There is this handy dandy filter used by Word Press to protect blogs from spam invading into the comments sections. It’s called Akismet. Here’s how it works, according to the source:
Akismet is a hosted web service that saves you time by automatically detecting comment and trackback spam. It’s hosted on our servers, but we give you access to it through plugins and our API.
(API is Application Programming Interface, whatever that means.)
There is a running total on the dashboard of the ATM blog that let’s a blogger know at all times how many spam comments Akismet has caught and destroyed, saving our blogs from the scum and scourge of the Internet. As of this posting, and since the grand opening of ATM on April 5, 2010, Akismet has saved this blog from a grand total of 3612 spam comments.
That’s a lot of filtered out caca.
There are a few things that get through, though.
For example, there is a nice lady who said some very kind things about my blog. She must be a scientist, because she commented, “I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.” Funny though – I never knew a scientist named “Talk Dirty” before, but there she is. Twice.
I have a nice offer from a friendly owner of a cheap hostel in Taipei who will give me 10% off on my next stay there if I post his web site link in my comments section.
I have several comments from “autobazar,” a couple of which are just gibberish, and one that thanks me for my blog post, saying it’s “usefully.”
There’s a vacation web site of some sort letting me know that there are many good hotels in New York where tourists can stay. (Who knew?)
And then a nice guy named Brandon commented, “I have seen many blogs like this blog. Surprisingly I have been trying to create one just like this as well, however I am not sure how to do it. Tell me about this ‘blogging’ portal? Is it difficult? Must I be an expert in computers to create a blog?” Then he went on to mention that he wants to make a blog for his English writing class.
It may sound strange, but I like reading these pieces of spam that slip through Akismet. I am always on the lookout for a piece of spam directed at trans people. Maybe something like low, low prices on stand-to-pee devices or discounts on top surgery.
Why in the world would I want to see trans-focused spam?
Think about it– even though spam sucks, if there was any ever directed at trans people, then we would know that we made it. What’s more “mainstream” than spam? I mean, if there was transgender spam, how could anyone think of us as out of the ordinary? We would rank right up there on the run-of-the-mill list with tourists going to New York and people who want to learn how to write English.
I also wanted to comment on a search engine term that showed up on the ATM stats list today. I posted some time ago that I wouldn’t reveal search engine terms anymore that brought people to this blog, but there is one that I feel I must mention now.
It goes like this:
“a master morphogen determines male phenotype. please discuss this morphogen and its actions”
Now that is a question from some sort of college paper assignment or take home exam. So all you college young-un’s out there checking in this blog to get your homework done, I hope that you are able to *ahem* put your answer to that question in your own words, if you catch my drift.
By the way, everyone who has read the posts on the genes involved in sex determination was able to answer that question. Right?
Okay, that’s just some randomness that came to mind as I was checking out the stats for the day on ATM.
And before I close, I’ll let you know that I’m working on something new that I hope to take live within the next week or so. It’s a new blog but something completely different from ATM. Of course, ATM won’t be going away. It will just have a new little brother.