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Taking the Bait . . . Hook, Line, & Sinker February 20, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Mindfulness.

In 7 Ways WordPress Rocks, I mentioned one of my favorite features on WordPress . . . the Spam Filter:

6.  Get out!  The SPAM filter catches titillating ads for sexual enhancement products so that readers don’t get . . . um . . . sidetracked from reading and commenting on our posts.    

Of course, the protection afforded by the WordPress Spam Filter applies to more than sexual ads and aids ~ it protects us from “taking the bait.”

In general, spammers preface their advertisements with insincere generic compliments designed to feed our ever-hungry egos.  For example:

* Hello! You have very nice looking site, congrats!

Thank you for noticing.  Tell me MORE!

* Terrific work! This is the type of information that ought to be shared close to the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

Ooh, what an Ego boost!  Higher . . . higher . . .


* Wonderful points altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What would you recommend about your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

Notice the tricky reference to “your post.”  For someone who posts once or twice a week, this could be a tremendous lure.  For someone who posts every day, it’s an obvious fluke. 

* Hello! I like your site!

Seriously?  That’s all you’ve got?  Who takes that bait?

* Thanks for another informative website. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

Stop it.  You’re embarrassing me. 

* Nice work. You keep working on this blog please.

Will do!  I promise to keep floundering around if you promise to keep tossing compliments my way.

* i love it

“Love . . . Love will keep us together . . .”  

* WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait ..

I’m sorry.  I don’t follow.  Say what?

* Larry King once said, “I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” That’s precisely how I feel. I am grateful to have learned something new today.

This one caught my attention and inspired this post.   If it hadn’t been trapped by the Spam Filter, I might have believed that the spammer in question had picked up on my love of quotes and wanted to share one with me.  Our egos want to believe all our “good press.”   

As indicated, comments caught by the WordPress Spam Filter generally have three things in common:

1.  None of them say anything specific about the articles referenced. 

2.  Each is generic enough to post on any site in the blogosphere.

3.  All use insincere comments to lure our greedy egos into taking the bait.

Spammers go fishing with compliments, tossing out generic comments as “bait,” because they know that egos love validation, even insincere validation. 

Spammers who toss out whoppers are not a problem unless we mindlessly swallow the bait . . . hook, line, and sinker.

Having a Spam Filter catch the bait and cut the line BEFORE we notice the compliment allows us to see the alluring lure  for what it is . . . so we can confidently “toss it back.”

No rules.  Just write!

Those alluring lures . . . do you ever take the bait?  What tips you off to the ulterior motives behind Spam flattery?  

Do you have anything stuck in your Spam Filter right now worth sharing?  

Related posts:  Let Go, EGO! * WTF: Watch That Feedback * Pop Goes The Ego * Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies * The 2011 Sexiest Blog Award * I Am Truly Humbled . . . * The Inner Path to Peace * Those Alluring Lures