Every now and then I like to take a week off from posting just to allow the blog to clean out the spamsters. It’s a little like refreshing your modem or rebooting your computer…cleans out the noise and everything runs a bit better.
It’s still amazing to me how much spam there is and how crafty (or dense) the spamsters are. For example, I get numerous spam efforts from various foreign links. The variety of languages is almost as impressive as the variety of ways these automated feeds try to worm their way onto the website.
While my spam software does a great job at weeding out the bulk of the attempts to get through via the blog comments section, the forum access is a little clunkier, requiring me to create security protocols that catch the attempts to farm my site.
What impresses me is the number of different times the same spamster will hit my site. Even though I go through the laborious efforts of blocking the entire range of IP addresses for that attempt, the spamster merely goes through a new set of IP addresses, often in a different locale. For example, one spamster’s initial attempt was via internet based in Russia. Subsequently, they came at me from Lithuania, Poland, China, Netherlands and Taiwan. I wanted to tell them “Guys, my site’s not that popular!”, but it’s clearly some form of automation.
I’ve blocked hundreds (probably thousands) of IP addresses in other countries. I suppose, if I ever became a worldwide sensation, that could come back to trouble me. Of course, by that time, I should be able to afford to pay a real webmaster and not have to bother with the admin stuff.
The comments that are programmed into the feeds are hilarious. Some struggle to grasp the conventions of English (even more than Americans do) and others have such utter irrelevance to the topic they are “commenting on” as to provide me with the occasional chuckle during my daily maintenance.
Still, I need to take a week off occasionally to get the spamsters to dry up a bit. Unfortunately, they play havoc with my site statistics, so they can become more than a minor annoyance when they build up.
Now, I look at my stats and know they refer to you, my faithful readers. No false readings and phony spikes in web hits.