Guilt Spam

Host GatorI have been getting a lot of very compelling spam. I call it “guilt spam.” It very politely asks for help. Some of it is clearly spam. In fact, there are two oldies along these lines that when first seen are greatly concerning. The first is something like, “Great website! But there seems to be a problem displaying in Internet Explorer.” The first time I saw that, I opened up Internet Explorer, saw there was no problem, and deleted the spam. The other is even more evil, “Great website, but you really need to check your spelling.” What is terrible is that writing a blog is a slapdash endeavor, so spelling and grammar errors make it through all the time. (Recently, a reader emailed me that I used “cite” when I meant “site.”)

But recently, I’ve been getting more sophisticated guilt spam. Normally, it is asking me to do something. And it can be quite good. In fact, the last one I got, I’m not even sure is spam:

I have loaded your site in Three totally different internet browsers and I must say your blog loads a lot quicker then most. Would you mind e-mailing me the name of your website hosting company? My personal email is: blah.blah@gmail.com. I will even sign up through your affiliate link if you’d like. Cheers

For the record, my web hosting company is HostGator.com, and they are only okay. I plan to move on to someone else at the end of my contract.

But there are a number of things that are bothersome about this comment. First, it was placed in an old article. Second, the article had nothing to do with the subject at hand. Third, my email address is not hard to find.

Even still, the comment did make me feel guilty enough to write this whole article about it.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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