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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

My Blogging Dilemma

May 22, 2013 6 comments

by Noah Lugeons

I always feel like I should be blogging more.  I always find some news story or some Facebook argument or some personal interaction that leaves me thinking, “I should blog about this”.  And very often, as soon as I can, I set about organizing all the words that were swimming around in my head.  And if every one of those sessions eventually turned into a full blown post, I’d be one of the most prolific bloggers on the web.

Sometimes I abort the post when I realize that I’d have to do way too much research to support the point I want to make.  Sorry if that comes across as lazy, but in addition to the blog, the weekly podcast and all the ancillary social media stuff that goes with it, I’ve also got a full time job and a life.  So if I realize that I’d need to spend a couple of days on an eight paragraph post, I usually tuck it away in a the rearmost burner of my “I might get to it eventually” file.

But far more often, the potential post gets co-opted into material for the show.  I get a few paragraphs in and think to myself, “Shit, this would make a great diatribe”, or “damn, I should hold onto that joke for when Heath and I do this week’s headlines”, or “I could actually get a pretty good skit out of this”, or “this would be so much better with sound effects.”  And an instant later it’s off of WordPress and on to Google Docs to linger in my “Diatribe” folder for however long it takes me to not have something to bitch about that week.

There are certain times when I can overcome the issue.  When something’s just too short for a diatribe and too long for a headline or when I want more detail than I could justify on the show.  The “Live Blogging the Bible” segments I’ve been doing are a good example of that.  I know as I go through a book of the bible that I’m going to have way more commentary than I’ll be able to fit into the ten or twelve minutes we’ll be able to devote to it on the show, so I wind up with a few extra blog posts worth of material.

My fear, of course, is that if I make too much of a habit of doing this, the blog will become nothing but the 3rd best stuff that I deemed not funny enough to make the show and that would be a damn shame.  I’m making a concerted effort to blog a bit more often (about things other than how I should blog more often), but if you check back with us a couple days in a row and you don’t find anything new, rest assured that it means we’ve got some really funny shit for the podcast.

The Bots Cometh

by Noah Lugeons

WordPress has a pretty solid spam filter for comments. They pretty much catch all the mass commenting and tuck it away in a spam folder that I never have to look at if I don’t want to.

So the spammers had to get a little more clever. See, if I want, I can go into the spam folder and check out these comments to see if they are, indeed, spam. Knowing this, the bots are programmed to have these really generic messages that might fool somebody into saying “hey, what’s this doing in with the spam?”

Usually they’re extremely complimentary so they’re attacking the ego first. You’ll see a lot of comments like “You are a very talented writer. I am interested in your subject and have been looking for a quality blog like this for some time.”  And of course, I’m supposed to be overcome with flattery and say, “well with an honest and accurate assessment like that, this must be a real human… and one with discriminating tastes in blog quality no less.”

Of course, some of the bots are more clever and toss in a generic piece of advice to make things a little more realistic so you’ll get something like “your blog is very good but it could be better.”  This is what we call “second level trickery”. For those people too clever to be taken in by the effusive reviews. “Ah, this person couldn’t be a bot since it has clearly offered a specific criticism,” I’m supposed to respond, “surely I should approve the comment of this vaguely critical human being.”

But the best ones are the ones that have gotten a little love from Google-Translate. The only reason I’m checking the spam folder at all is in hopes of finding gems like this one:

(Keep in mind that this blog came into existence about a week ago):

It’s fantastic to have the capability to look at a fantastic good quality publish with helpful particulars on subjects that a lot are fascinated on. I had been discussing your website with my pal just a month ago.