‘spam,’ and I don’t mean the kind people eat

I just got through deleting a bunch of “spam” from this blog. Like a lot of people in Hawaii, I actually like Spam®, the Hormel Foods Corporation canned pork product [note, with due respect, from this point forward I’m not referring to the canned meat]. . . and I’m not sure how the term “spamming” came to be associated with emails and blogging — but I definitely don’t like it.

For example, in the past few months that I’ve been doing my modest little Nani Laie Blog, I’ve received a little over 300 legitimate responses — but almost 5,000 “spam” submissions; and this quantity is nothing compared to the tidal wave of spam unscrupulous people send to some web sites. Fortunately, I have an excellent spam filter on this site that catches over 99 percent of those humbug submissions…which you never see, but I still have to go review and delete them.

For those of you who may not know what I’m talking about at this point, or realize what a nuisance this is for honest bloggers, let me explain a few things:

  • Spam, also known as junk e-mail, is unsolicited bulk e-mail, such as all those letters from Africa promising the punch-drunk millions of dollars. It’s estimated over 100 billion spam messages are sent out each day — or about 94 percent of all e-mail sent.
  • I learned a lot about spamming when I first started blogging about five years ago. At first, I was totally shocked to get hundreds of bogus submissions; but now, probably like most of you, the practice has become so pernicious that I just expect to get lots of junk e-mail every day. That’s true in my home/office e-mail, and an account I have at BYU–Hawaii.

In the case of this blog, the spammers will submit a comment to one of my entries. Some of them actually make the effort to write something like: “Great story, which reminds me of…”and then they begin to list all kinds of commercial URLs, many of them vulgar. Some just list their own URLs. Some might only have one line, but others list dozens of URLs.

Fortunately, I’m able to adjust the administration of NaniLaie.info so that I have to approve (or delete) every submission. That option also includes editing bona fide submissions, so for example, I might do a little spelling or grammar correction; but as I said above, my blog also has an excellent spam filter that collects all the junk e-mail and gives me the option to delete all of them with one click. Thank heaven!

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