• Important Note

    The 60 Works site is up for reference, but is not actively being maintained.

  • Amazing Spam

    Amazing Spam

    25th April 2011, in Highlights, News/Blog ( Comments)

    A quick update, as I realize a two-month lull between posts is tragic in this age. 60 Works is humming along nicely. I have some parallel controller business ideas I’m developing, but this site will continue to be my public portfolio and sounding board.

    In Marketing 60 Works, I mentioned site hacks and comment spam on WordPress. Thankfully, the hacking has gone away. But the spam is still pervasive.

    This is my fault for not investing in an automated anti-spam solution. This tiny little site has received 29 “real” comments (including my replies and automated trackbacks) and 161 spam comments. I know, it’s the age we live in, but some of the spam comments are fascinating.

    Most comments are easily filtered, due to the use of Cyrillic or due to obvious relevance/grammar issues. But some are harder to peg. Would you assume these are spam comments on an initial read-through?:

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox on some post of yours and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

    I guess you may want to add a facebook button to your blog. I just bookmarked this article, but I must complete it manually. Just my 2 cents.

    Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

    Hey there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    Amazing blog! Thanks for maintaining it. Keep posting that way. (Received while writing this post.)


    Why spam such comments? For the attribution hyperlink on the commenter’s name. For example, clicking any “Dave Cross” comments on this site will take you back to 60works.com. Clicking any of these people’s names would direct you to their spam page. (On a more technical level, I wonder if these links have more value for increasing relevance on search engines than they do for the occasional click.)

    I almost fell for it the first time. But it seemed a little fishy so I Googled the entire text of the comment to find it plastered on hundreds of other obscure blogs like mine.

    This is an amazing feat of social engineering. Especially the laudatory posts. Who wouldn’t want such kind words at the bottom of their new blog?

    As with most spam, this is a highly automated affair. But by appealing directly to the egos and fears of the author, the spammers are — I’m assuming — succeeding on a level much higher than that of email spam.

    I’m on the fence with regard to turning off comments entirely on this site. Only time, and my patience, will tell.


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    April 25, 2011 2:24 pm

    Dave Cross (@60works)

    Example comment. Note the website link (in black) under my name.

    July 8, 2011 8:41 am

    Dave Cross (@60works.com)

    Quick update, the Akismet plugin solved 99.5% of my problems here. Just had to buy a license! (http://akismet.com/)