Comment Spam n. 1. A fake weblog comment containing an embedded link to a website featuring a worthless product or service. 2. A royal pain in the ass for weblog authors. 3. What Satan coughs up when he pukes.
I tried organizing against the comment spammers. I tried shaming them. I tried ignoring them. But the other day, for the first time, I tried an entirely new approach: I deleted the comment spam but invited the comment spammer, via e-mail, to send me the product he was hawking for free. I told him I might like it, which might lead me to post about it. And wouldn't this be better, in the end, than simply leaving a link?
I was a little surprised that it worked. But yesterday, the product arrived in the mail with a nice note. Is it because the marketing-savvy are catching on to the value of weblogs, as I read in Fortune magazine? Or is it because the comment spammer I'd caught was a rank amateur who didn't know any better? After all, he had a web address in the U.S. and left an e-mail address that worked.
Perhaps it was a fluke, but I'm going to try it again. As for the product that arrived in the mail, I won't tie it to the stigma of comment spam by identifying it here. I can tell you, however, that it didn't fall into the class of one of the fourteen other products or services that have mucked up this weblog in the past few months, as follows: auto insurance, Vioxx representation, pay-to-surf programs, debt consolidation, online dating, online gambling, credit checks, asbestos representation, rape stories, cheap blinds, propolene diet pills, discount cigarettes, dental plans, and phentermine.
Internet puke, indeed.