I apologize in advance for digressing off-topic this morning. It is just that I am up to my eyeballs in spam. Spam for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Spam as a midnight snack. I predict that the downfall of our society and perhaps our species will not be due to global warming, nuclear war, or even the next Kevin Federline album. Instead, some future civilization will unearth the ruins of my inbox and my own remains, index finger frozen in time on the “delete” key. Only then will they know with certainty the catalyst of our demise.
I’m all for free enterprise, but the deluge of unsolicited, unwanted garbage coming my way is wearing on me and affecting my productivity. I suspect I am not alone. I am being slapped cyber-silly through email and now, at a frighteningly increasing pace, through our blog.
I do NOT want cheap prescription drugs, Viagra, a young Russian bride or a new mortgage. I am not stupid enough to follow your link to reactivate my PayPal account, respond to the query from [email protected] to verify my personal information, confirm the “recent purchase” of a flat screen television which will be “charged to my credit card shortly”, or get the lyrics (“for free!”) to Daniel Powder’s “Bad Day”. I am writing my own words to that one as we speak. If I want to know about your new listing, I will find it through my MLS, and if I want to know how to “take my business to the next level” or if I need a website redesign, I will call you.
How does this affect productivity? Well, there is the obvious time spent wading through the email inbox to find the one legitimate pearl among my thousands of daily oysters (I don’t like oysters). Sure, I have a spam catcher, but it doesn’t catch it all. And sometimes, it catches the good stuff. Which brings me to the second productivity-crippling issue. I spent too much time resending three emails containing a counter offer to an agent yesterday and another half hour on the phone with her as we tried to “find” it, which we finally did – In her spam folder. In the time it took us to harness the power of technology, I could have carried it to her on crutches. Then there is the necessary, periodic visit I must make to the depths of my own spam folder to “find” my incoming, misdirected mail. I often wonder how many lost opportunities have landed in my spam graveyard. “Come list my house in five minutes or else”.
Spammers are now preying on the blogs. In my case, I have what I used to consider a very workable system and a very respectable spam catcher. Until last week, it would search and destroy about 100 “comments” a day, most suggesting that we visit their website to watch someone doing something with someone they shouldn’t be, if you know what I mean. Other comments from first-time visitors would be held in moderation pending my green light. This past week, the volume of crap has logarithmically skyrocketed, however. I guess I have hit the big time. In the past ten hours, while my spam killer has intercepted 1,275 evil messages, it has missed another 86 which are now awaiting my moderation. And I will never know if one of the 1,275 was not evil at all.
And back to lost productivity. I do most of my blogging on my laptop through a wireless broadband connection. Since this doesn’t give my computer a unique IP address, some bottom dwelling spammer has ruined it for all of us. I am no longer able to post comments on many blogs; Marlow and Phoenix Real Estate Guy, I’m talking to you. I suspect I am losing some comments at my end along the way as well.
I will be looking into implementing the “type the squiggly numbers and letters in the box” method of approving comments. In the meantime, and for the sake of all that is good and decent, for the sake of the human race, take your business elsewhere. Pick on someone stupid and gullible enough to actually appreciate your smorgasbord of junk food. May I recommend KevinFederline.com?