I am swimming in spam. Every where I go, every direction I look, every medium I deal with, I am being spammed. Spam in my email box I can handle–my spam filter manages that well enough that I can ignore the problem. It’s all of the other spam that is driving me insane.
Let’s start with blog spam. I run Movable Type, and I have a PageRank of 6 or so, so like everyone else with a good PageRank, I’m being bombarded with blog comment spam. It’s not uncommon to wake up in the morning and find that 100 ads for Viagra or online poker or something less savory have managed to make it through my filters and pollute my blog. From looking at my logs, I’ve been had over 7,000 comments posted on this blog, with only 150 or so being legitimate, and around 6,000 blocked by MT-Blacklist.
Then there’s phone spam–the Do Not Call list has actually worked pretty well for my home phone number, but I’ve been besieged by calls from (905)-482-1663 for the past couple weeks. I assume that they’re a telemarketer, but I’ve never been able to figure out what they want–even when I’ve picked the phone up on the first ring, they just hang up on me. Google suggests that that number has done work for Bank of America and the Kerry campaign and pissed off a number of other people; it’s not just me. After a week of this, I had Asterisk blacklist them, so I don’t have to listen to them hang up on me 2 or 3 times per day. Yesterday, they escalated–they called my cell phone 3 times last night. I sent a Do Not Call list complaint today, but I doubt it’ll take. I’d probably be better off using one of the other laws on the books regarding telemarketing calls to cell phones or percentages of hangups, but it’s probably not worth the hassle.
My work phone isn’t immune, either–I’ve been getting 2 or 3 calls per week from random business magazines, wanting to give me free subscriptions or renewals. Frankly, I receive so many magazines that I can’t keep track of which ones I’m already getting–95% of them go straight into the recycling bin without ever being opened. I really don’t want more–my mailbox is too full as it is. Last week, I got two calls from Information Week and had to hang up on them–they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. The week before, it was a call, a fax, and two emails from Network World. This morning, it was eWeek.
Thinking about all of these–the blog spam, the telemarketer spam, and the magazine renewal spam–the common thread is that none of them are actually trying to sell me anything. The blog spam is trying to increase their own PageRank. The magazine spam is trying to increase their circulation size and advertising rates. The telemarketer might be trying to sell me something, but since they refuse to actually talk to me, I can’t really tell. Largely, they’re all bothering me because they can sell something that I have (eyeballs, highly ranked blog) to others, and they don’t care that they’re wasting my time and money in the process.