and checked on Comments. More than FIFTEEN THOUSAND had come in, and almost every one was one of those idiotic spammers. Some were written in Chinese and Russian for Pete’s sake!

I decided to clean out my comments, and as I sat there scrolling through to make sure I didn’t delete a legit comment (so glad most bloggers use icons; spammers don’t!), I came across more than 200 entries from bloggers familiar and unknown, and about half made thoughtful remarks that should have generated a response from stupid, rude me.

I’ve just spent two hours purging the spam.

I’ve reactivated the Comments.

And I’m going to be writing lots of bloggers who expected to hear from me over blog challenges reaching back two years.

I’m brushing off my groveling britches …


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About Billie Noakes

The writer you want for crisp, clean copy.
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8 Responses to UBC DAY 11: Donning my groveling britches. (No flogging, though.)

  1. Laura Brewer says:

    Wow, you sure struck a cord on that one! I think everyone hates spam, except the spammers. I have also lost a comment in the spam for a long time. I wasn’t blogging much and quit checking for comments for a while. It was nearly always spam anyway, right?

  2. Doug Jarvie says:

    Hi Billie,
    Is it safe to comment here? Sometimes it still feels like the “Wild West”.

  3. I don’t know how many people would have gone public with their mea culpa, Billie, including tagging some of us on Facebook. You have just separated yourself from the crowd – I hope this proves to be a blessing in disguise. (And 15,000 spam-time to investigate a better spam filter? Commentluv? WordPress has a number of good spam filters, I understand – better than anything Blogger (which I use) provides.)

  4. Alana, I was absolutely mortified when I found so MANY of the comments were yours, and I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this post! I’ve so enjoyed your blogs, and I’ve made sure my Civil War enthusiast, BFF Bob, is at least AWARE of it every Sunday. And another friend in my writing group has a son living with autism, so I’m bandying your name about in several circles!

  5. Michael says:

    I moved to Word Press because I attracted a bot on my Blogspot blog. No comments,just trolling which jacked up my traffic which I knew was false. There is no one to talk to at Blogspot,hence the movie….wish I had made the move sooner.

  6. It is, Doug. No gunslingers here!

  7. Unfortunately Laura, you’re right!

  8. Hi Alana. Turns out my spam filter had been installed, and the plug-in de-activated when I upgraded my template. Once I noticed THAT, life got much better. Only 5 new spams in the last 3 days!

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