They lured me in, those cyber gobblers. Boosted my ego with new subscribers. Like being told you can eat all the pumpkin pie you want without gaining weight. False hope.
At first, I was delighted of course. After more than two years of Friday posts, my subscriber list grew to more than 100. I’d get an email. “New Subscriber,” then another. Since blogging started with the idea of a “web log” – communication between writer and reader – I’d write my newcomers.
“Thanks for joining WordScarab. What other blogs are you following? Can you recommend them?”
No response. I’d let that one go and try to connect with the next. Nada.
I never tried to build a blog network. WordScarab is an outlet for writing and many friends tell me they have enjoyed it. But with new subscribers and unrecognizable names, I thought I was gaining ground.
In fact, I was the unwitting victim of a witless cyber-bot.
The subscribers’ names looked real but I began to notice their strange email addresses. “Ellen” appeared to be a new subscriber but her email address included buycoolsunglasses or reallygreatcars.
A registration bot had taken over the system. As I posted blurbs on WordScarab, some cyber-turkey-spammer pushed ad-related email addresses onto my list of “followers.”
It’s the worst kind of unflattery.
On my WordScarab admin page, I unplugged the subscriber button. I started to feel icky about the non-subscribing subscribers and stopped writing. Not only did the turkeys get me down, they hijacked my keyboard. My fingers got flabby.
Then, this week, after several weeks of not posting, I received an email from a friend and follower in France who wrote: “I try to follow your blog but the text is less and less.”
That did it!
Thanks to Olivier, I’m writing again, dagnabit. I’ll figure out the registration bot. I’ll either add a “captcha” box in which new subscribers will have to decipher the curvy letters, or set the system for me to approve followers.
I didn’t want to do that. All are welcome to WordScarab, except scammers. And cyber-turkeys.
To subscribe to WordScarab, simply send a comment – that’ll work too. And thanks to npr.org for the image.